Deciding to go to University

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    Hi all,

    I am 18 years old and currently doing a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in IT Professional Competence (1st line Technical Support).

    I am enjoying the apprenticeship, I like where I work, but it's 8.5 hours a day, Monday to Friday, some weekends (if required). All but one of my friends have headed off to University while I dropped out of my A-levels (a longer story - one I shall not bore you with!). I recently visited my friend in UWE, and the look of the uni life just seems amazing. Bike paths everywhere, nice places for walks, all the sports and groups of people for different things. It just seems like a brilliant lifestyle, especially for someone who is so keen on moving out and being independent.

    I looked up courses while I was there and there is a computer science course with a foundation year. My apprenticeship, plus the bad AS-grades I have accounts to enough tariff points for the requirement of the course. It's 4 years long.

    I know that salary + experience > certificates, but right now I am thinking about my life experiences. You meet people in uni, you develop yourself and it carves a new you as a person. I have the rest of my life to work full time.

    Would you recommend leaving my job in the summer of next year if I get a place at UWE? If I were to, I'd have;

    Life experience of Uni
    New friends
    Independence
    1.5 years of work experience in the technical support industry
    A degree in computer science (after graduation)
    My apprenticeship qualification and MTA certificates

    I just don't want to be 40 years old and regret not going to uni in my prime as a youth. I feel like the fact I'd have built up the 1.5 years of experience would also help me find a job after university.

    What is your honest recommendation? Bear in mind that life experiences are more valuable to me than money - Money is an indirect byproduct of success, and money does not have any involvement in my happiness
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    Uni isn't just life experience. You need to enjoy the course and have motivation for study, rather than just liking the bike paths. You have to actually want this, rather than just hate working Monday to Friday. I'm really not getting that from your post.

    There's no harm in applying but you need to think carefully about what you're getting into. You will have essay deadlines and early morning lectures. You will have neighbours that party when you want to study. You will have exams.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Uni isn't just life experience. You need to enjoy the course and have motivation for study, rather than just liking the bike paths. You have to actually want this, rather than just hate working Monday to Friday. I'm really not getting that from your post.

    There's no harm in applying but you need to think carefully about what you're getting into. You will have essay deadlines and early morning lectures. You will have neighbours that party when you want to study. You will have exams.

    Many thanks for your reply!

    I understand that, and from what I have read online about the course I do believe that I will truly enjoy it. Early morning lectures, essays and exams are not an issue. I have no problem doing the work and would be motivated to do so.

    I just do not want to look back later in life and regret not going. I understand staying on my current career course would probably end me in a better position, however I am seriously re-evaluating my path and University seems like a good option based on what I already have.

    Am I being naive in making this decision, or is it one that could really help me in the future? (Seeing as I lack A-levels)

    Thanks!!
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    Hopefully bumping in order to get more information.

    Sorry if this is against the rules!!
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    I think you will make a great student, with the experience of employment behind you. Just maybe don't talk about the bike paths in your personal statement but focus on how your apprenticeship has fired your love of computing and you are keen to develop your theoretical knowledge and breadth of the subject that your job is more more limited on. Lots of unis are keen to stress how industry-relevant their computing degrees are so your real life examples will give your studies reality.
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    (Original post by SouRz)
    Many thanks for your reply!

    I understand that, and from what I have read online about the course I do believe that I will truly enjoy it. Early morning lectures, essays and exams are not an issue. I have no problem doing the work and would be motivated to do so.

    I just do not want to look back later in life and regret not going. I understand staying on my current career course would probably end me in a better position, however I am seriously re-evaluating my path and University seems like a good option based on what I already have.

    Am I being naive in making this decision, or is it one that could really help me in the future? (Seeing as I lack A-levels)

    Thanks!!
    You need to ask the uni whether they will accept your qualifications. Even if they ask for ucas points they can specify where they come from - otherwise they will get applicants who did 100 things and got 2 ucas points each time. As your qualifications will come from AS and work they may think you haven't covered enough depth.

    The reason you dropped out of A Levels may not be relevant to write on TSR but you must think about it. Can you be sure this won't happen again, or if so could you work round it? If you drop out you'll get lots of debt for no reason.

    You will be starting a foundation year at the same time as your friends are in second year. You'll be able to see them a bit but will need to make other friends. Will you be happy with this? Can you cope with the feeling of being behind? They will graduate before you get to second year so you'll be there a while without them.

    Make sure you look at other unis too. Other unis have bike paths but the course content might suit you better. Each uni will tailor the degree to what their tutors can teach, so will focus on different modules - you might find one has more group work or compulsory modules in history or similar. Don't just pick one uni because it was the first place you looked at.
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    I think its coming across as though you are romanticising it a bit.
    It is a £60,000 + debt decision for you.

    You need to research and that includes looking at some of the downsides to make sure it is worth the time and money. Know what it is you wnat to do after.
    You also need to make sure you are academically capable.

    Theres no harm in going and it could eb a great decision , but think it through and do your research.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    You need to ask the uni whether they will accept your qualifications. Even if they ask for ucas points they can specify where they come from - otherwise they will get applicants who did 100 things and got 2 ucas points each time. As your qualifications will come from AS and work they may think you haven't covered enough depth.

    The reason you dropped out of A Levels may not be relevant to write on TSR but you must think about it. Can you be sure this won't happen again, or if so could you work round it? If you drop out you'll get lots of debt for no reason.

    You will be starting a foundation year at the same time as your friends are in second year. You'll be able to see them a bit but will need to make other friends. Will you be happy with this? Can you cope with the feeling of being behind? They will graduate before you get to second year so you'll be there a while without them.

    Make sure you look at other unis too. Other unis have bike paths but the course content might suit you better. Each uni will tailor the degree to what their tutors can teach, so will focus on different modules - you might find one has more group work or compulsory modules in history or similar. Don't just pick one uni because it was the first place you looked at.
    The bike paths are just one of the many amazing things, it's not my sole reason for going to Uni

    I have no problem making new friends. I don't mind being behind, because I'd feel like I was in front due to my work experience.

    My A-level drop out reason was a magnitude of small problems - it wasn't any issue with the course or the syllabus.

    If I started next Sept, I'd finish the same time as my friend(s). My friends going off to uni/being at that Uni is not my reason for going.

    I feel as though a degree in Computer Science would do nothing but benefit my career in an amazing way, while also allowing me the opportunity to have all the life experiences that uni beholds.

    I think I am going to apply and take it from there. I might not even get a placement, let alone have the correct grades!
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    The bike paths may not be your sole reason, but your first post is very heavily weighted towards that. You're waxing lyrical about the amazing beauty of the uni, and then the course is added on as an afterthought. Really you need to be course first and architecture afterwards
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    Live without regrets m8

    Would you rather regret not going, or regret going?
 
 
 
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