As hard financially as it has been, it has been the experience of a lifetime. Forget lifestyle, in terms of education, I am a more satisfied person and feel I am reaching my potential. After seven years of working in frustrating industries such as retail and hospitality, it is my time to use the skills I have worked hard on and blossom.
The main worry is that as you complete your degree, more and more lecturers are telling you to do a masters or masters of arts degree, which means studying for at least another year and spending in excess of £15,000 for the privilege. There seems to be little direction on offer for those of us that are content with our personally funded extra few years of education, other than looking for jobs that ask for a degree at 2:1 or above. If you get lower than a lower second class degree now, it appears to totally useless in the workplace.
Thankfully I have a place to live arranged that is very cheap and will allow me to pay off my thousands of pounds of debt, work at what I want to work at and grant me the freedom to go anywhere, anytime. This is the time to explore and find my feet and I am very very excited.