Monday, February 26, 2024

Abbie’s Blog: Glittering prizes or……………?

By Abbie Victoria Maguire

Life without University?

“Secondary school, college and university – it’s the educational hierarchy that has always existed and it’s the mountain most college graduates are expected to climb, but in a world of unemployed intellectuals, a plethora of debt and students with the ‘unemployability’ factor, has university escaped its shackles on the educational chain? Is there the possibility of life without university?

Hidden in the collegial pandaemonium of Palmer’s canteen was my table and a small group of friends, discussing our plans after we were shot out of those blue reception doors and propelled into the daunting ‘real world.’ A communal shock echoed around the table when I said I was considering not attending university in two years time. “Why don’t you want to go Abbie?”, “You’re clever and you have to go!”, “That’s really surprised me: Abbie Maguire’s not going to university!” were the comments that made the canteen feel all the more carstrophodic. Abbie Maguire is expected to go to university because Abbie Maguire is predicted good grades at A Level and therefore, Abbie Maguire ‘belongs’ at university. Does she, does she really?

I know what you’re thinking “This is another poor student moaning that university fees are way too high and therefore just won’t go. Well here’s a suggestion – get a job and save!” It’s a common and obvious remark. If you have no money, go out and earn money. It sounds sensible and logical enough, but easy it is not. Could this be the explanation as to why so many choose not to enrol in the elite universities? Or are more people just concerned with getting a degree because they think it will give them more of an employability factor, where they do it is no longer in the equation? Or are people intimidated by the red bricks that line the walls of this elite institution?

I’ve known people who have graduated from Cambridge, dropped out from Cambridge and been accepted to Cambridge, but is a degree now just considered a degree. Perhaps, much like in the working world, are students looking for any universities that will except them, let alone apply for that coveted place at Oxbridge? If I achieve my predicted grades, I could be a possible contender for Oxbridge but part of me wants to pursue the Open University, which some profusely question.

“Over the next week, I will be asking 100 people from my sixth form what university that plan on attending. I predict surprising results…


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