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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?

Amy x

Add your comment

  1. I'm so with you on this one. I'm starting college this fall and was scared shitless about going in but I just realized that I don't have to do what normal people do when they go to college; ya know the drinking and the parties. Like you, I don't find any of those appealing at all, and I would rather just hang out with a few friends and get my degree by the end of the Uni journey. Many people will judge me for missing out on the "uni life" whatever the hell it is, but they have to realize that it's my life and not theirs.


  2. I can relate to this so much! I go to Brighton Film School and only live half an hour away from Brighton so I decided to stay at home. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on having my own place and learning to do things for myself, but to be honest I still have so much time to do all that. Many of my uni friends don't get along with their housemates, spend so much money just on rent and bills and right now my friend is having to move out which is so, so stressful. Also just because you live at home doesn't mean you can't go out partying if you want to. I think there is a right way to do university and that is how ever the hell you want to do it!

    Beth xx

  3. Well, if you did Uni wrong, then so did I! I did move away but I don't drink either and I was recovering from anorexia (so no, I wasn't partying!) but I did get a 1st class degree, have travelled and worked abroad and will be doing an MA in September. If that's doing it wrong, then I'd rather do it wrong than right any day. Plus, I bet you saved a hell load of money living at home! xx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  4. Love this post so much. There is NO right or wrong way to do university - it is a very personal decision. I lived at university, and enjoyed a party in the first year but was focused on my degree totally in the second and third year - which occasionally I did get some stick for because I wasn't out every night. Congratulations on finishing your degree, and doing it the way YOU wanted to. It sounds like you've had an amazing time, and have come out of your three years with so much more than just the degree!! Personally, I think uni is what you make it - so you're making it how you want it to be!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

  5. I love this I feel the exact same way. I have just dropped out of my uni as I lived there and the life style is not for me. There's so much pressure that as a uni student you should automatically want to party all the time, be messy, unhealthy and not try with lectures etc. however that is the opposite of me. So glad you wrote this and made me feel not alone! Xx

  6. YOU DO YOU, AND YOU DO UNIVERSITY THE WAY YOU WANT. I think there is no wrong in how you lived your uni life. Besides, as long as you think you gained something from it, you matured, you grew, you found yourself/you learned more about yourself, i think that is university life done right.
    I don't enjoy partying, and i live on campus solely because i don't like traveling to school. I join all sorts of there activities, like dance, and focus on things like blogging/youtube, and sometimes people make me feel like im doing it wrongly and im not fitting in.
    So i can totally relate, but know what, we don't have to care about what they think, we just have to do university the way it benefits us. The way we can get the most out of those few years :) Thats what i tell myself :)

    xx. Carina

  7. I'm also a law student in Slovenia :)

    First, tell me how can you party hard as a LAW student haha, impossible.

    But yeah, I totally agree with you. <3

  8. I completely agree with you, I've also just finished university and although I had my own flat nearby I never took part in the 'drinking lifestyle' and skipping half my classes. I've never been a fan of any of that, yet I still had an amazing time. I think a lot of people feel pressured to live that stereotypical uni life, but at the end of the day you have to stay true to yourself and what makes you happy!
    Congrats on finishing uni, such a great feeling isn't it?! x

    Summer, The Twins Wardrobe

  9. You've gotta go things your own way in life! At the end of the day you're happy and you've got your degree which are the main things :) I lived away for uni because that was what I wanted to do, but a couple of my friends there stopped at home - because that's what was right for them! Congrats on finishing your degree! ♥

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  10. I feel so horrified that someone would say that to you! I went and lived at university even though it's only about 40 minutes from where I live and I absolutely loved it, I considered staying at home for my final year to save money but I'd gotten so used to living with my friends and my boyfriend that I went back and I loved it (of course there were down sides too though). But even though I had a mostly great experience and loved living away from home, I would never assume that it's the 'right' way to do it. You gotta do what's right for you!


