So, here’s the big question everyone wants to know the answer to:
was university worth it?

From a humanity student’s perspective, this hasn’t been the easiest question to answer. I mulled over it a lot in December 2018 as I was cleaning up spilt milk from yet another daily milk explosion at the supermarket I worked in; the same supermarket chain I worked in at age eighteen, eight years before I accumulated over £30K worth of debt.

Employability and earnings potential.

Employability and earnings potential after graduation depends on the subject you study. When people hear that I’ve earned minimum wage my whole life but have a master’s degree, they’re usually confused about how that’s even possible.

The “University Experience”

Ah yes, the university experience. It wasn’t what I’d imagined it to be, but that’s my fault for imagining the experience through the filter of An Extremely Goofy Movie.

The only experience unique to university is one of time.

How you experience time is wholly unique to university life: the structures imposed on you are minimal and loosely monitored and the generous freedom you’re given is unsupervised. You have some adult responsibilities (depending on how financially independent you are), but most your time is yours for the making.

The Freedom to Learn

Now, this is where my somewhat-negative tilt slides entirely. Despite being lonely, developing a sleuth of life-threatening mental health issues and graduating with two deeply unemployable degrees, I loved university.

University gave me permission to be fully independent and alone and, in some ways, I really thrived in that culture.

Anonymity was what I needed at that point in my life, and I needed to go through what I did alone to develop into the woman I am today.

Learning was, finally, for me, and I felt so free.

A lot of the things which happened to me at university wouldn’t have happened had I not gone. Whilst some of those experiences were life-threatening circumstances, I survived, and I learned what it was like to push myself to the brink of life and crawl back from the edge with no help or support.

So, was university worth the money?

It really depends on your definition of worth.

Writer | Author | Creator of The Personal Philosophy Project on YouTube

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