A lot of people have been receiving degree results this week, but what happens if you didn’t get your desired result or don’t get a job related to your studies? What if the people who didn’t even study for the last few years are ahead of you in this game of life? What if it was all just one big waste of time?
There is so much pressure when it comes to getting a degree. To continuously get great marks for three years running to make up for the final mark that will change the course of your life. To have a good work/life balance so you don’t become a friendless recluse. To navigate actual real life such as jobs, relationships and so on at the same time.
As a graduate now 5 years past my final results, hopefully I can offer you some advice that no matter how your degree experience has been and what results you finally end up with, it’ll never be wasted time.
This post is inspired by my Auntie Julie, who not only suggested the post, but has also just finished her degree! Amazing!
12 Reasons Your Degree Will Never Be Wasted
Whether you study from home or go away to university, doing your degree will open you up to whole new experiences. You’ll meet or talk to interesting people and gain valuable social and networking skills that you’ll definitely be needing later on.
If you did go away to uni, you’ll likely have met some real characters, become more culturally educated and aware, had some crazy nights out, or stupidly fun nights in. When surrounded by so many people from all walks of life and most of a similar age, there’s bound to be some amazing stories by the end of your degree.
2. New people
On your course, in halls, or just anywhere you turn, there will be some absolute characters about! Some seem odd, insane, dramatic, hilarious. Some of them will become your friends.
Some friends you meet at uni will be your friends for life. The most unlikely people, ones you’d maybe not usually end up speaking to at home, can become your best friends. The fact that there are so many people all in one place means chances of ended up alone are very slim and most people find their crowd in time.
Those people you met while doing your degree? Keep in touch with them – even if only on Facebook. They’ll probably have a better understanding of you navigating the world after uni than people from home might. They could also come in handy when looking for graduate jobs 😉
3. Life skills
At uni, you will likely have to fend for yourself. This means learning to do seemingly simple things like washing and cooking, but also how to research thoroughly, how to articulate your thoughts and how to train your brain to remember loads of information!
If studying while living at home, balance and self motivation will be your key skills. Put those on your CV 😉 Getting anything done while at home is so difficult, so if you’ve managed to tune out your little sister singing Little Mix songs while writing a 5000 word essay, well done you!
4. Job searching
Despite what many are told, not getting a 2:1 or above is not the end of the world. I have known people with all ranging marks, including dropouts and those who failed. They’re doing just fine, and you will too. While a good mark should be something you strive for, and will push you ahead of the competition a bit, there are different routes and skills that can get you to where you want to be.
Having a degree at all is a show of your perseverance, dedication and motivation. If you can only apply for a job with a specific degree result and really want that job, it can be worth giving them a call to discuss your other skills too.
If a degree is not needed for a job, but you have similar skills to another candidate, having your degree (no matter what mark) will give you the upper hand.
5. Love & relationships
In a place with so many people from so many places, uni is absolutely the easiest place to meet people. So many people start relationships at uni because there are so many people with things in common. It’s also a place that’s pretty easy to hook up (had to be honest!), and there are definitely plenty of options!
A lot of people find it easier to open up about their sexuality while at uni, because finally they’re not the only gay in the village! (To my fellow small town folk!) There are usually social clubs, groups and plenty of openly gay people around so it’s the perfect place to explore your sexuality and become more open about others.
Being able to explore this side of life early on will help you with future relationships. Or maybe you’ve met the love of your life? Either way, you will be wise to all kinds of relationships thanks to university!
It’s difficult not to socialise when studying, even if you try to avoid it. There are always people about. You’ll always have questions for others, or have them asked and need to communicate with classmates. You’ll most likely be surrounded by strangers that you either have to deal with or befriend. And because universities want you to have a good time, there’ll be social events and societies to join. Constant parties bring you together with the most random groups of people and it’s an amazing way to start socialising outside of your usual friends.
I briefly mentioned this above, but it need it’s own section! University parties will always be memorable – for good or bad reasons! So many people will have just started being able to legally buy alcohol and have no idea how to handle drinking or partying until the early hours. People finally feel free to do as they please. The pressure of all that work means people party even harder. With this comes amazing memories, new friends, and learning to deal with hangovers! (Your local Wetherspoon’s breakfast is the one!)
It might not have been your scene, but if it was, I hate to break it to you, it’s not quite the same after uni! Although you’ll probably have a better tolerance for alcohol than some, which comes in handy!
8. New hobbies
Freshers Fair likely got you involved in all sorts of new things. Some might have stuck, others not so much. Even if you didn’t really get into any hobbies while studying, you’ll likely have ruled a few out! If you’ve found something you love, it will definitely help you enjoy yourself outside of work and you’ll also meet like-minded people whenever you engage in your hobbies.
Did you know you can go places completely alone? Students do! Constantly having to go and do things by yourself definitely makes you a bit more independent. Before uni, some people can get used to having company for their everyday tasks, but when everyone has their own schedule, you might just have to brave a few things alone.
You’ll also learn how to work independently, which is definitely a skill you’ll be grateful for when job searching and as an employee.
People doing degrees have great support systems, either via the university’s HR department, personal tutors, or those going through the same things as you. These can be incredibly useful resources that will benefit you even when your degree is finished. You are never truly alone while studying for a degree and will be thankful of that support upon finishing.
11. Know and improve yourself
Not only have you taken on a task that could improve your career prospects, but you have done something scary and big in order to improve yourself in one way or another and that is amazing, no matter what becomes of it.
When running to hand in your very important, degree-changing essay, braless, in your pyjamas, in the rain, and getting it in just one minute before the deadline, you will learn some things about yourself (True story). Like how you are Queen of the last minute essays, but also that you are absolutely useless when it comes to punctuality, but really good under pressure. Getting to know your strengths and weaknesses is valuable in being able to improve yourself. Also, you will get asked about strengths and weaknesses in every interview ever!
Whatever happens during the course of your degree, you will have a better understanding of yourself and be able to bring this knowledge into life afterwards.
12. Dealing with issues
You will likely be stressed like you’ve never been before. You will come across issues you’ve never faced before (even if it just getting the printer to work at 4am once you’ve finished your coursework). As much as I hate to say it, these will be character building and you will now be ready to face all of the ridiculous problems life will throw at you. Remember your strength in not kicking the printer, or shouting at your classmates when they’re beyond frustrating. Remember how you managed your stress, and if you didn’t, realise that you’re okay now and that most problems pass. You can do anything!
Doing a degree is a personal journey. I realise this might sound pretentious, but it’s true. No matter what your result is, or how your experience was, you will come out of it with all of the above and more. No two people are the same, and no two experiences are the same. As long as you realise what you got out of your degree and can see the value in it, anything else is a bonus.
What other benefits do you think you got from your degree? Have you been worried about results? Let me know in the comments and if you have any other questions for a graduate or feel worried, feel free to message me privately for a chat on Twitter or Instagram (Username on both: teaisfortina)