The Next Step: are we really ready for life outside the student bubble?

Image Credit: Gakuto Ochi

University: a place for studying a subject you are passionate about and graduating with the highest possible grade. At least that’s what your intentions were at the beginning of the year. However, once you settle into student life, you usually find yourself trying to balance your social life with your education.

It doesn’t take long before you become comfortable living this somewhat idealistic lifestyle.

Although university may seem like a holiday at first, the workload soon increases and the lack of interaction with the outside world can make you feel as if you are living in an essay-induced coma. So how can this restricted way of living prepare us for independent life after university? A four-year degree may seem like a long time but it is a mere interlude in life when you are expected to learn everything you need to know about progressing to adulthood whilst at the same time hanging on to those last remnants of your youth. Before you know it, you will be thrust into the real world without the safety net of university where we can still rely on our parents to grudgingly wash our dirty laundry for us.

All downhill from here?!  Tim Welbourn

In many ways, university allows us to gradually transition from adolescence to adulthood by giving us a glimpse of what life is like without parental guidance. For some, it is a blessing to have the opportunity to move miles away from home, meet new friends from all over the world and even have the chance to study abroad. However, others may decide that they are not quite ready to fly the nest just yet and return home. A growing number of people are deciding to enter the world of work at the age that most people go to university, giving them a “head start” at accustoming to adult life.

According to research from Voucher Code Pro, one of the UK’s largest money discount sites, 50% of 2,493 students currently at university chose what they thought were easy degrees in order to increase the amount of free time they have to go out. Yes, this may have seemed like a one-way ticket to four consecutive years of partying but surely all of those hours spent drunk will seem obsolete when it comes to sourcing a postgraduate job which is difficult enough when you actually work hard for your degree.

With that being said, university should be a time for both studying and having fun because believe it or not, it is possible to find the right balance between the two. Although the thought of leaving the student bubble behind for the working world may seem daunting, it should be a time to enjoy your last years as a teenager whilst still having a little dependency on your parents. There are endless opportunities available for graduate students so try to embrace being a student whilst you still can and start viewing adult life with a sense of anticipation rather than dreading graduation day.


Erin Smith is a second year student at the University of Stirling where she is studying Digital Media. She is an aspiring journalist and self-confessed grammar nerd who splits her time between writing and watching the latest series on Netflix. She also has a passion for music and film and hopes to incorporate this into her future career.




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