What to Do When University Doesn’t Feel Right For You

first generation college students

Does university still carry the same value it did, say, 30 to 50 years ago? Not for everyone. For some it’s the best way to find the job of your dreams. For others it’s an institution that’s rapidly becoming outdated in the face of the modern era, thanks to current technology and accessibility. 

And while a lot of people still love applying to universities and getting a degree that ensures they’ll always be respected for their hard work, it’s clear times are changing. People are finding more and more ways to build a career! As such, if you’re someone who feels like university isn’t quite right for you, now’s your chance to really make something of your future plans. 

Of course, people have always found a way to make money and become respected for their craft, and following in these footsteps is a tried and tested method of living life. But we live in exciting times and you no longer have to make a decision until you feel you’ve found the right one. 

So, let’s go through a list of things to do when you feel university isn’t the next best step for you. Whether you’re an anxious school leaver or you fancy changing careers at a later age, this is the post for you.

The Benefits of Attending University

Attending university is a viable career choice for many people. Indeed, gaining a degree is the most recognised education qualification in the world. This means you have a better chance of operating within the job market; if people can see immediately that you’ve trained in a certain area, you’re going to make it to the top of the resume pile. 

You also get a taste of student life while you’re here, often allowing people to form bonds and make network connections that last a lifetime. Student life has a lot to offer both introverts and extroverts, and you could become a valued alumni for a long time to come. 

However, these benefits aren’t enough for everyone who could be funneled in through the door. For some people, the idea of spending upwards of 3 years working towards a degree that might not mean anything in the current job market feels much more like a waste of time! 

And thankfully (although maybe unfortunately), the current higher education circle is catching up to this fact. As such:

There are More Options for Higher Education Than Ever Before

There are different levels of universities, from community colleges to Ivy League schools; finding your place in higher academia can be diverse. But if you don’t want to go to a university of any kind, what else can you do? 

Apprenticeships are one of the main alternatives to gaining a degree. If you train on the job, and get to earn money at the same time, you get the best taste of both worlds. This puts you a step above those who choose to only earn a degree; you have experience they haven’t had the chance to accumulate yet. 

But once again, these options are not all you can do to learn about the working world and your place in it. 

Start a Business

Starting your own business can be done at any time in your life, as long as you’ve got the time and attention for business formation. 

Starting a business straight out of high school can be a good idea for those who have the plans for a strong core product. It’s also a good idea for those who have 20 years in an industry and decide they want to go elsewhere. Indeed you’ve had a lot of time to think about what you want and what can be done differently. 

However, growing a company takes time, and this decision should never be rushed. 

Think of a Future in Freelancing

A future in freelancing is still bright, even with the rise of AI content generation. From photography to writing to graphic design, there are all kinds of industries you can freelance in and make good money through. You just need the confidence to try it. 

However, that confidence can be hard to find. Indeed, freelancing tends to have very little support in academic circles. If you want to work for yourself, you often have to find your own way and work things out for yourself. And yet, the freedom that comes with being a freelancer is undeniable. 

You may have low profit months from time to time and often be plagued by doubts, but freelancing is one of the most popular side hustles for a reason. If you want to take it full time, we fully recommend it. 

Would an Online Course Be More Suitable?

Online university and college courses are becoming more and more popular. After all, if you can study from home while also working and fitting in other life responsibilities, a traditional degree becomes a lot more accessible for those with limited mobility, income, and higher priority tasks. 

If university feels like a stretch based on where you are in your life right now, consider this alternative. You could very well walk away with a nursing degree while never feeling like a ‘real student’. For some this is one of the best things about an online course; your life doesn’t change, you don’t have to make too many allowances, and you can still learn as you go. 

Your Future is Up to You

The modern workforce is waking up to this possibility. You can decide where to go next, whether you want to gain a degree or not. You just need a dash of creativity and confidence in your plans, even if these things don’t come naturally. 

So, if university doesn’t feel right to you, we’ve got some good news: there are quite a few other options out there. You can start your own business, turn to freelancing, or attend a non-traditional center of higher education. The future can be bright and it’s up to you!