People look at the £62,500 cash savings option for the visa and say, "That's totally unrealistic. No one has that much money." Yet people encourage young people straight out of high school to take out that much and more in student loans when they are not sure where their passion lies.
And here is my 'inspiring teacher talk': Don't figure out what you want to be, but what problems you want to solve. And then the path might get a little clearer.
My story that goes in line with KFdancer and physicskate:
Coming out of high school, I had good grades so it was assumed I'd go to uni/college. I did and decided since I wanted to travel, I'd study anthropology with an international studies minor.
Well, to get the type of anthropology job that looked interesting to me where you get to travel (esp internationally), you need to do a lot more than undergrad. Usually you get your undergrad degree then apply to be on digs over the summer(s), be accepted to those digs, pay to be on those digs, come back, apply to grad school, do all the stuff that comes with grad school and then try and find a job you want in the place you want to be.
Well, after two years, I realised I could travel (what I wanted to do at the time) without a degree, so I did. I moved back with my parents, saved money by working a few jobs (Starbucks was one of then and I loved it. We had the best customers!) and then I travelled in Europe for two years on what it would have cost for one year at uni. At the end of that, I met my hubby and moved to London.
I now work in a job I couldn't have imagined I'd ever do (social media for a travel guide publisher - the type of role didn't even exist when I was in uni!) and I love it. I've paid off my student loans, but even just two years of uni took over 10 years to pay off.
I know it doesn't work out that way for everyone, but I really lucked out - I do something I enjoy in a field I'm passionate about and I don't have to have a degree to do it.
If I'd stuck with my degree with the sole purpose of using it to travel, I'd be in a totally different place right now and I'd have massive student loans. It might have been cool (besides the loan part), but I'm quite happy with where I am.