In January last year, I had 5 offers to study English Literature in September 2013. I'd confirmed one, turned down the rest, and my life was pretty much set for the next 3 years. Except, I was unhappy (lightest use of the word ever). I felt like I wasn't ready for Uni, I spent all my time on websites looking up 'gap year' plans, and I signed up to various sites for Au pairs. Every time I'd mention it to my family, I would be shouted down. People didn't understand. Surely, you've had years to think of this, to think of what you want to do. Why is this so difficult? Go to university or get a job. Simple. No either or. These are just some of the things I heard when I bought up how unsure I was of my future.
We spend our lives being told we cannot do this or that, being told we're not 'ready' for the real world, to focus on the here and now. Do your homework, don't do drugs, eat your greens. And then suddenly you are 18, and you're being told you have to decide whether you want to go to University or get a job. Stay in your town or travel the world. Suddenly, everything which seemed so far away is the here and now. And you have 9 months to make this life-altering choice. Everyone has been telling you to live whilst you're young, but now that way of life is not okay anymore. You need to take responsibility.
|My 18th- The Day I Became an Adult (featuring the gorgeous Evie)|
Unfortunately, our education system can be a little bit crap in terms of preparation for the outside world. There are things we do learn which at the time make you sweat puddles of stress into your text book, and most of those, after one exam, you will never think of again. Then, there are the bits they won't even begin to teach you in school. These are the things that slap you across the face when you're holding your A Level results in your bedroom surrounded by Beanie Babies and posters of Zac Efron. How to pay your taxes. How to write a cover letter (what even is a cover letter). How to walk away from that guy at the bar who just won't leave you alone...
But thanks for the lessons in trigonometry.
So how are we meant to make our life choices, when we've never been taught anything about life? I'd never been in a situation where I'd had a gut instinct so opposing to what the rest of the world wanted me to do. In secret I pulled out of the University process, I knew 100% I wanted to be an Au pair, and I found a host family. All without telling my parents, and it was the best life choice I've ever made. There was nothing they could do, and after a bit of 'coming round' time, they gave me their full support.
|Leaving England for 8months at 3am|
I guess the point of this not-so-little ramble post (back to rambling Alice), is to go with your instincts. And remember it is your life. People can advise and dictate and moan and groan, but essentially, you are in control of your own decisions. If you want to be a rocket scientist, be a rocket scientist. If you want to be a Kim K tribute act, then you go girl. Albert Einstein said (that's right, I'm the kinda girl who can quote Einstein):
'Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.'
I knew last year, I wasn't ready for university. And this year thinking about how happy I am now and just how awful I felt back then, only confirms it all for me. If you're not happy, if you don't know where you're going in life, if you don't want to follow the hoards and get into thousands of pounds worth of debt, then do your own thing. Because I did, and I know I'm exactly where I should be right now.
Ciao for Now! x