Brace yourself, I’m about to discuss university debt, so be prepared for a long one, this is not a topic we can touch on briefly.
When I was applying for university there was no discussion of alternative plans. I come from an African household. University is the way, other options ke… why kwanu? As someone who had lived in eternal confusion about her future career plans, I didn’t oppose the idea, after all, it would buy me at least 3 years of thinking time. Somewhere along the lines, with confusion refusing to subside, my 3-year course extended itself because I needed further study and even more experience to help clear the clouds of confusion above my head. Guess what? It’s still raining here.
One day, a very random day, I decided to do some research into this so called university debt that everyone kept crying about. When I was doing my research, the numbers I saw on my screen literally left me sweating in immediate panic, on the verge of crying myself a river deep enough to drown in. How on earth had I managed to find myself in this position?
As tuition fees were raised back in 2012 and panic set in among EVERYONE else, I remained un-phased, because regardless of how much debt I incurred over the years of study, there was no plan B. But 6 months into undergraduate working life on a salary that was unusually high and still struggling to meet my basic needs (regular makeup purchases are included), realising that securing a graduate job that paid above the national average was not enough, simply made me want to give up. I could earn a figure that all my lecturers told me was a great starting point (I had never believed them anyway) and still spend nearly 50% of my entire life, almost 75% of my working life, repaying a debt for a degree I only bothered taking because I wanted to buy myself time. This takes first place for extravagant purchases!
So what about moving out of my parents’ home? What about buying my own car? What about the stacks and stacks of Louboutin shoes, YSL bags and Dior sunglasses? Where was that all going to come from? When I was 4 years old, my mother told me I needed to go to school, work hard, get a good job and then I could have the life I wanted. At no point did my mother mention the need for a sugar daddy or pole dancing lessons.
I was (and still am) investing so much in myself, for an education that caused me immense stress and almost ruined my health (there were many times I believed that the devil himself had created university, or at least my course), for a future that seemed as dark and gloomy as my current situation. NEPA had stolen the supposed light at the end of the tunnel.
*NEPA- Nigeria’s National Electrical Power Authority
What was the point?
I didn’t write all of this to scare you, but to motivate you, and hopefully try and convince myself that everything will work out just fine *smiles in disbelief*.
But on a serious note, it isn’t all over. We aren’t all doomed. Life isn’t a never-ending series of ‘L’s thanks to a British government run by the former elite Oxbridge students that don’t care about us. I can’t promise you that you will have a walk-in-wardrobe dripping with swagu, neither can I ensure that you have a wig collection that resembles that of Rihanna with Malaysian and Peruvian bundles flowing in every direction. But I can promise that things will be okay, and for now you’re just going to have to accept that okay is good enough. Soz b.
Here a few things you may want to consider:
- Savings plans
- Living outside of the capital
- Read about this impossible possibility here. The facts are simple: Leave it b. Embrace the fields and sheep.
- Setting realistic goals
- Achieving the best degree you can
- Optimising your spare time as a student-
- Starting your own business
- Monetising your hobbies
- Seeking professional opportunities/experiences
- Taking on roles of responsibility
- Making yourself more employable
- Career choices
None of this means you should chase the money, do a few calculations and you’ll find that even the highest paying graduate jobs will not save you from the doom I have discussed- but amidst a debt-filled life, job fulfilment and satisfaction can be very helpful.
There are many other ways in which you can make the most out of your time as a student, amongst all of these please be reminded that you also deserve to have fun!
If you are considering going to university and happen to be reading this post, please do not be put off!
Money isn’t the beginning and end of it all- you can get by without a sugar daddy or part time stripping!
Despite everything I have just said, the joys of university meant that I didn’t even think about any of this until I had started working. I learnt a lot whilst at university (you can tell just by looking at how the frequency of my posts increased) and I intend to learn even more in my remaining years. A part of me doesn’t want to leave, and as I write this whilst still on my placement year, I am very excited to go back. There are many invaluable experiences you will gain; University is much more than a degree.
But I won’t say too much about that for now, I have a whole post planned on my university experience. In summary, whether or not you have clear career goals set, if you want to go to university, do it, despite the debt that will await you. Debt will not end your life #NothingDoYou #LifeGoesOn
I hope I haven’t scared anyone that was enjoying a blissfully ignorant life as I once was. My intention as always is to share what I have learnt and hopefully inspire you in some way.
If you’re a current student or a recent graduate, what are your tips for making the most out of university???
Behind the Schmile..:) does not encourage the use of sugar daddies to finance higher education.