The Reason Why I Chose Not To Go To University

photo: nalieli

University seemed to be the only word that echoed throughout the college halls. At first, I did want to go to Uni, I wanted to be a Spanish teacher believe it or not! I filled in my application form, chose my top three Universities then waited patiently for a conditional offer.

Failure helped me figure out what I wanted
But things didn’t go the way I planned, I failed Spanish – learning a foreign language for 4 hours a week is not enough to pass an A-level exam! For a moment, I felt a little lost, so I considered what the other options were. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I always had a passion for writing, so I thought why not pursue a career based on that passion? I dropped Spanish the next day and instead decided to do Media Studies.

I researched what else I could do
Soon after, I got a week’s work experience for my local newspaper, which was very useful and insightful. Things were going much better now and my education was coming to an end, so I had to plan my next steps. Researching people who are already in the industry is very important to know where the hell you’re going next, so I quickly jumped onto Google and there it began. I shortly discovered that in fact I did not need a University degree to be a journalist, but instead a little qualification known as an NCTJ, diploma in Multimedia Journalism.

So I embarked on a very intensive course of 20 weeks at a journalism college called News Associates; so what someone would learn at University over 3 years (the important stuff), I crammed in over 20 weeks! Not for the faint-hearted as they warned. It was very tough being in a classroom for 7 hours from Monday to Friday, the lessons were gruelling and I have to admit I struggled to stay awake in the boring parts (politics!). But in the end it was worth it, I eventually passed my exams, even though sitting some twice!

You need to think carefully about your future
I just think some people need to do more research before jumping on the bandwagon and quickly setting off to University. It is very expensive, especially if you don’t really need to go; though I do understand that in some job roles you have no option, such as doctors or lawyers. You may be able to do a fast-track course like me to get where you want to be – or you may be able to do an internship going into a permanent role. I know so many people who have spent thousands of pounds at Uni and now have changed their minds to do something completely different. Don’t just go for the partying student lifestyle either!

Optimistic about the future
My course has since gotten me job interviews that clearly state in the job spec that they need someone who has gone to University, which you know now I haven’t! I’m currently happily writing for CGD and I am keeping an open mind to what job roles may pop up in the future, be it journalism or editorial!

University isn’t for everyone
The CGD girls have a variety of qualifications from Masters degrees to certificates in Creative Writing, so it’s important to research and see what’s out there. Sometimes, University just isn’t for everybody, but sometimes it is! Only you know what will work for you.

Did you go to University? Was it all worthwhile? Let us know in the comments below.


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  • University was something that was really well suited for me, but I have so much respect for people who forge their own route to making their futures. This is an intriguing post. I think it’s really important to make choices for you – not just based on what is seen as the ‘thing that’s done’.

    Nicky x |

  • Prerna Bhatt

    My cousin sister decided to drop out of college to pursue a career in makeup and styling. She is working for a makeup brand and love what she is doing now. No regrets at all. Grades and getting a degree doesn’t always promise a promising future :)

  • Lily

    Going to university (initially) was a mistake. I did a four year teaching degree and ended up having to seek counselling as j was so traumatised by the experience of teaching ar schools I was thrown into as a 22 year old. I put too much pressure on myself to complete the degree, when I wish I had more of a flexible mindset to allow myself quit in my first year. Too proud to fail! I have since worked in media, events sales and fashion and am so much happier.
    I think fast-track opportunities such as yours are terrific, but doing something for the sake of doing it, with no benefit to you – Why bother? Besides, people in the workplace know that, and ultimately it is about how much you earn as well as your productivity level per hour.

  • Erin Henry (erinmayfitness)

    I have just finished university this week and while I am proud to be the first person in my family with a degree I do feel as though I would have found my passion (blogging) a lot sooner if I had not have attended. I can definitely agree with your pointe here, some people are just better suited to spread their wings solo! :)

  • Monika Monika

    No metter if you later work in that field or not, going to the university is mostly a good idea. It is the best time of the life, freedom, new ideas, hanging with fellow students, traveling and just giving you a broader perspective of the world and live out there. My company is now replacing all the stuff without a degree. Sad but we saw it coming. You still have 40+ years to work. Work won’t run away.

    • Zandy Malaza


  • Holly (Holly’s Wandering)

    I did not go to university and I am now in my dream role, working in Events Management for a Tourism Board. I am lucky enough to travel around UK and Europe for my job. I have however worked my way up from receptionist, to PA, to events coordinator to where I am now. If I have had attended uni, I wouldn’t even be finished yet- let alone where I am now. But that being said, I have had to convince a lot of people to give me a chance to prove myself. But even that was worth it- because I have worked hard and now see the merit of it.
    I have taken my passion of travel and made a career of it. I am now turning my Instagram into a travel Instagram and starting a blog of all of my adventures (@hollyswandering).

    • Mwtjuhc

      Wauw, very interesting. We have lots of same interest. Lets hope I will be succesfull like you do!
      But first find a fulltime job in the travel/eventbranche pff..

  • Elishia Chave

    I don’t think I knew myself well enough at 18 to decide what I wanted (in fact I deferred a year, so I was 19). I went to uni, didn’t know what to do after my bachelors, so did a masters… And now I’m wishing I had experience elsewhere! This was a great piece!

  • I’m going to university this September (hopefully) but the only thing communicated to us at school was basically “you have to go to uni to get a good job.” Obviously they did say there’s other options such as internships but they never went in depth about these other options and forced us to apply for UCAS whether we liked it or not. I think at such a young age still, many people have no idea what they want to do as a career and being told that getting into thousands of pounds worth of debt for something which may not be useful is the right thing to do is wrong in my opinion.
    Cloe X

  • Kerry McGahey

    I also didn’t go to university! It never appealed to me in the slightest. The thing that annoyed me most about school was the fact that a lot of emphasis was given to those who wanted to go to uni, and nothing was giving to those who wanted to start work.

    I had to learn by myself how to create a CV (thinking back to my first ever CV now makes me cringe!) and how to conduct myself in an interview.

    I’m now 24 years old and after many years struggling through various administrative jobs with low pay and a horrible work environment, I’m now in an amazing job which I love (working with an events team), pays well and has a great work ethic. In fact, I’m actually in a better position work wise than a lot of my friends who did go to uni – though I think my mum is sad she doesn’t have a photo of me in a cap and gown!

  • Dora Parker

    Very interesting. I went to uni because thats what was expected. I had no idea what to do after highschool. So I decided to apply for teaching like my friends. I didnt get in and did nursing instead. Wow what a life changer! Going to uni I think labels you with that degree, not necessarily a good thing. Education is very important but it doesnt have to be at uni!