  11. I agree with you so much on this, I haven't done university the 'right way' either. I'm part time, live at home and haven't been to a single party. And I couldn't care less. I've been to every lecture like I'm paying for and done really well so far! So what if you want to do it this way, look how far your blog has got alongside it all! The only downside of it all for me is that cause I'm part time I haven't had the chance to make friends from it all, so do feel I miss out at that side of it. Everyone does things differently and shouldn't be mocked for it! x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

  12. I don't think there is really a 'right' way to do university but if there was you would have done it right haha. So much better to save the money and get your degree without wasting time drinking and not going to lectures etc. I realise that I sound like such a sensible Susan haha but my first year I basically spent drinking and not putting any effort into my degree and it wasn't until third year that I really knuckled down and realised what I was there for which was really silly! I wouldn't change my experience because I think I needed it to realise that drinking/partying isn't really my thing!
    Amy xx
    Call Me Amy

  13. I've taken 5 and a half years to finish college. Those years consisted on 5 different majors and 5 different schools. I was so embarrassed every time I had to explain that my entire life plan had taken YET ANOTHER 180. It was those experiences however, that I would never trade. I lived at home for the last 2 years and found that it is the best option for me. And that's all that should ever matter, if it's the best option for you. Anyone that told me differently or tells you is wrong. Thanks for sharing!
    Erin | http://www.erinelizabethmiller.com

  14. This is such a good post and I agree with you totally! I live in Sheffield and am applying there as one of my 5 choices - of course if I were to choose to study here I definitely would not spend all that money on accommodation when I can drive there everyday and live at home for a fraction of the cost! People at my sixth form have said similar things to me, that by staying home I'm "not having the proper experience" and such like, I'm so glad I've read this because you've made me feel so much better about possibly staying home!

    Maddie x


  15. It's quite ironic that people are saying that living off campus prevents a "true university experience", considering that most students end up moving off of campus after their first year. As someone who will (hopefully) be starting Durham University next year, I'm still so unsure of how I want to spend my three years. However, if I'm able to work my hardest, make new friends and gain an insight into my field, in my opinion that is the 'right' way to do university. I hope you did have the university experience you desired!

    Tanya x

  16. I went to university very far from home and I really, really struggled with it, especially in my first year. I was homesick, had nothing in common with my flatmates, was really socially awkward and was also in a long distance relationship the entire time (which made it through!). I quickly became depressed and was even thinking about hurting myself, and ended up on medication. I remember being really jealous at that point of those that had the stability of living at home while studying!

    At the time I thought about chucking it all in but I'm glad I didn't. I chose to live with the few friends I did have in my 2nd and 3rd years and had an amazing time, but also buried myself in my work out of determination to succeed. I probably went out max once a month in my final year and left with 1st class honours.

    Moral of the story: you can still get a lot out of university however you do it, and you definitely don't have to party your way through it!

    Kelly x


  17. Kelly McKnight31 May 2016 at 10:44

    I'm sure that university is always right!!!! If you have some problems with your study, ask http://paidforessay.com/ to help you and you can use them anytime/ :)

  18. Great post. Everyone's uni experience is different and as long as you feel you got the most you could out of it and enjoyed yourself that's enough :)

  19. A very good post! I've just finished too, I rarely drink and hate 'clubbing' though I did move out (it was a necessity for me!). I definitely don't think there's a right way to do university - though there probably is a wrong way (i.e. coming out with no degree, just debt!) x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

  20. I totally agree here. I've just finished my second year of university, I still live at home and I don't think I'd have had it any other way. I wouldn't have enjoyed staying at university, and I live only 10 minutes away anyway, so what's really the point of moving all my stuff around?

    I don't think there's a wrong or right way. Everyone goes to university for different reasons, as long as they meet their end goal and are happy, I think any way is fine!

    - Vee.

  21. I went to uni and lived in purely because it was easier commute wise plus I didn't (thankfully) have to pay for any of it so I came out without debt. I didn't make any lifelong friends but I got my degree and that's all I wanted! You did the right thing living at home because trust me living in wasn't any fun at all!

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