STRiVE Issue 5

by Ruqaiya Asim

After finishing college this year (2021), decided I wanted to go to university to carry on doing Fine Art. However, I kept asking myself, did I really want to go to university or not. I had several questions floating around in my head. How did I know university was the right choice for me? What else could I do if not a degree? What other options are out there?

It took me awhile to decide what I wanted to do. I’m going to share with you what I did and why I made the choice to go. This may also help you out if you’re deciding as well.

But before I get into it, I just want you to know if you’ve had a long think about whether you should go to university and decide it is not the right choice for you, that is perfectly alright. There are plenty more options out there that you can choose from. I will touch on these.

How did I decide?

I remember, I kept asking people who had been to university – how did they know it was right for them? Unfortunately, I never got a clear response. And if I am very honest, this just left me even more confused. I did not know what to do. Then I decided to break it all down into small steps and ask myself some questions.

Have I enjoyed my education and learning so far?

My answer was yes. I had an amazing experience at college, and I would love to carry it on and mature my arts knowledge.

What alternatives could I do instead, and do I think I would enjoy them?

There are several options out there if you prefer not to go to university. You can get an apprenticeship, go straight into employment and there are even some internships which allow you to gain your degree. If these are options you are considering, talk to your careers advisor to find out what is available to you.

Personally, I did not want to learn through working or an internship. This is because I think if I wanted to go straight into work and decided to go university later it would be a lot harder for me to transition back into education, from the world of work. So, I believe staying in education for a bit longer is the best choice for me.

Am I passionate about the subject and am I happy to continue it for the next few years?

This is where I would say, if you are planning on going to university, do something you are passionate about. This is very important, as you do not want to be dedicating yourself for a degree if you are not interested in it. Art is something I love, and I am passionate about. I had no doubt that I would be happy continuing it.

Asking myself these questions helped immensely, and this is how I came to the conclusion to go to university. I hope this has helped you find out what path you want to take and understand there are many more options out there, not just university. With whatever decision you make, just make sure it is something you know will make you happy and help you out in the long run.

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