What is it like not going to university?

Choosing an apprenticeship over going to university left me with the worry that I would miss out on the university lifestyle, but I couldn't have been more wrong

14 November 2019

By Business Professional Apprentice, Lauren Brenton  

It was a worry for most students like myself, who didn’t go to university after completing their A-Levels, that we will miss out on the infamous ‘university lifestyle’. Staying out late and partying, the academia, moving away from home and being an independent adult. We are worried we’re going to miss out on all of this, thinking we’d be working our nine to five jobs with very little time to go out and grow as a person in the same way. I’m pleased to say I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Of course I’m biased, but doing an apprenticeship is more beneficial than going to university, for me anyway. I can continue to learn on the job and develop new skills whilst also being paid (big plus)! Doing my apprenticeship at Burges Salmon has shown me how I made the best decision when it came to not going to university. It has helped me become more confident and independent too; doing my own projects, visiting our offices in London and Edinburgh and attending meetings. It’s such an exciting opportunity and not one I thought I’d be able to have at 18 years old. Although I still live at home, I still feel like a ‘proper’ adult by having a full time job in the city centre and having my own money to spend that I’ve earnt.

My university friends assume my job doesn’t leave me with any free time but again; they couldn’t be more wrong. My evenings feel so much more relaxed as I can get home after my commute and enjoy my free time more and separate my personal life from my work life. Then come the weekends. The socialising and partying definitely still happens as an apprentice, so you don’t miss out on that aspect of university life at all. Bristol’s freshers week events are ideal if you’re wanting a taste of what university partying is like! And with over 800 employees and 17 other apprentices, I have made just as many friends as I would have going to university.

So, what is it like not going to university? It’s great! Don’t be worried about missing out because as an apprentice you will be doing all the same things and more (just without the debt)! You get to be independent, you continue to learn, you get to meet new people, you get to be social and, you get free time. But on top of that you’re building your work skills, you’re getting paid and best of all, you’re gaining invaluable experience.

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