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  • Writer's pictureAnya Coates

Is University Worth It?

I never ever pictured myself at university. I was convinced that I'd get more out of life if I went straight into the working world and gained experience when I was younger, rather than after a degree. Now, 2 and a bit years in, I can say that going to university was the best decision 18 year old Anya could have made. I may hate some lectures, I may waste some days nursing a violent hangover and I may find it a little difficult to wake up for my 9ams but even with all of this, I'm so grateful for every moment there.

University has had a wonderful affect on my life. When I signed up to do a course with an optional sandwich year, I assumed I'd maybe get an internship in England or maybe just complete the 3 years without a placement. I had no big plans and assumed I'd graduate with a 2:1- pretty standard and to be honest, not really that impressive.

When it came to selecting placements, I didn't actually apply for any. I looked at one specific communications role in Toulouse; but if I'm honest, that was only because I liked the idea of living in the south of France for a year. I didn't believe in myself to get a placement, I didn't think I'd get anything so I just left it. From January to March I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to take a year out but rather just graduate in 2017, but then I got an email for Erasmus and I just knew that was what I wanted to do. My dream of living by the beach was reignited!

University has also helped rocket my confidence. In second year, as you know, I applied and got Erasmus. I also applied for and won a study bursary to attend Southern Connecticut State University for a short period. Usually I would never apply for anything that I feel has a big competitive edge but something changed for me and I just decided to go for it. I didn't expect or want much but the experience of writing a compelling piece of text that sold myself. Not only was it good experience for future cover letters, but it was also a good way of making myself see that I held good qualities and I was actually capable of self positivity.

So this year, I saw an application for internships in Shanghai, Asia and again I thought "sod it!". I said to my friend who I am living with to apply as well, so we spent a day writing and checking and rechecking and editing and peer assessing each others applications. Finally, we both sent them in and as luck would have it, we BOTH got selected to take part! I count myself so lucky and I am so grateful to be able to take part in such door opening opportunities, and to think; if I hadn't gone to university it would never have happened!

Now, at work on a sunny Thursday afternoon (avoiding writing an essay but shhh) I'm sad to know that I have less than 100 days left in my new home. However, I have a lot of trips planned and a lot more memories to make before I leave my VLC family! And I can't wait!

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