It’s Ok If You’re Not Graduating

31st May 2016

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I’m 21.

Society says I should’ve decided my career at 16, done my GCSEs, got my A Levels and whizzed off to University at 18.

I failed society.

At 16, I had no idea what I wanted as a career. I loved Geography and wanted to travel one day. I looked forward to my English lessons but anything Maths related was out of the question.

When I liked a subject, you’d know about it. For my Geography GCSE, I travelled to Washington State to see Mount St. Helen’s for myself. I spent hours researching and analysing Cloverfield for my English coursework.

However, this didn’t solve the problem that I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.

Fast forward 5 years and all my friends are about to graduate University.

There are days when i’m overwhelmed with guilt for not being in that position. I feel that I  have failed myself and everyone else. There’s something about your entire Facebook timeline posting celebratory I-finished-my-dissertation photos that makes you feel a bit shit.

But in reality, had I gone to university when I was “supposed to”, I would be £27,000 in debt and may or may not have a degree in something I’m not passionate about, just because I felt I had to. Plus I wouldn’t have had some of the amazing experiences that have come my way the past 3 years.

I wouldn’t have started earthtoemma.com for a start. My communication skills wouldn’t have improved through blogging events and various jobs. Travelling to Australia would’ve remained a dream.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt while not attending University is…what I want to do.

It’s been there from the start and deep down I’ve probably always known. It’s taken plenty of self doubt, tears and tantrums to get there but I finally know.

So if one day I decide to attend University, I can do so knowing that i’m aiming towards my dream career.

But until then, i’m going to continue working toward my goals and to develop myself through everyday opportunities. I no longer feel the guilt from not following society’s rules and when it’s the right time for me, i’ll go back into education- whether that’s in 4 months or 4 years.

I’m 21.

I’m not graduating and that’s OK.

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Comments (26)

  • alicerambles

    31st May 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Such a great post! I’m at uni now and although I do love it I know so many people who are only here because they thought they ‘should’ go and it’s such a waste of their time and money. Glad you’re happy! xxx

    1. Emma Kershaw

      31st May 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you so much, that means a lot. I felt so guilty about it for so long but I’m finally starting to accept it 🙂 I hope you’re doing ok xxxx

  • Rosie // Hookup Culture

    31st May 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Great post!! I even know some people who didn’t go to college and feel like they failed society – we all do things at our own pace and do what we have to do to succeed. Society can take a seat, because we know what’s best for our selves 🙂

    1. Emma Kershaw

      31st May 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Jenny

    31st May 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Great post, Emma! I posted a similar post today as well – I bucked the uni trend as well and am now two courses into being a lead gymnastics coach! If you fancy a nosey, here’s the link 🙂 http://lilacfloats.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/i-didnt-go-to-university-and-thats-okay.html x

    1. Emma Kershaw

      31st May 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you so much! That’s amazing, good luck!! I’m going to have a read at your post now 🙂 Thanks for stopping by x

  • happyalexx

    31st May 2016 at 4:16 pm

    This was a wonderful post. There is such a ridiculous amount of pressure for everyone to attend uni at 18 and it turns out that most people end up wasting loads of money on something they’re never going to use. I’m glad you took that time to figure out what you really wanted to do and I wish you all the luck for the future x

    1. Emma Kershaw

      31st May 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Exactly, it’s unnecessary pressure and it’s such a shame. Thank you so much, that means a lot. I hope you have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by 🙂 x

  • Johanna

    31st May 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Shout out to you for being so brave and speaking the truth! I had the same problem (though I did, in the end make it to college but not the successful studies everyone expected). It can feel like a failure sometimes but in the end we gain so much more and hey, it’s our success and not theirs 🙂
    Greetings from the student kitchen,
    Johanna

    1. Emma Kershaw

      31st May 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m really glad I wrote this post and I’m so pleased with all the feedback I’ve got! I struggled with accepting myself for not continuing my studies or knowing what I wanted from life but I’m finally coming to terms with it 🙂 X

  • Shopaholicsblog

    1st June 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Bravo ! Very well written!✨

    1. Emma Kershaw

      1st June 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks so much! xx

  • asfoundbysasha

    1st June 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Loved the post 🙂 very well written! xxx

    1. Emma Kershaw

      1st June 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you so much Sasha! 🙂 xxx

  • Jessica Jade

    2nd June 2016 at 9:20 am

    So true, you don’t even need to go to uni depending on what you want to do, you should never feel like you’ve got to do something or you just wont enjoy it!
    xx

  • Rosie // Hookup Culture

    2nd June 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve nominated you for an award! If you don’t do awards, no problemo 🙂 I just appreciate you and your blog: https://hookupcultures.com/2016/06/02/epically-awesome-award/

  • thejouskablog

    3rd June 2016 at 9:44 am

    Great post! Very inspirational. 🙂

    1. Emma Kershaw

      3rd June 2016 at 10:18 am

      Thank you so much! X

      1. thejouskablog

        3rd June 2016 at 10:57 am

        No problem! 🙂

  • inspiredbyzoe

    3rd June 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I love this! I’m 22 and just finished my second year of uni, I’m so glad I didn’t go at 18 because now I actually enjoy learning! Still not sure on what I want to do though! X x

    1. Emma Kershaw

      3rd June 2016 at 8:19 pm

      That’s so good, I think it’s better to go when you feel ready regardless of age! I’m glad you like it and as long as you keep enjoying it that’s all that matters 🙂 xx

  • lovealwaysashleyj

    5th June 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I’m in the same boat! All of my friends are about to graduate college & I’m still figuring out what I want. I completed one semester of college and didn’t go back. You are not alone & just know that I have a good idea of how you feel! I’m so happy that you blogged about this as this is something that I struggle with! xo- Ashley

    1. Emma Kershaw

      5th June 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you’re doing ok xx

  • Valerie (Avec Valerie)

    9th June 2016 at 7:38 pm

    In the US, it’s normal to graduate university by age 22. I didn’t graduate until 26. Your age is just a number. People figure their lives out at different ages. All that matters is you stay motivated to achieve your goals. x

    http://avecvalerie.com

    1. Emma Kershaw

      9th June 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you! I completely agree with this, there’s so much pressure to follow society’s rules and go to school/uni/graduate/get a job etc but it’s not for everyone! I hope you’re doing great! X

  • Life Lately: Cafes, Catch-ups and Culottes – Earth To Emma

    31st July 2016 at 7:16 pm

    […] if you read my post about graduating, you’ll know this is something that I haven’t done this Summer. And you know what? […]

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