University TalkSaturday, 20 September 2014
It's the time of the year again where I find myself saying my goodbyes to close friends and fleetingly saying "Make sure to see me when you're home!" even though I know in most cases, it probably wont happen.
University was something that scared me completely. Being 17 and worrying about my exams was bad enough for me (even if I was only doing two A Levels) let alone knowing what I wanted to spend a large amount of money on and do for the rest of my life. 2 years on, and I still don't fully know what I want to do but I'm starting to get there through this minuscule corner of my own on the internet. It's an enormous amount of pressure, and for those that were brave enough to add more pressure on and knowing what they want out of life, I congratulate you.
I do feel that education institutions, well mine at least didn't really cater for the undecided and unsure. In the "University Sessions" we just sat there staring blankly at a wall and having to answer the awkward "oh, I'm not going" when selected to answer a question. We were informed of other paths by simply naming them and then left to our own devices leaving me even more scared with a hint of I can't be bothered to even waste an hour here, surely there could be something more beneficial for me to be doing with my time? As it came to my last few weeks I spoke with my mum about other options, and that's where I found my apprenticeship. I love working, even if I complain about certain factors, I love making MY OWN money. I have done since I got my first job at my local tea room, even if it paid next to nothing I took a sense of pride knowing that I was becoming more independent at 16/17. A lot of getting my apprenticeship is down to my wonderful mum as she found the scheme ran locally for me and I took it from there and it ended up being the best year I've ever had and I passed with a high standard of work in Business and Administration. The placement I got wasn't just learning basic office skills for me, it gave me the biggest confidence boost and that was noticed in my first few weeks by those I worked with. My biggest office fear was the phone, when it rang I froze up. I don't know what it is about the telephone that makes humans so terrified. However a few weeks later, I was the first contact point for people using the services. Even the smallest accomplishments made me realise I had made the right choice and now I'm in my second full time job, with even more responsibilities and there's no way I would of gotten here by sitting on my arse for a year still not knowing. Without these jobs and my own time I wouldn't of been able to do some very exciting things such as go all over the country for days and weeks at a time, for no real reason but because "Why not, it'll be fun!"and those becoming some of my fondest memories.
The only thing about not going to university that gets to me is that constant feeling of I'm missing out. My friends are going to parties where I'm sat at home with a cup of tea thinking about the next day and my calender. My friends are finding new friends and relationships and I'm not. I also don't deal well with missing people. The past two years have taught me one main lesson about growing up: You won't stay friends with everyone, but it's the people that make the effort to keep in contact and see you that mean so much more. There are unfortuantley a handful of people who make the "I'll see you when I'm next back" promise who I know it's just words to, and I've accepted that. That's growing up.
I'm not saying I'll never not go,that could change, I could change, my interests could change but at least I have comfort in knowing I made the right choice right now, even if I do doubt myself at times. To those friends who are at Uni, I am so happy and proud of you for finding your "thing" and what you're accomplishing... and I miss you all already and you've only just started or gone back. Can Christmas hurry up?