There are those who go to university immediately after completing their A Levels or diplomas and emerge on the other side with careers they are content with. But then there are those who exit uni at that point thinking wtf did I just do. The problem is at 18 to 21 we are still generally discovering ourselves. Some people are certain of what they want to do and others not so much.
For some strange reason, a stigma towards being a “mature student” seems to exist, but this is really short sited and doesn’t take into account how attending uni later in some cases could actually be very beneficial.
We caught up with Lisa who has just started her first year and she let us know her views on deferring university for a little (only a little) later in life.
Briefly introduce yourself
My name is Lisa, I am 29 years old and am studying BA Hons Events Management at Greenwich University.
What did you get up to in the time between initially leaving education and starting uni?
I left school after passing my GCSE’s and continued my passion with dance and drama by studying Performing Arts at my local college in Derbyshire. I chose not to further my studies as I wasn’t entirely sure of which direction to follow and wanted to get out into the world and discover different experiences and progression paths. (I still performed but only as more of a hobby than a career).
I started out working for a hospitality company which gave me the training, experiences and skills to work my way up to management level. Since then I have travelled around the UK working for various hospitality companies, assisting in organising and executing events.
Why did you decide to start uni now?
A couple of years ago I started to research courses as I was interested in studying for a degree in business but I wanted to make sure I chose the right course for me.
Do you feel starting university late has been advantageous to you?
Having this time out has given me the opportunity to really figure out where I want to be in life (even though it has taken a while), I would highly recommend to anyone who is unsure, to get out there and gain life experience before making a decision. So many students I know of have graduated with a degree and although many skills are learned through their studies, they have gone in a different direction. One of my friends (24)admitted that he should have waited to further his education as he has now found his direction but can not afford to go back to university.
Do you have any words of advice for anyone thinking about deferring their uni plans for later in life?
Education, technology and academic styles have evolved and continue to year after year. A downside to taking this amount of time out is that I need to re-train my brain to study in this environment and update my skills (especially technological) as I am 10 years out of date.
So in summary, if you are lucky enough to know what you want to be when you grow up, fantastic! but if not, possibly even just a year out may be all you need.
There is a lot of pressure for young people to go to University straight after their A-levels. There are both disadvantages and advantages to this.