The UCAS late applications deadline for 2013 courses came and went last Friday. Historically this deadline has been accompanied by a fanfare of last chance warnings urging students not to get 'left behind'. This year though, I noticed it was a much quieter affair and I think I know why.
When I first began my university experience all those years ago in 2011, I was one of those annoying people who cried endlessly for their parents and wanted nothing more than to go home. Now, however, I am about to start my third year at Swansea University and I am so happy to be back in my student house with permanent bottles of wine in the fridge in favour of actual food, permanent damp and occasional mice.
I have secretly accepted a 'daring mission' of creating (okay, I mean, 'imagining') an educational utopia, also known as 'Edutopia'. Of course, I will just be offering some personal perspectives that are largely based form my visits to thirteen universities and liberal art colleges in the United States.
Just as I write this, many students are packing up their lives and preparing to move out to attend university. For many others, however, they are looking or are in full time jobs. All this got me thinking, why should students go onto higher education?
Sit tight as we explore the mathematical phenomenon that is the UCAS points system and examine how it affects your university application...
It's that time of year again when the latest batch of bright-eyed soon-to-be-school-leavers begin to turn their attentions towards making their applications to the Promised Land; University!
Congratulations you have made it into your final year at university. If it hasn't already, the dread will kick in and you will realise that it's all coming to an end... You shouldn't panic though, you've got a year left and it will be over before you know it, it is worth facing the challenge head on.
If you, like me, have the same insane notion that I began my university career with, a thorough determination to learn (rather than drink and have sex with almost everything in a mile radius), then it is not a wasted one. What complicated matters for me was when I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety and Depression half way through my first year...
I've no idea whether it has, but unlike most items on FiveLive Breakfast, this one diid make me think. Why is it considered socially acceptable to say, 'I'm no good at maths'? It's a curious admission - for example you definitely wouldn't hear anyone proudly extol the fact that they were unable to read - yet Burden's not alone...
Freshers. Hello. Welcome to University, where lack of sleep, lack of food and top class hangovers will be your best friends for the year. Week one, prepare to just man up each night and sip through the pain.
I would have been glad to have had the option of graduating in a suit. My gender should not be relevant to my university education, and for the vast majority of the time it hasn't been. To put it bluntly, unless you're my doctor or you're hoping to sleep with me, my gender isn't really relevant to you.
In order to keep postgraduate levels up in the future and remove any threat of a bottle neck in the higher education system, the government will need to a) lower the costs of study or provide more funding options, b) increase the number foreign students enrolling here in the UK and c) provide a better job of promoting and justifying a postgraduate education to both students and employers.
We clearly need improvements in our system of education, yet the fundamentals laid out by our much beloved Education Secretary, Michael Gove, advocates a maladroit plan of rigorous study that only to obfuscates the issues at hand.
Ireland has been reported to be 'the most educated country in the EU'. This contrasts with a report which identifies Irish youth as the most underemployed in Europe. What does this mean for Irish youth who have invested in higher education with the promise of a better, brighter future?
It is always worth keeping in mind that disappointment can be turned into an opportunity. Life works out in different ways and disappointments like not achieving the A-Levels results you desired are part of life.
Whether you decide to go to university or not: you will have fun, you will meet people and make friends, and you will learn. Just make sure it is on your terms - and know that you do have the support around you, whatever you decide.