ALL through school I worked hard, with the aim of getting into university because, I was told, it would give me the best start in life.

As a graduate, I would have the world at my feet. A university education would place me on a higher salary scale on my career path, giving me a better quality of life. So all that stressing out over exams - an anxiety that was a major part of my teenage years and continues to haunt me - would one day be worth it.

I can’t help feeling a bit cheated. My brother, who quit school at 15 without even turning up for his exams, now earns twice as much as me, with a fat pension awaiting him. I have three A-levels and a degree, and I’ll probably be working till I’m pushing 70, if anyone will have me.

Of course I loved my three years at university, and wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but if I was to meet my old careers teacher again - a formidable woman from an Eighties corporate background - I’d tell her she sold me down the river. Perched on the end of a desk in our sixth-form library, she told us university was the road to a glittering life of riches and fulfilment, and I’m not sure that’s true.

I went to university partly because I wanted to move away and have the student adventure - my parents met at teacher training college and I wanted to experience the life they’d talked about with such fondness - and partly because I wanted a degree. But, other than having letters after my name which I’ve never been pretentious enough to use, what has a BA Hons really given me? I could’ve got on the career ladder straight from school. Colleagues who did just that have earned more than me over the years, so I don’t think my graduate status exactly gave me a leg up.

These days, the world and his dog seem to get into university, and there are frightening numbers of young graduates released into the world, blinking like pit ponies, with a mountain of debt and no work prospects. Forget a glittering career - many of them are forced to compete with hundreds of other desperate hopefuls for pretty basic jobs. Student life is a lot more expensive now than in my day, and the world of work is changing too.

University isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t necessarily a passport to a better life. There are some excellent apprenticeship schemes around today, setting young people off on solid career paths and paying them to learn on the job.

As A-level results day approaches, there will be many school-leavers facing a crossroads in their young lives. Thank goodness for services like Connexions Bradford and the #NoWrongPath campaign, released ahead of Scottish exam results day this week, which give young people support and advice on making the right choices, whether it’s further education, training opportunities, apprenticeships or pursuing other employment paths.

At that crucial but vulnerable time in life, it helps youngsters to know of the various options they can take towards building a successful career.

If I’d had such advice, instead of that hard-nosed careers teacher who insisted university was the way forward, would I have done things differently? Probably not, as I knew in my heart I wanted to go to university, and I wasn’t driven by money at that age, (which may or may not be a good thing). But at least my eyes would’ve been opened to other paths in life.

Go to university, if that’s what you want. It’s a fantastic experience for young people, there’s nothing else quite like it. But don’t expect it to give you a head start in life.

* I'M getting fed up with the Markles.

Palace courtiers, whoever they are, (I always imagine people whispering behind fans in corners of courtyards, like Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons), must wince whenever the latest member of the Duchess of Sussex's dysfunctional family steps up to hog the limelight.

First Meghan's dad staged those paparazzi pictures, then came his no-show at the wedding, followed by his indiscreet TV interview. Now her ranting half-sister looks to be on Celebrity Big Brother.

I get the Royal protocol thing, but surely it's time Meghan took matters into her own hands and at least visited her father. This "dignified silence" is making her look a little cold-hearted.

* THEY say you should never meet your heroes. Well I met one of mine recently, and he was everything I dreamed he'd be.

I got close to the original Bagpuss at Bradford's Cartwright Hall, where a charming exhibition of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s much-loved children's TV creations is on until October. Also displayed are the Bagpuss mice, Professor Yaffle, the Clangers and original artwork for Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. It's quite a moment, coming face-to-face with your early childhood. Visitors of a certain age be warned: you may find you have something in your eye...