It’s okay…to not enjoy university


University is supposed to be the best time of your life but for me it wasn’t. I thoroughly disliked (hates a strong word) the whole experience and it wasn’t something which came naturally to me. I’m not sure why I disliked it so much and there were times when quitting crossed my mind, but the easy way out isn’t always the best route to take and I’m glad I took the rougher path.

Having taken a year out before going to university and working full-time in between I became used to having a paycheck each month and the routine of working life which I loved. Yet I knew that university would give me the opportunity to learn more about the fashion industry I wanted to work in, plus seeing my Facebook timeline full of my friends having a good time at their respective universities I hoped that it would be the same for me too.

Whilst my course was great with a variety of different modules from buying to marketing to styling and visual merchandising, I was in for a very little amount of time each week with a ton of self-directed learning which when you are paying over £3,000 a year it’s a little hard to handle. This coupled with a nightmare first year led me into a mindset where I hated university and wanted to spend as much time as possible at home. One positive from my time there are the work experience placements I completed which were my favourite part of my university journey and have given me invaluable experience which I hope will prove useful when it comes to the job hunt. Yet there was just something about my whole time there which I didn’t enjoy. It’s not to say either that I don’t have any happy memories of my university experience and I’ve made friends who I can’t imagine my life without and whom I love dearly.

Next comes posts of people in their mortar board hats and cloaks and happy graduation statuses and then the search for that elusive job, some of which people have already found (I’m also super proud of all my friends for doing so well and securing some pretty cool jobs along the way) yet it’s hard not too feel a little jealous when my daily plans involve scheduling the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians around applying for jobs. Possibly the worst thing about leaving university is realising that everyone else went too and consequently wants that perfect graduate job as well. It’s definitely not a good thing to compare yourself to others but it’s hard not too, especially when social media gives you first hand access to who’s graduated, got the perfect job,  boyfriend/girlfriend, dog, house, dinner, outfit, shoes (the list goes on and on and on).

However, I’ve realised it’s okay to be different and not enjoy something which so many do and if something isn’t for you then don’t do it but I finished and I couldn’t be prouder of myself for sticking it out. I guess it would be nice if my university experience wasn’t tinged with unhappiness but I don’t have any regrets about going and nothing in life was ever meant to be easy or free.

Getting my results last month a huge wave of relief and happiness washed over me and I couldn’t be happier to be graduating with a 2:1 and ultimately I know that university has opened doors that may have been shut before and I can’t wait to see where my degree will take me. I know that my bad experience of university can still be a positive one and that three years of hard work and determination have prepared me for the next chapter of my life which I feel more than ready for.

If you are thinking about going to university remember open days are there to sell the university and their best assets so doing your own research is essential, ask lots of questions to fellow students about what the university and your respective course is really like and check out the surrounding area too. It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make so you don’t want to get it wrong.

Now back to the job hunt…




  1. Caroline
    July 24, 2014 / 7:58 pm

    Lucy, i think that is a very valuble post. School leavers should definitely not make any rash decisions when choosing their course and university as it has such a profound effect on their life. Also they should be sure to choose what they want to do and not necessarily what their parents want them to do. HUGE congratulations to you for your results!!

    • Lucy Eleanor
      July 30, 2014 / 10:00 am

      It’s worth sticking it out but only if it’s the right thing for you, it’s not the end of the world and there is always another way to do what you want to do. Good luck :)