ChrispyKnight
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Idk if this is the right forum but it is related to uni. My problem so far with uni is the work or the uni life, but because I literally cannot stop thinking about the debt I will be in when I leave. Uni is so bloody expensive. Its keeping me up at night and I can't concentrate on the work.

A friend of mine is doing a HND, at the college we went to, with the top-up year at the end (also at the same college). The tuition is costing him £6,500 per year while its costing me £9,250. He also doesn't need to pay for accommodation, washing, food etc. We're both doing a computing course which seem to be the same other than the fact that he doesn't need to do exams, which I hate btw. I seriously considered doing the HND but it all seemed too good to be true so I thought there must've been a catch somewhere. This scared me off and I shamefully picked uni instead because the careers adviser I kept visiting pointed out that I only start paying back the loan after £25,000. Since then, I have realised that what is the point of going to uni if I never earn enough to pay back the loan. I thought people go to uni to increase their chances of getting a high paying career. My friend will be paying back £18,500 when he leaves while I will need to pay back £55,000 not including interest! I feel like crying.

The only thing that might make going to uni worth it is the fact that I'm doing an extra industrial placement year which apparently looks really good on a CV but idk if it will actually help me when it comes to finding a job. Do you think the industrial placement justifies all of the extra expenditure that comes with going to uni?

Part of me really wants someone to just say that the HND with the top-up isn't worth much to employers and that I made the right choice going to uni but I don't think this is the case. From what I've read, a degree is a degree to an employer, you don't need to tell them where you got it from. I could write an entire essay ranting about this but to value your time I'll stop typing now. Thanks in advance to any replies
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happbee
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Hi OP, it sounds like you're in a difficult situation at the moment and would like some advice or guidance. The first thing I'd say is that you're only a few weeks in to uni, so don't underestimate the effect that the stress of the transition of being away from home is having on you. It can really shake your foundations and cause you to doubt or question yourself and your choices. Are you far away from home? How are things going on your course? Have you met any good friends so far? Try to be kind to yourself if things aren't quite going how you imagined so far. It can take a while to settle in to university life and feel totally comfortable there.

It's hard to compare the course that you are doing with your friend's as I don't know exactly what they are. Computer Science degrees are different to IT/Computing HNDs, primarily due to the type of assessment and also what the desired outcomes are. Typically, you'll see that HNDs teach more 'practical' skills but degrees can go beyond that and can be useful if you want to do further study or research, for example. I wouldn't say that the HND is pointless, nor that the degree is, just different. How useful your degree will be will be down to the classification you get, and potentially the reputation of the institution you got it from (though that's not always the case).

University courses are expensive, sure, but you have to realise that around 50% of school leavers are saddled with the debts that you are worried about, so you're certainly not on your own there. Doing a computing course is likely to set you in good stead and give you good earning potential, too, but it won't do that if you do not let yourself enjoy your course and end up failing!

I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say that there's no point going to uni if you never manage to pay back the loan - surely that's a positive thing as you're not paying back what you borrowed? Don't forget that the amount you pay back each month is based on your earnings, not your accrued costs. That is to say, someone who did a three year course and someone who did a five year course (medicine for example) earning the same amount per month will pay back the same amount per month. The amount of debt you have is only important if you manage to get a job so highly paid that you do pay it all back (which, I think, is unlikely, but possible), which, of course, you'd do quicker if you took a cheaper/shorter course.

A year in industry counts a great deal when applying for graduate jobs, and that cannot be disputed! Some students even get offered graduate jobs in the companies that they did the year in industry in.

Have you spoken to anyone you trust about your worries (parents, friends etc)? Have you tended to worry about things before to the extent that they keep you awake at night? It could be that you're experiencing anxiety, which would be understandable seeing as you're away from home, most likely for the first time. It's really normal to be feeling nervous and doubtful, and perhaps the worries about fees are simply masking other concerns that you have about your university life so far.

If you're not enjoying your course, or not enjoying being at university, it might be worth having a chat with someone in person about that. I'm more than happy to speak to you over here if you need it but it really is no substitute for having someone in front of you

I hope my reply has given you some reassurance. Try to get some rest and think about it all in the morning. Things always seem better then.

H
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errrr99
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"I cannot stop thinking about..."
This sounds like an obsessive thought pattern. If you want help with this, the GP can point you in the right direction e.g. CBT and they would also consider medication (which you may not consider appropriate as your unhappiness is so specific to the £55k debt).

btw where/what type of further education college is the HND course based?
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happbee
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(Original post by errrr99)
"I cannot stop thinking about..."
This sounds like an obsessive thought pattern. If you want help with this, the GP can point you in the right direction e.g. CBT and they would also consider medication (which you may not consider appropriate as your unhappiness is so specific to the £55k debt).

btw where/what type of further education college is the HND course based?
Potentially, but try not to jump the gun there. Could just be that OP is struggling with adjustment to university and their brain is 'latching on' to the issue as a result.

It will all be OK, OP. Just make sure you get the support you need
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ChrispyKnight
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(Original post by happbee)
Potentially, but try not to jump the gun there. Could just be that OP is struggling with adjustment to university and their brain is 'latching on' to the issue as a result.

It will all be OK, OP. Just make sure you get the support you need
Yeah I wouldn't say I'm struggling I just tend to obsessively worry about my decisions in life. With something as big as my next step in education I really want to make sure I have made the right decision. I don't want to regret picking this path in 10 years time when I'm paying taxes, bills, loads of other fees and my ever increasing student debt. If going to uni, and only uni, leads to a good career then that would be okay but that's a very big "if". I wish uni was the only option so then I wouldn't have to second guess myself or think about how my life would be if I picked a different path.
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ChrispyKnight
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(Original post by ltsmith)
i've hated every moment of the three years i've spent in university (and i have another 7 months left). it's why i'm so bitter and blunt.

the only good things that have come out of it as 2 internships and a job. i count the days in my head until i can get out of edinburgh.
I'm sorry to hear (or see) that, Itsmith. This is exactly what I don't want and worry that this will happen to me.
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ChrispyKnight
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(Original post by errrr99)
"I cannot stop thinking about..."
This sounds like an obsessive thought pattern. If you want help with this, the GP can point you in the right direction e.g. CBT and they would also consider medication (which you may not consider appropriate as your unhappiness is so specific to the £55k debt).

btw where/what type of further education college is the HND course based?
I'm not sure but google says the college is a "college of further education" which takes on people aged 16 and up. It also keeps people on after they completed their a-levels/btech to do levels 4 to 6. Its part of the 'Collab Group' if that means anything to you.
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errrr99
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If you cannot stop thinking about "what if" you had chosen the HND route, "what if" you had a personality clash with the tutors/other students and could not complete?

Or what if your learning style did not match the accepted learning style at the college?

The colleges do not seem to be funded to the same level as the universities, (I could be wrong, it's just an inference from the lower fees) so why would they be able to offer the same standard of learning support?
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