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Stop Telling Me University is a Waste of Time.

Ever since I graduated, people have delighted in telling me that my degree was a waste of time. A huge big chunk of wasted energy.  A shit tonne of money flushed down the toilet. If it wasn't vocational it won't get you anywhere. It's just a clever way to 'delay' adulthood. You've gone and got yourself into debt for nothing.

This is Britain, so naturally, no one ever says such things to my face. Heavens, no! We wouldn't dream of insulting someone outright. It's almost always indirect.

Voiced over social media by the 'I have a right to an opinion' brigade. Hastily thrashed out subtweets intended to devalue the proud graduate. "Don't you dare be proud of that degree, because I never even went to uni and look how amazing I'm doing."

Sometimes it's slipped in under the guise of "offering advice" to the recent graduate. "Perhaps, you should have done an apprenticeship, earned while you learned," they'll sneer in faux concern. As though they honestly give a shit about your credit score or care how you pay your phone bill.

Perhaps it's told through the tale of a friend of a friends son's recent success. Which he managed to acheive without the degree!!! Did you know he's on 45k a year? Unsurprisingly, as I do not know him, I did not know this. I don't even know my friends annual wages, let alone a strangers. No, the implications of that conversation are just to provoke comparrison. Ian has no degree but a crackin wage. Not like you sweetie, oh no not you, with your degree and minimum wage job.

The point of this post isn't to discuss the merits of higher education. Whilst I personally don't regret my academic choices, I'm not so pig-headed that I think it's the right choice for everyone. I have friends that went straight into the workplace and are smashing life. I have friends that went to university and now have their dream career. I have friends (ok, one friend, Georgia) who did an apprenticeship and then went to university. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to life and that includes career paths. There will never be one ultimate answer to "how to succeed in life" because everyone measures success differently.

What this post is about is how incredibly rude it is to shove opinions on university in someone's face, after they have been to university. Moreover, how they don't even consider what they're doing as rude.

I have no problem with someone offering their opinion if someone is asking for your advice before they commit to university. That's a request for your opinion so you go right ahead and share it. But telling graduates that their degrees are futile after they've spent the time, money and energy working for that degree is just downright rude. Yes you may think their degree is pointless, and you're entitled to think that, but do you have to say it? 

I mean cmon, to undermine their achievements by expressing your negative opinion is just completley insensitive. You are literally slagging and devaluing their life choices and something they have spent time, money and effort into achieving. That shit is cruel. In what way could that possibly not be rude? It's not even just rude, it's hurtful.

"Lol, well all the time and money was pointless anyway because uni is a joke, (whispers into the abyss) just like you HAR HAR HAR". Well, cheers for that Keith love, any other life choices you'd like to take a bash at this morning? My choice of a-level? My preferred contraception method perhaps?

It's SO damn rude. I cannot comprehend the total rudeness of it all.

It's a really tough job market at the moment, the rise of mental health issues in young people is on the rise, the property market won't let any one under the age of 40 buy a house, and yet people insist on throwing about their opinion about young people's career choices. Most young people I know are have insecure mindsets right now, me for one, and they don't need you making them second guess and doubt of their life choices.

Everyone has an opinion on university. We all have confliting goals and principles and ideas on how to reach them. Most people can get on with that confliction without putting down others. To me, the ones that won't stop telling your how pointless a degree is are the ones projecting their own fears and insecurities onto your situation. 

So next time someone is rude enough to tell you that your entire university career was a waste of time, keep that in mind. You are not stupid or idiotic for choosing to get a degree and your life choices are no one elses buisness. Those that insist on droning on about how pointless university is don't deserve your attention or concern. More often than not, they're using you as a way of validating their own life choices and to make themselves feel better. 

There isn't one correct path in life. So stop telling me university is a waste of time and focus on yourself.


  1. Two words, fuck them.
    Everyone is different, everyone chooses different things. I went to work, did an apprenticeship, volunteer and now I'm at university. Do what the fuck you want, when you want, I say.
    To people that judge anyone's choices, it must be really fucking boring having your whole life sorted in your early 20s. Where's the adventure in that? X

  2. I agree - fuck them.

    I went to university to study an essay-based subject and I graduated last year. Sometimes some people would make ignorant comments but eventually I cut those people off. I think it's always important to surround yourself with people who respect your life choices and if they don't then it says a lot about them than it does about you.


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