Sunday, 29 May 2016
Did I Do University Wrong?
So it's Sunday 29th May 2016 and I have officially finished my time at university. Yup, my last ever exam was on Friday (medical law if you were interested!) and I will never have to spend another minute in a seminar room or any more of my time writing exam papers. That is, unless I decide to go on and do a Masters Degree but that's a whole other post. Anyway, as you'll probably know already for the past three years I've been studying hard for a law degree at Durham University and as I'm actually from Durham, I decided to drive to uni instead of live there. This is something I've been totally open about, speaking about it on Twitter and in previous blog posts about university but *shock horror* some people on social media and in real life haven't been too kind about my decision to live out and have even accused me of "doing university wrong."
A good few months ago now I joined in a blogger Twitter chat about balancing student life and being a blogger and I mentioned that I live at home and all that jazz. Someone actually replied to my Tweet basically laughing at me and saying that's not how you're supposed to do university, that I'm missing out on "university life" and a whole host of other comments that made me feel like she was calling me boring in not so many words. She genuinely might not have meant to come across as judgemental or nasty but that's how it felt to me and her comments encapsulated the very epitome of what student life is "supposed to be like" when we're at university. We're supposed to sleep until noon all day, go to less than half of our lectures, live off baked beans and go to every single party going. Whilst that might appeal to some people, that is my very idea of hell.
I've talked about this before so I'll be brief - I lived at university for a very short period, realised I hated living there and it wasn't for me so dropped out and had a year away from education before going back to the same university for a different degree. I know that if I had carried on living at university, I wouldn't have enjoyed it at all. I didn't go to university for the "party" (I don't drink for god's sake) and I didn't go to join clubs or societies or to move out. I went to get my degree and that's it. Is that the "wrong way" to do university because for me that has been the very right way. I've been able to keep blogging and progress my blogging career, I've kept both of my part time jobs that I had before going to university and I've saved a hell of a lot of money in the process. My student loan wouldn't have covered the cost of my accommodation alone and would have left me over £2000 short and that's not including money for books and general everyday living (and my addiction to shoes of course).
I totally understand that some people want to go to university for a party. Some want to go to make new friends. Some just want to get away from home. Some do it because they don't know what else to do. Some go to get a degree. Maybe I did "miss out" on the parties and the drinking lifestyle but I don't feel like I've missed out at all because surely in order to miss out I'd have to want to do whatever it is that I didn't end up doing? The point is, there is no right or wrong way to do university. You do it in whatever way you want. I've lived at home throughout my three years and have friends who have done so too. I've still participated in the parts of university life that I've wanted to, I've made some lifelong friends while I've been there and I've come out with my law degree and I've been able to enjoy my life in the process, something which I wouldn't have been able to do if I'd caved to the societal pressure of how I *should* be behaving as a student.
You do university however the hell you want to do it and no one has the right to tell you that you've done it wrong. Don't criticise someone else's life choices just because they're different to your own.
Do you think there is a "right" way to do university?