Ahhhh university… The place that highly resembles any other educational institution you’ve already attended. But without your parents’ supervision. And with lots of coffee. To me, it definitely didn’t resemble any of those crazy American movies where students party every weekend making me think I was doing it wrong. And it turned out, that what I was doing wrong was being at uni in the first place. Why? Well, let me tell you about it and explain why it’s okay to put going to university on hold.
Now, I went to uni myself. More than that, I moved to London for the sole purpose of going to university here. I spent three years stressing out and pulling my hair out of my head, living in the library to finally get a degree I thought I wanted so much. But the moment I got that piece of paper I felt… Lost. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with it or what I have spent three years learning for. Then I got my first full-time job in that field and ended up quitting it when I realised I wasn’t really cut out for that.
And that’s fine.
I mean, I’m not entirely cool about being £30k in debt, but I’ll learn to live with that at some point.
I’m not here to tell you that university is all bad and horrible and you shouldn’t even consider further education because that’s not true. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to choose your path straight after you finish school. I’m here to tell you that…
It’s okay if you’re not ready
I was expected to choose what I wanted to do at the age of 17, apply for the right courses and hope I will never change my mind about the career path I chose. Let’s be honest, not many people will be sure what their ideal role is at that age. Or when they’re 18. 19. Even in their twenties. So why does everyone expect us to make such a big decision when all we want to do is hang out with our friends and stay in PJs all day long? I’d choose an extra episode on Netflix over applying to universities all day back then. I chose my course because I was okay with it. It wasn’t my passion but it seemed alright and I really wanted to move to London. I made my decision for all the wrong reasons and ended up with a degree in one field, while I wanted to work in something completely different. And I really wish someone could have told me back then to think about it a bit more.
Don’t let the world pressure you
And, oh, it will pressure you for sure. We live in a society in which you have to be doing something with your life to be considered ‘of worth‘. Everything feels so rushed – it’s like there are certain time restrictions and age limits by which you need to achieve certain things. By 25 you should already be on a career ladder, ideally with a Masters degree, and fighting your way to the top. By 30 you should have your own house which is only possible (not always) if you’re already halfway through on that career ladder you started climbing years before. It creates so much pressure put on our shoulders at a very young age. And if you’re at uni you’ll probably know that – at least once you looked around your class at the 100+ people and thought “Wow we are all studying to get jobs in the same field. And that’s just ONE uni. The competition is real“. It is. There will always be many people you’ll have to be competing against for a job you want. And to go through all of that, you really need to be passionate about it.
Take time to learn who you are
I know there are so many people out there who have known exactly who they are since they were little. I’ve been more of a child who wanted to be a princess on a Monday but by Friday I dreamt of being a firefighter. Only recently have I started to learn what I actually want from life. I found my dream career and am working towards that. I’m 23 years old and now I know all of that. But it doesn’t mean that it will be the same for everyone. Some people don’t know what they want to do until they’re 30. Or 40. Or any other age. So just because your friends seem to have their life plan figured out, it doesn’t mean you should too. Don’t be afraid to try different things and look within yourself who you really are and what makes you happy. Because once you find that out and work to make a living out of it, you’ll be a lot happier.
So if you feel like you’re not exactly sure what you would want to study or what job is for you – take your time. Explore. There are so many opportunities waiting for you, but they will still be there whether you go to university straight after school or not. Don’t be afraid to wait to find the life you want to live.
Until next time xx
What are your thoughts about going to university?
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Disclaimer: Not all images in this post belong to me. They come from lovely Paula from Thirteen Thoughts who shared stock photos for everyone to use on their website. Check it out and get your own!