University had always ‘the dream’.
“Andi, you’ll be the first person to go to university from our family! That’s so amazing, you’re so clever, you can do it!”
Throughout school, I based every decision on this idea; my options, my extra curricular activities, my life outside of school…
It finally came to applying, and I really did not want to do it.
When I was younger, I had hopes of Cambridge or Oxford. My passions changed as I grew up – from forensic pathology to journalism to law – but my focus stayed the same, and university remained at the forefront of my mind. I often went for visits and overnight stays at both universities, experiencing the lifestyle, and getting to see what life would be like as a student.
After every trip, I would come home and the questions would be the same… “How did it go? Is it the one for you?!” And after every trip, my feelings would be the same – and then something clicked, or rather, it didn’t…
I didn’t fit in, and it just never felt right – regardless of what course I looked at, or where I looked at going, I just didn’t feel ‘it’. I wanted to be in love with the whole notion so much, and I simply wasn’t – I felt like I had failed!
One of the biggest factors that contributed to this was the drinking culture that often surrounds higher education and university – I rarely ever drink, and binge drinking is something that really does not appeal to me – old before my time, people always tell me!
As well as this, even the thought of being poor for three, or more, years of my life is enough to instil panic and anxiety, and I dread to think how I would cope if it actually happened! I recently saved £10,000 to put towards a house at some point in the future, and I would hate to have to spend that, just in order to live…
I’ve learnt that university is not the be all and end all of life – there are so many different avenues, so many different options that can all lead to success, and there is absolutely no reason to feel like you have failed, simply because you’ve avoided university! It definitely took me a while to realise this, but I’ve also learnt that my own happiness should always be at the forefront of my mind!
I have to do what’s best, and for me, that simply isn’t university!