Are students ill-prepared for university?

Over the past year it has amazed me how many students are applying for university simply because they have no other options, don’t know what to do with their lives, want money from the government and expect to party for the three years, or simply because their friends are going to study at higher education and want to fit in. I’m not being stereotypical or arrogant, although it may (and will) seem the case, but I am merely stating my opinion. I decided to study at university to become a journalist and because there were no other routes available at that time, so yes, I suppose I was in the category of the ill-prepared.

As fees rise to £9,000 per year I think too many students expect a degree to be easy – it’s not, particularly in your second year. It takes dedication, commitment and the desire to achieve. Remember, if you fail to reach a minimum standard you will retake your first year, or at the minimum several modules you failed in the process. The perceptions of university are that you party every week, stay out all night and spend lots of money on clothes and accessories; unfortunately due to the economic situation we have at the moment and the fact that more people are realising the importance of a degree, I wouldn’t expect to be partying every night.

If you are finding A-level hard, or can’t be bothered to put in the extra work at this time in your life, then you may find your place withdrawn due to the extra demands placed on students – universities want higher grades than ever, so work your bums off while you have the chance! But university is also hugely rewarding and you may never get the opportunity again, so prepare wisely and get in the swing of writing and reading.

My point here is that far too many students expect an easy ride, to spend their student loans at rapid speed and to party every day of the week; unfortunately the whole university hype quickly dies down, which is why I think we need some more PR campaigns out there which really gives a much ‘darker’ side to university life. Stress, excitement and rewarding opportunities.

If I have appeared arrogant, then I’m proud of my arrogance in trying to open peoples’ eyes so they make the best start in life.

With that said, most students should enjoy what lies ahead and the fact they have been given an offer; it shows their belief in you as a person and that you have achieved a good standard of education. If you want to party and study, then fair enough, but do it wisely and plan your budget several months ahead. Get yourself a decent folder, stationery and a good diary, and don’t worry too much about fitting in. You will be amongst people of all ages, religions, origins, nationalities and sexes, but it is very different to school; there are no gangs nor any requirement to ‘fit in’. Whether it’s excitement or not, in two years time you may write such a blog which details how ill-prepared some students are in their preparation for university; I am not saying read novels or revise essay writing techniques, but certainly plan ahead and prepare for a hard first year!


About Cuts, News and Views

The site’s author is a student at the Birmingham School of Media and a journalist for both Birmingham Budget Cuts and Sony Music Entertainment. He is a PR consultant as well as having worked for the BBC. The author also contributes on a freelance basis to The Times and The Guardian. Dean Hill is a member of The Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Posted on May 4, 2011, in Opinion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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