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 not graduating and that’s OK.
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