I am struggling with how to even begin trying to explain my journey of education since leaving Sixth form....basically now, it's non-existent.
My history summarised:
The beginning -
I applied for Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion (yes, the LCF).
I then got an interview and got a place there.
In Summer, I rejected the place and switched course to do English Literature at Cardiff University. (This was because I wasn't confident that I wanted to specialise my degree in the fashion industry.)
I dropped out because of health reasons beyond my control, I didn't even get a chance to set foot onto the campus. This was probably a blessing in disguise of a piece of crap. This time of my life was wonderful for giving me the same feeling that stepping in a pile of dog unpleasantries gives, over and over again. My face was the shoe. :)
Enter unplanned gap year number one.
The end -
One year later, I found myself doing English Literature at Exeter University and dropped out after one week. Hilarious, yes, one week - but my gut was screaming no and I listened and ran. TTFN.
What can I say, University was not for me. The universe tried to tell me. I always hated the idea and the reality was even worse. It is not something I fancy now or fancied then. From the boozy nights out to the lecturers droning on sending me into an early grave talking about Dickens - everything was wrong.
Growing up I always thought that I would go to University. I was a brainy little dork child. I loved learning in the early stages of my life. When exams started, I began hating it even though I still prospered and excelled. I am a high achiever and I work hard at everything I do. The majority of my family had gone to University and exceptionally good ones too. My Mum went to Oxford and that trend also runs in the family. There was no pressure at all for me to apply there, so I didn't because that level of hardcore learning definitely wasn't for me but I still felt compelled to go to some form of learning place..
I guess my mindset was that I'd worked so hard at school that I wanted to put my knowledge and efforts to use by going. Plus, everyone goes to Uni so why wouldn't I? It gets you a good degree so that you can get a job and start 'adulting'. Also, what other option was there? Work in a shop, a farm or cry myself to sleep as a homeless girl? The other options didn't look bright to me, so I put on a brave, fake smile and jumped happily when I saw my acceptance letter from Exeter to study English.
There's a massive amount of pressure on teens to go to University and get degrees. There are so many people going to Uni and getting into debt that it's the absolute norm - I am the freak here.
For starters, when I left, I immediately found myself wearing the 'dropout' badge. Along with the dropout badge come some serious life questions, the majority of which I have no suitable answers to..
'What are you going to do now?'
Cry. I am going to cry.
'Have you thought this through properly?'
Nah, not one thought has gone into it. I'm stuffed.
'Are you just going to work in a shop? I mean, there are good opportunities there I guess...'
Yeah, McDonald's has some openings, just give me my apron now.
'But WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!'
Because the devil controls me.
Basically, people could NOT fathom the fact that I had dropped out of University with no clear plan or alternative direction. To be honest, half the time neither can I, so they certainly add fuel to the fire. I find myself experiencing dropout side-effects. Here's the low down;
Wandering, random career thoughts
A bird feeder you say? Why I'm sure they don't need a BA in Birds! No..I have a fear of winged animals..
Minor, internal and external panic attacks inspired by anything..
Often when asked questions by any person, relating to my state in life. Story-time: The postman asked me if I was OK, I was not - internal panic attack. He never talks, I must look really bad..I sob into my parent's mail.
Increase in tissue use
As a dropout you find yourself lost in life while watching snapchat stories of your Uni friends raving every second. Meanwhile you pet your dog and retire to a life of the unknown.
Internet searches that lead nowhere
Career paths that don't need degrees often end with depressing result searches. I panic close the tabs. I don't accept the truth of Google.
Doubt, doubt and more doubt
All I can say is there is much doubt to be done....
Why couldn't I be normal. Why?! Screw Uni.
On the whole, being a 'dropout' isn't fun at all. In fact, it is the hardest time of my life so far (I know, boo-hoo but I'm still a sapling so allow). I still don't have a clear direction that I want to go in. I have toyed with the idea of going back to University and then find myself being slapped by my conscience or my dog.
It is the massive failure in the school system that alternative options are not hyped up to school-leavers. It's Uni or Uni or a life of decay and forbidden lands. For now I have found myself a job and that will keep me going. I will write a blog post about what I want to achieve this year and I think I am slowly but surely creating an exciting plan B for myself.
I wanted to write this post because dropping out of University is snubbed. Sure, it's seen as 'brave' by some but not really for a commendable reason. It's the kind of brave that's identical to jumping off a cliff with sharks with open jaws waiting for you at the bottom. It gets you some looks thrown your way - puzzled side-eyes, worried gazes and hugs that you didn't ask for and demanding questions that you want to reply to with curse words. But people will be people and they don't mean it. They just can't understand why you'd voluntarily jump into the sharks and I get it. I guess I am suicidal. But I'm sure I can prove y'all wrong.
love the drop out.