Time at university is an important rite of passage, and one that many consider to be ‘the most fun years of your life’. Today, however, the temptation to do your degree online seems to get stronger for young people and mature students alike - whether it's for the sake of convenience, saving money, or simply because more subjects become available to study each year. Whilst reflecting on my time at university, there were certainly many great times, but I realised quickly that it wasn't for everybody. . . and to be honest, it wasn't all tequila slammin’ and Monopoly tournaments. Here are four things you probably won't miss.
4. Halls. Yes, the social aspect of halls can be great, but these places are strange. Typically, there will be several students to one kitchen/living area. . . and that is usually a very small area which can cause some strain amongst comradeship if certain people aren't pulling their weight in regards to washing up etc. Most modern halls are fairly nice aesthetically, unlike the breeze-block monsters of the past, but if they have been lived in for more than a few years it will surely be hard to ignore the wear and tear. The two worst things about halls: 1. It's impossible to make your room homely. 2. There's a warden . . . and he loves his authority.
3. Shared Housing. Surprisingly, shared housing has its own drawbacks. Firstly, it is far more likely that you'll have a nightmare landlord, and you may soon realise that your excellent rent deal might not be so excellent. For instance, electricity key metres are the most infuriating thing when you live in a house with several other people. Some housemates will pay at the right time, others won't. . . and there is nothing worse than waking up on a dark winter's morn in a house with no electricity. Actually there is, just think about how fun an electric shower can be when your metre's continually running on empty.
2. Transport. Transport problems certainly don't affect everybody (especially not if you're lucky enough to have your own car), but in certain areas they can be a nightmare. In my first year we had little reason to complain because bus travel was free for students. But by the second year, and with an increased influx of students, being packed into a First Great Western like a sardine whilst trying to finish your recommended reading is incredibly frustrating. But not as frustrating as not being picked up at all, which was also a regular occurrence.
1. Morning Lectures. I know what you're thinking, laziness, and yes you'd be right. But the fact of the matter is student life and being expected to be on top learning form at nine o'clock the next morning just doesn't make sense, especially after spending all night trying to make your room homely, then waking up in an electricity-less house, and then being left at the bus stop for an hour. Frankly, the option of being able to take your lecture at any time via online learning seems like the greatest advancement in higher education in recent years. In fact, I'll be surprised if, in the future, recorded lectures aren't made available for normal students who simply can't be bothered to attend early lectures.
Sarah Maple writes about adult education and education online .