Myth 1: A degree is a passport to a better paid job.
Truth: The job market is highly competitive at the best of times so various factors determine that it’s not an automatic passport to better prospects and pay. For example, your subject choice would be a deciding influence, accountancy being more practical than eastern philosophy. The effort you put into your studies also determines your success. You get out of it what you put in. Also, if you prefer vocational learning, some Modern Apprenticeships lead to well paid jobs.
Myth 2: I’ll get away with going to the pub and not putting any work in.
Truth: In the best-case scenario, you’ll get away with not being thrown off the course if you put the minimum effort in and show up at the lectures or classes. The worst-case scenario is that you get kicked off the course for non-attendance or produce consistently bad grades. But what are you really gaining from not engaging with the experience, and not making the best of an opportunity when you are young?
Myth 3: It’s better than working.
Truth: You’re only putting off the inevitable. You know you still have to get a job after you leave. But if you feel strongly you want to experience the student life for the sake of it before being bound to the shackles of full time employment, just make sure you learn something useful on the way to get you a decent job afterwards.
Myth 4: I can use the time at college or uni to figure out what to do with my life.
Truth: This is an expensive and time consuming way to find out what you want to do. It’s fine if you intend to spend the time being self-aware, learning constructively from the experience and then choosing a sensible alternative course of action. But don’t just drift along, hanging out at the student union and getting into debt only to find 4 years down the line that you still don’t have a clue! It’s precious time wasted.