Essays About University: Top 6 Examples and 6 Prompts

Our time in university is often one of the most critical points in our lives;  if you are writing essays about university, read our guide. 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a university as “an institution of higher learning providing facilities for teaching and research and authorized to grant academic degrees.” Otherwise known as colleges, universities are the institutions in which students obtain their tertiary education, helping them pursue the careers they want. 

Regardless of your university’s prestige, taking your college education seriously is crucial. University prepares you to go into the field you want to work in, and it is regarded as essential for success and prosperity in life. The choices you make in and for university will affect your path forever.

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6 Examples of Essays About University

1. Compare and Contrast Between State University and Private University by Naomi Moody

“Many people assume a public college is cheaper than a private college because of tuition fees are reduced for state residents. But the posted “sticker price” of a private college is rarely the real price. If a private college strongly appeals to you, consider waiting for its financial aid offer before making a final decision. More often than not, private colleges offer the scholarships and grants that significantly cut your actual cost, even bringing it close to the cost of a public college.”

Moody discusses the differences between public and private universities. A state university is more accessible and has various course options, while private university courses often specialize in specific fields and are more challenging to receive an entry. The price difference between public and private universities is more manageable if given financial aid, Moody writes. She believes that although both set students up for success, she is partial to private universities and would instead study in one. 

2. A reflection on my college experience by Tori Harwell

“I used to laugh at the people who told me college would go by in the blink of an eye. And then it did. Soak in every single second of these crazy, chaotic, stressful four years. Spend as much time with your friends as you can. The days go by faster and faster the closer you get to leaving. Take advantage of the time you do have.”

In her essay, Harwell gives tips on how to enjoy their years in university, based on her personal experiences. She encourages readers to take reasonable risks, say “yes,” find the right balance between academics and social life, and get involved to make friends. Most importantly, she wants readers to make the most of their college years and enjoy every moment, just as she did. 

3. You Don’t Need College Anymore, Says Google by David Leibowitz

“In Google’s report of their IT certification course, 61% did not have a four-year degree, typically complete the program in under six months, and earn a median annual wage of $54,760. To be blunt, university degrees are only as valuable as the weight applied by company hiring managers, and Google has just signaled that a $300 certificate has parity with a diploma.”

Leibowitz describes how university has become obsolete to some. Companies such as Google are allowing job applicants to work without a diploma, instead making them take an IT certification program. Other companies such as Levi’s and Gap have followed suit, allowing employees to complete a program in place of a degree. Leibowitz poses the idea of eliminating degree requirements to make work more accessible.

4. On Graduating in a Pandemic by Audrey Huang

“Graduation has historically been all about projecting into the future — anticipating what’s to come, cherishing the bright spots within these precious college years, formation and self-discovery in an ever-accelerating landscape. Pandemic graduation seems to be about having the brakes thrown into our plans, and being forced to sit still and alone for a very long time.”

Huang reflects on her university experience in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and imagines the future that her suitemates might live out, and how they have pursued their dreams or changed. Huang is mostly distraught at having to stop her education and an “inferior” graduation experience; however, she is relieved that she can reflect on her time in university, an experience she will treasure for a lifetime. 

5. My University Experience by Jenny

“I would like to tell you that coming to Leeds Beckett on the Speech and Language Therapy course has been the best decision for my career, and I’ve had so much fun living here and making new friends. Making the most of my course’s opportunities, as well as all the opportunities Leeds Beckett gives you like volunteering aboard, joining sports teams and everything else is a really valuable experience which you won’t regret. Put in the work and you’ll get loads out of it!”

Jenny, a student at Leeds Beckett University, writes about how she returned to college after graduating in 2014. However, she wanted to pursue a different career, so she attended university again. She writes about her course requirements, job placements, and overall university experience, and she encourages people to try her course or attend her university if they are interested.

6. From Living for the Later to Living for the Now: A Reflection of My College Career by Trisha Kangas

“Although it was maybe difficult for me to slow down and give myself a pat on the back for getting on the dean’s list, writing a 15 page short story I was really proud of, or being nominated for the Student Employee of the Year Award, I still did all of those things and that in itself is something to be proud of. And I think that’s where my focus should ultimately end up.”

Kangas reflects on her time in college, writing that she feels accomplished yet anxious simultaneously. She worked hard but remembered not to be too hard on herself, something she encouraged all students to practice. It is important to find a balance between academic achievement and mental health. She also reminds students not to be afraid of change but to have a positive outlook.

6 Helpful Writing  Prompts on Essays About University

1. Is University Really as Daunting as It Seems?

Many say university entails the toughest years of your life, making children dread going to college. Based on your experiences, write about your experience in university and determine whether this claim is factual or not. 

2. What Lessons Did Your College Experience Teach You?

In university, we learn a lot about ourselves and our world. Write about lessons or life skills you may have learned in college and how they have helped you today. Such as becoming more confident, learning to love yourself, connecting with people, or even pursuing new passions in life. Be sure to link your main idea back to how college can help you do better in the future.

3. How Did You Grow Throughout University?

Essay About University: How did you grow throughout university?
Write about your feelings throughout your university years, particularly how they changed, and describe any skills you may have learned

For your essay, reflect on your college experience. Answer the question, “how did you grow as a person?” Write about your feelings throughout your university years, particularly how they changed, and describe any skills you may have learned. Be sure to use personal anecdotes for a more heartfelt perspective. 

4. The Skills You Need For University

Before attending university, you must equip yourself with specific skills to help you succeed. You must often obtain certain grades in specific classes to enter university. However, you also need personal skills such as communication, time management, and discipline to complete assignments. Write about some of these skills and explain why they are important. You can also explain how to hone these skills to improve your experience at university.

5. How Can You Best Prepare for University?

Essay About University: How can you best prepare for university?
In your essay, discuss how you can prepare yourself, physically and mentally, to attend a university

University can be daunting, especially for people leaving high school and moving city or state to attend university. In your essay, discuss how you can prepare yourself, physically and mentally, to attend university. What should college students know before they start the year? Be sure to use your personal experiences as a basis. You can also give examples of books or articles readers can look at for further knowledge. 

6. Is It Necessary to Attend University?

Many argue that university education has become unnecessary in the 21st century. Many famous entrepreneurs and business owners, such as Elon Musk, speak out against university education, saying that life experience and learning on the job are more valuable. Detail your stance on this issue and explain your reasoning. Be sure to support your argument with details and credible sources. 

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  • Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.