LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...Is it university for university’s sake for too many student hopefuls?

Five years ago I was one of those students nervously starring at a brown A4 envelope.

Torn between the desperation of finding out if my hard work had paid off, and the fear that it hadn’t.

I remember how my fingers fumbled when I finally plucked up the courage to open it. And how the world seemed to slow down as the crisp white paper inched into view.

Luckily for me, the tale ends happily… or rather with me sliding down the wall in disbelief and finding myself in a heap on the floor.

At the time I was pretty sure I would end up being a teacher, while writing for a living was my ‘dream job’ – like some people aspiring to be astronauts or actors, back then I never believed it would come true.

To be honest I can’t remember having any career advice at school.

Perhaps if I had they would have told me that just five weeks of work experience would put me in a better position than three years of study.

Like many people I went to university because I believed I needed to. Which I believe is part of the problem we face now. So many people have degrees they have decreased in value. Like money – the more you print the less it is actually worth.

So seeing students rushing to beat the fee rise makes me really sad. It seems to be a case of university for university’s sake.

I’m sure putting the price up will make people stop and think, but that can be the only upside. I dread to think of all the intelligent, capable and driven people who will be unable to go because they have the marks, but not the money.

And instead university will be inhabited by the ‘yah’ generation who have plenty in the bank, but little in brain cells.

Instead I think the government should invest in the alternatives. My degree didn’t help me get a desk here, and if I had my time again, I don’t know if I would have done it.

Sure, I loved the life experience, but people seem to forget you don’t need a certificate for that.

* Dangerous yoghurts

I have a funny feeling yoghurts hate me. You’d think a little pot and spoon couldn’t cause much damage, but every morning as I peel back the lid I feel like I am pulling the pin on a dairy-filled grenade.

Heaven forbid I forget to take cover and end up covered myself.

laura.cartledge@jpress.co.uk