The Student Room Group

Apprenticeships and social life/student accommodation without going to uni

Hey! I’d really appreciate some advice on a few topics if anyone would like to contribute. Okay so:

1) The thought of uni never appealed to me. I knew I’d be more interested in alternatives routes like a degree apprenticeship but if I ever did go to university it would be purely for the experience, freedom and to make new friends. I am starting an apprenticeship this year and something that has been on my mind a lot is how my social life will be impacted. I am very extroverted and absolutely love making friends but 3/4 of coworkers in my apprenticeship are well older than me (I’m 18) and besides my apprenticeship I have no idea how I’ll make friends seeing as 1) most of my childhood friends have gone to uni in the midlands this year and 2) I prefer making friends in environments that allow me to learn about people over a long period of time, not just meeting someone, exchanging forms of contact and hoping our slight interaction interested both of us enough to maintain a friendship. I don’t know anything that’ll allow me to make friends in my preferred way as I won’t be attending anything like a class that’ll allow me to be in a space with people my age so I’m very stuck on how I’ll make friends for the duration of my apprenticeship.

2) Seeing as my apprenticeship is less than an hour’s journey away from my home, I’ll be living at home and travelling there to and fro everyday. However, the issue with this is that I am so completely tired of my household and desperately want to move out. Rent in London is ridiculous and I’m not eligible for student accommodation since I’m not attending university and therefore I have no idea how to work around this issue. It’s so frustrating that I am considering going to uni just to have a break but I know there’s no point in doing that seeing as I’d still have the education aspect of uni to cater to which I’m sure I’d probably neglect if it becomes too overwhelming. I’m guessing what I’m asking is if there’s a way to get student accommodation without attending a university? I’ve tried to research it but all to no avail.

If you have any tips or advice please let me know, I’d really really appreciate it! :smile:
Reply 1
I really don't think you can have everything.

With your apprenticeship you will get a salary and work experience, no student debt that'll take decades to pay off and you will still get a degree. Living at home will mean you can save money and that will give you a better chance of getting onto the housing ladder in your twenties. Maybe you can pick up with school friends who haven't gone to uni. I bet there are some. You can also look at other ways of making friends such as joining clubs etc. Are there any sports or hobbies that interest you?

You won't get the traditional "university experience" unless you go to university full time and live away from home.

There are pluses and minuses with most things. I think you just need to decide what's important to you.
Reply 2
Original post by Slowprop
I really don't think you can have everything.

With your apprenticeship you will get a salary and work experience, no student debt that'll take decades to pay off and you will still get a degree. Living at home will mean you can save money and that will give you a better chance of getting onto the housing ladder in your twenties. Maybe you can pick up with school friends who haven't gone to uni. I bet there are some. You can also look at other ways of making friends such as joining clubs etc. Are there any sports or hobbies that interest you?

You won't get the traditional "university experience" unless you go to university full time and live away from home.

There are pluses and minuses with most things. I think you just need to decide what's important to you.


Thank you so much and I completely agree. I really enjoy reading and swimming so maybe I can find some type of club pertaining that. I think in the long run I know won’t be able to withstand the stress of uni, I hate the idea of student debt and would only just be going for the social pros so I think the apprenticeship is the best way to go. As for the friend issue I think I’ll just try and put myself out there some more. I don’t know of any friends or peers who are currently staying in london but that doesn’t mean I can’t make some. Once again I really do appreciate your input as this issue has been on my mind a lot recently. :smile:
Reply 3
I assume you've left school recently. If so this will have been a big change for you. It's going to take some time to get used to it.
Reply 4
Original post by Slowprop
I assume you've left school recently. If so this will have been a big change for you. It's going to take some time to get used to it.


Yes I left school this year so it is quite a lot to take in and deal with
Reply 5
I joined my local university student union during my degree apprenticeship. I studied in a different city but they offered guest membership.

Ended up joining a few societies and made a ton of friends. I definitely recommend any partner dance societies because it’s like speed dating for friends.

Think I had a better student social life than some of the full timers.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by Chris2892
I joined my local university student union during my degree apprenticeship. I studied in a different city but they offered guest membership.

Ended up joining a few societies and made a ton of friends. I definitely recommend any partner dance societies because it’s like speed dating for friends.

Think I had a better student social life than some of the full timers.

Sorry for the late response. I have actually never thought of making friends that way but I’m definitely going to consider it and potentially try it out.

Thank you so much for all your help, I appreciate it a million.
Reply 7
Original post by Orangediaries
Sorry for the late response. I have actually never thought of making friends that way but I’m definitely going to consider it and potentially try it out.

Thank you so much for all your help, I appreciate it a million.


Usually the societies run free GIAG’s (give it a go) events at the start of the academic year. I’d recommend trying everything that interests you.

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