Upon completing (somehow!) my A-level studies in the Summer of 2010 I made the decision not to go to university. It was a decision that took quite a bit of soul-searching, a few heated discussions and was met with more than a few quirked eyebrows, but, for me, it was the right decision and one I (think I) stand by to this day.
There were numerous reasons behind my eventual decision none more important than the fact that I quite simply did not really feel the desire to go. I had no burning degree ambition. I had no desperation to further study a subject and perhaps most importantly my heart was never in it.
It seemed wrong, to me, when so many were desperate for a place on a course and a path to 'steal' such a desired spot as a result of little more than achieving a certain amount of UCAS points. In addition, the idea of another three years of academia practically gave me a migraine.
Two years down the line having worked from a voluntary position up to a secure full time 'big girl' job I can say that it paid off for me. Many times over the last two years I've wondered if I'd have been better furthering my education instead of stomping along the same sodden streets at 8:20 every morning to a job with no pay and the question mark of 'what am I going to do nowww' hanging over me.
However, whilst with two years experience behind me, a high level qualification certificate firmly stored in a safe place (read : I dont quite remember but it's in my house somewhere) and the thought of assiting with a brand new class of bright eyed seven year olds full time come the 4th of September, I do feel content, I've also got that little voice whispering in my ear 'what if?'
You know the one. The one that seems to sneak up on you when you're having a quiet five minutes, usually when you're painting your nails or completing some other task that could really do with your full attention you know? It sneaks up on you and kind of punches you in the face and you mope around a bit for a day or two like 'what does this mean?!' (With lots of dramatic sighing) I'm happy I didn't go to university, I'm happy I didn't plonk myself in a course that I wasn't fully committed to and commit to three years I didn't really want. Hearing my friends though, with their fantastic achievements and their hilarious experiences I can't help but wonder if I'm missing out.
I set on this journey to feel like an 'adult' to pay my own way and simply to work. Now work is what I do and whilst I love it with every fibre of me most of the time (minus 11am on a Wednesday when the kids can't do their maths work and don't want to know how to do their maths work and etc etc etc) I feel a little like maybe I missed the chance to really go crazy and enjoy my adolescence.
I'm pretty sure from what I've gleaned from twitter, from conversations and from (gasp) real life people ; this is a common way to feel. And yet, I'm still not sure how to proceed. Do I merely accept that I've chosen this path, that I'm only really looking at student life in a romanticised way. Or, do I throw caution to the wind and look into my other options?
Within the next two years I aim to begin a part-time degree alongside working fulltime. I'm hoping that whilst I wont get the nightlife (not that I'm that much of a night person anyway - god knows I fall asleep on my favourites enough!) I might get a little taste of what it is I feel I'm lacking right now. A degree, as it were, is necessary for the path I want to follow - to having my own little class one day instead of assisting with one.
Perhaps I'm making up problems in my own mind, lord knows it wouldn't be the first time, but have you ever felt like this? Did you go to university or did you not and how, if so or if not, did you make this decision?
As always I'm incredibly intrigued into your insights.