Reasons not to go to University

  • Living in halls. Yuck. I’ve been in halls, and they generally aren’t all that great. Being in halls means being surrounded by…
  • Other people. I’m just not that good with other people. I have little in common with people my own age, and most people don’t like me. Also I’m not into the main pastimes of a university education, which seem to be…
  • Drinking and partying. I don’t drink, and the latter isn’t really much fun when the former is involved. These seem to be the main interests of a *lot* of people.
  • I’m not sure what subject to choose. Much as I love the arts, I see very little value in studying them. And my mathematical / scientific abilities aren’t all that great.
  • What’s the point of a degree? I’ve done the whole working-for-people thing, and that sucked too. I can’t see myself ever working for a for-profit company (unless it’s mine and I’m the only employee :-).) I suppose if I wanted a job in the civil-service or something then a degree would be necessary to get an interview.
  • If I chose the wrong subject I’d get bored and give up. That’s what I do. Then I’d hate myself.
  • It costs rather a lot of money.
  • I’d be away from friends and family and would likely sink into depression, at least for a while.

Possible fixes:

  • Get a house / flat so I don’t have to live in halls (I’m assuming this is do-able)
  • Try to find people of a similar mindset
  • Risk a subject choice
  • Don’t think about jobs yet
  • Work hard
  • So I’ll be in debt.

But, the main reason:

  • It’s not writing. Writing has always been there. While other fads have risen and fallen, writing remained. I once read an interview with an author in which they were asked: ‘why do you write?’. Their answer was along the lines of: ‘It’s the only time when I don’t feel like I should be doing something else’. That’s exactly how I feel. The sense of achievement I feel after writing something I’m proud of is unmatched. I’m not claiming to be very good, but I don’t see why I couldn’t achieve at least a passable standard, with practice (Stephen King, in his excellent On Writing, says he thinks that anybody can become a decent writer if they try hard enough. Not that he necessarily knows what he’s talking about, but he certainly knows more about it than me.)
  • The only issue, here, is that writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried. I’ve written a fair few short stories over the last few years, and all of them have either been done in single sessions (with revision afterwards) or I’ve really had to force myself to sit down and do them. The latter is only rarely successful. If I’ve already mapped out the story in my head then I’m unwilling to actually write it down. Oh hell, I’m turning into this already. My point is that I love and hate writing with equal measure, but it’s what I want to do more than anything.

Hmmm. What if I applied to university this autumn, to start in 2006, but spent the rest of the time writing? The thought of having to go to university, quite frankly, would be motivation enough to actually do something. I’m making enough money from computer fixings to get by, so that should be ok too. I wouldn’t be aiming to write a bestseller, but to actually produce something I’m proud of. Well, it bears consideration.

Oh, I don’t know. I’m 22 in a fortnight. I should probably know this stuff by now.