The decision to go to university can feel like a huge one and has the potential to be life-changing. Understandably, you may be feeling the pressure when it comes to deciding the direction of your future, as many others have done before you. Whether you’re on the cusp of leaving college or sixth form, or considering diving back into studying after a break – it’s good to know there are a number of different options open to you and there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Perhaps you haven’t discovered your passion yet or you’re struggling to settle on a specific career direction? Maybe you’re wondering if the timing is right? Whatever your thoughts, it’s important to take some time to carefully consider what you really want. After all, there’s a lot at stake, so this is definitely not a decision that you should rush into. To help you figure out if university is indeed the right choice for you right now, here are a few things to consider.
Explore your options
First things first – it’s important to know that studying for a full-time degree certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to pursuing your career goals. There are a variety of other avenues that can still lead you to securing the career of your dreams. Some of these alternative paths include:
Most universities, including LJMU, offer part-time degree courses – where you’re able to fit your studies around your life and commitments. So don’t write off university simply because you feel you can’t commit to full-time studies, there are always ways around this.
A Degree Apprenticeship is an exciting route into work-based learning that enables apprentices to achieve a full degree while developing practical skills in the workplace.
You don’t have to take a gap year to discover the world. At LJMU, we encourage our students to learn as much from experience as from traditional learning and that’s why we offer a huge range of international opportunities.
Discover your passion
Many people see university as the chance to explore their interests. But before you can pursue them, how do you find out what exactly those interests are? If you don’t see yourself as having a particular passion, it’s time to start paying attention to the things you like the most – particularly certain classes or subjects you really enjoy. And don’t just pick the subjects you perform best in. Challenging yourself can be part of the fun. Most importantly, remember that when it comes to finding something you’re truly passionate about, fulfilment and enjoyment are key. Will the programme you choose change you (or the world) for the better? And remember, at LJMU we have a large selection of social and academic societies and clubs that allow our students to indulge their hobbies alongside their studies. Taking part in these extracurricular activities could also help you to figure out what you’d like to do when you graduate.
Consider the cost
Fees and talk of future loans and earnings can feel overwhelming, especially when you begin to add up the cost of university. Although it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and decide to cross that bridge later on – it really does pay to figure out exactly what your university experience is likely to cost. Budgeting is a life skill after all. Explore different scenarios, such as what your student loan repayments look like on different salary brackets after you graduate. You may not know exactly what subject you want to study just yet, but at least you’ll be making a decision with your eyes open. It’s important to get clued up on what your yearly outgoings will be, as well as searching for what financial advice and support will be available to you. At LJMU, we offer a number of money management services aimed at helping you to organise your finances throughout every stage of university, so you’ll never be without support.
Home or away?
When considering if university is the way forward, you may start to imagine yourself living in an entirely new town, city or even country for the next few years. But how do you know how far away from home to move for university, or whether to leave home at all? A common misconception is that you have to move far away to gain your independence at university – this simply isn’t true. However, the idea of a fresh start with a new city to explore can be exciting. Do your research and find out what you can study, and where. Go to open days and bring your family or friends to get their opinion – and explore beyond the university campus to get a real feel for the city or town. The decision to move away for university is a big one and only you will ultimately know what is best. No matter what, most universities offer plenty of support for students who are new to a city, and you and your classmates will all be in it together. Take a look at what you could expect from a university experience here at LJMU.
Ask for guidance
Still feeling unsure? It’s time to ask for some help if you haven’t already. There are a lot of people on hand to assist you in assessing your options. Reach out to a teacher, mentor, or careers advisor – or perhaps a friend or family member who has been to university. It’s important to take full advantage of all of the help on offer to you – and there’s a lot of it. Attending university open days are also a great way to speak to students and hear what encouraged them to take the plunge into university life. There’s also a huge amount of online advice available, with countless blogs and other helpful content to take a look at. The UCAS website is just one of many useful resources that can help you make an informed decision about what to do next.
If you do decide that university is the right path for you – why not take a look at our wide range of courses? We pride ourselves on being able to support you and give you a warm welcome – whether you’re a Liverpool native or from further afield. Remember, this is meant to be one of the most exciting times of your life. The main thing is that you enjoy the process, no matter how daunting it can feel at first, it’s time to get excited about the future.
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