Why going to university was the best thing I ever did

It’s the time of year where final decisions about your choice of university are needing to be made – and if you are considering higher education, I’ll always say – DO IT.

Let me paint you a picture of myself before attending university:

I was quiet, depressed, with no confidence in my abilities and no drive to make new friends, even though this was something I desperately needed. I was with a guy I didn’t want to be with, just because I didn’t have any excuse to get out. I was working in a local shop on the till with poor pay because I wasn’t really qualified to do anything else. Life was safe, but at the same time unfulfilling and lonely.

I’ll fast forward now to life after university:

I’m over a lot of my anxieties and while I’m not cured, I accept that people can actually like me. I’m getting out more, using the phone, involving myself in new activities and groups, working with other people who feel the way I used to and helping them out. I’m willing to publish my words instead of keeping them in my head. I feel ready to move out and go somewhere else to work, which I would never have even imagined considering in the past. I wouldn’t say I’m exactly confident in my abilities, but I do believe in myself more and am aware of my talents.

University was the time when I realised that not everyone is an awful human being. It was my chance to completely reinvent myself with a completely clean slate in a completely new city. I saw this as my starting point, and embraced my new life. I studied a new subject, joined a sports society, took on events to review, undertook media work experience.

Of course I made mistakes, and living on my own was horrible at first as I didn’t get on with my flatmates, but in the long-term, actual qualification aside, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my life so far, and I still miss it almost four years later.

At university, there’s always going to be someone who understands you, and if you don’t get on with one person there’ll be another person close-by that you can latch onto. And soon you might find they become the best friend you ever had. And of course on top of this, your job prospects will skyrocket, as so many jobs now are looking for a graduate, even if the area isn’t specified. If I hadn’t gone to university, I wouldn’t have got my editing job – Just something to have in mind…

So go to university, or even take that job out of town. Get involved with as many clubs and activities as you can and put yourself out there. It’s easier said than done, and people are generally more comfortable doing something that’s safe and known to them, but as someone who’s been there, I can confidently say, leave that comfort zone and just go for it! It will change your life.

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