Before reading this essay you need to ask yourself one simple question:
how badly do you want this degree?

You need a little help from Mum and Dad and this is they let you live at home rent free during the three years you spend at home while chasing your dream. But that’s okay; by now they’ve been doing it for eighteen years anyhow.

Here is what you need to do

Year One:

After finishing your secondary schooling and following acceptance at the university of your choice, defer enrolment for one year. During this year, live with Mum and Dad, rent and other amenities free, as discussed above.

You need paid work and you will likely need several jobs. Start walking down the street knocking, literally, on every business door until you land a job. You must accept any job on offer that pays the minimum wage or above and you must avoid zero-hours contracts. Ignore employment agencies.

Keep knocking on doors until you accumulate enough work to occupy a minimum of sixty (60) hours per week or a bit more.

Ideally, find work on the night shift in a food factory. Here, when you acquire a reputation as a dependable worker who never takes time off or calls in sick, you can probably work loads of overtime. Between your night shift premium and overtime you can potentially gross £600 to £800 per week.

Save most of your money.

Year Two:

Attend your first year at university paying for everything with the money you saved in Year One.

Year Three:

Arrange a gap year with your university and go back to work in the food factory.

Save most of your money.

Year Four:

Attend your second year at university, debt free.

Year Five:

Go back to work in the food factory and save more money.

Year Six:

Attend your third and final year at university, again, debt free. Receive your degree.


Some of the work you do will not be much fun. In particular, the night shift in a food factory is not a lot of laughs. However, if your work leads you ever closer to your goal, that’s what this is all about.

You don’t need an £800 phone; a £100 one will do; you don’t need an £800, all singing – all dancing iPad, a £279 laptop will do. You won’t spend too many nights in the pub with your mates or weekends in Warsaw or Prague on hen or stag do’s. This will save you money and you’ll be too tired after working 60 hours a week to enjoy these much anyhow. Glastonbury and Leads Festivals will have to wait until after graduation.

But realize when you walk out of your university with your debt free degree, the interest you’ll save on student loans alone will finance your deferred gap year trekking in the Himalayas and many Glastonburys to come.

So, how badly do you want this degree – truly?