Since September is the month everyone starts and goes back to university, I thought now would be an appropriate time to discuss my experiences at university!
Here's a bit of background.
Since I can remember I'd always wanted to be a teacher, that was until I got to university. I started my degree in Education and Early Years in 2013, thinking that it was what I wanted to do. I chose to stay at home and travel to and from my house everyday because I didn't think I'd like living away from my parents, or living in student accommodation because I'm so shy. This turned out to be my first major issue! I missed freshers and wasn't on campus all day everyday so I didn't really meet anyone other than my two friends who also picked the same university and course as me, and the group of girls that were in my class. Thankfully we were all in the same class so we had the exact same timetable so there wasn't really any need for us to mix with everyone.
Within the first couple of weeks of being there I was already hating the course, travelling and just university life in general. My parents convinced me that I just needed to get used to being in university because it was so different. The more I stayed there the more miserable I was getting. I was doing my assignments the day before they were due. Everything was stressing me out and I was just becoming really anxious about everything.
The actual work in university wasn't the issue. Yes, I hated it, and I did all my work the day before it was due. But I actually got a first and a 2:1 in all my work, so the lecturers didn't really understand when I said I wasn't enjoying it. My parents also didn't want me to drop out so after passing first year with a high grade I just went back for second year thinking I'd be able to worm my way through.
I actually loved my part time job that I was also trying to juggle and for some reason thought it was a good idea to work all weekend and then fit shifts in before and after my university lectures. It stopped me thinking about university and I was surrounded by familiar people and people I got on with. By the end of November I was having all kinds of tests done in the doctors because I'd made myself ill from being so anxious and nervous all the time.
In January 2015, half way through my second year I decided enough was enough and left. It was making me ill and I was just generally hating life. I had no idea what I was going to do, and I still don't.
'University drop out'.
At first when I left university I felt like a complete failure. People think it's an easy decision and you're just giving up because you can't be bothered but it's something I'd thought about for over a year. Every time someone mentioned anything about university I just wanted to cry, I didn't know what to say to them, and I knew they were judging my decision. I also knew that my parents really didn't want me to drop out and although they tried their best to convince me they were happy with the decision I made, I still know that they would've loved for me to stay there and get a degree.
At the time I was constantly questioning myself if I'd made the right decision, but now I'm really glad I did leave because I'm so much happier in myself. I still at the age of 20 have no idea what I want to do for a career, but I know understand that no job or earnings are worth having if you're miserable.
I've also spoken to a lot of people who actually agree with me that it wasn't worth being there if I wasn't enjoying it. There are hundreds of people out there who have a degree that aren't even using the degree in their current jobs anyway.
There's also the option to go back when I'm ready to study something I actually will enjoy anyway. I tried and I've learnt that there's no point doing something half hearted. You're most likely going to feel like a failure when you do decide to leave, and people are going to question you why. But eventually people get bored of asking and you learn to just get on with life.
Society makes a huge fuss that you spend 15 years in school and then you have to go straight to university to get a degree. You can actually attend university at any age so you don't have to go straight into university. The most important thing is that you decide on something that makes you happy. University or not, it's your choice.