Saturday, 16 August 2014

On doing what you want

At the ripe old age of 22, I am still figuring out what I actually want to do with my life. And so far, I don't really have much to go on.

I finished school at 18 with some pretty good grades and I went to my first choice of university (albeit Bath Spa) in a city where I knew no one, and where I had never even been before. My parents had to go back to work (abroad) before I started at university, and I still remember the day when my auntie dropped me off with all my stuff, and I was literally begging her, in the hallway, not to leave me. Being an incredibly sensible and down to earth person, she told me I would be fine and left. I went upstairs to my room and cried for about an hour, then decided that crying was stupid and that I should start unpacking. Halfway through, someone knocked at my door and I thought I was going to do a poo in my pants. At the door was a guy who introduced himself as Owen, who asked if I wanted to come down to the kitchen, so I did. And my goodness I'm glad I did go down and meet everyone, because I don't think it would have been quite the same if I'd just stayed in my room. I put myself out there. Kind of. Owen also became the friend I did everything with. Virtually all my stories from my first year of uni involve him, including getting kicked out of a club for looking like I was on drugs (I wasn't, by the way, I was just really happy), running around campus acting like sheep and going on a late night/early morning hunt for chocolate from the vending machines.

But yes, first year was amazing: I had a great time and made some lovely friends, and of course met Dave. It was all good. Second year rolled around and things went a little downhill - friends, work, uni - all a bit pants really. I had started working for a cookery school at the end of my first year, and then found a second job during the summer between first and second year at Boots. By the time October came, I was working 2 jobs, I was doing regular uni stuff and my boyfriend worked full time (I also worked Sundays so we only ever had Saturday together). My time was pretty precious, so I quit the job at the cookery school. I was reluctant to do this as it was a great experience: I met some famous chefs and got to learn all about bread from Richard Bertinet himself (also got shown how to wash up by him but that is a less glamorous memory). The pay, however, was rubbish, and I mostly worked for 11-13 hours at a time without a break. I vividly remember my first day at Boots: I worked from 6am at the cookery school, finishing at 2 or something, then I biked it down to Boots for 2:30 and finished at 10pm.

During my second year I was living with three other friends who I'd lived with during my first year in a house that someone had decorated quite...imaginatively. Basically, we had an orange living room, green and blue stairs, a lilac bathroom and I had a fairly bright blue bedroom. We also had a crazy neighbour who insisted we were as bad as her previous student neighbours (think loud parties - the worst we did was run up and down the stairs). One of my main regrets was that I didn't spend enough time with the people I lived with: I found it too difficult to give everything to everyone and things just started slipping. While working at Boots I met some brilliant people, and we went on a few nights out, most of which are now a blur. One memory I still have is my friend Paddy drawing cats on frosted up cars on the longest journey home in the world.

I moved out of the rainbow house at the end of my second year and moved in with Dave. This is an example of just doing what you want. I wanted to, he wanted to (with just a teeeeensy bit of convincing), so we did. The end. We moved into a weird house/flat thing opposite somewhere which may or may not have been a brothel (lots of people going in and out at all hours of the day) and above a warehouse. On Wednesdays, the delivery came, and we were woken by a foul mouthed, racist man, cursing like it was going out of fashion. My friend Lee insisted that our house was like a caravan, and it kind of was, but I loved it. We stayed there for 2 years with our hamster, Nigel, who sadly died recently from suspected skin cancer.

At the end of my third year, I managed to get myself a 2:1 and I was pretty proud of myself as I sweated like a beast at Bath Abbey during my graduation. I was quite chuffed with my 2:1, because it meant I got £4000 funding for my PGCE! At this point I had it very clear in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, up until about February 2014, halfway through the most gruelling year of my life, I wanted to be a teacher. Then application time rolled around and I just didn't feel ready. Don't worry, I finished the course and I have my qualification etc etc.

Yes, I wanted to teach children and have a rewarding job and enjoy the challenges of every day being different. I wanted to listen to children and make a difference to their lives and be that one teacher that they remembered singing 'We went to the animal fair..' (we sang it every single day). But I didn't want to assess them, cause them to panic, or attempt to explain, for the hundredth time, how to add two numbers together when I knew that they just weren't ready. I didn't want to make them read nonsense words just so that they could pass their phonics test, and I didn't want to battle with the noise when getting them to line up. Maybe I will want to, after I've had a break, but right now, it's just not for me.

So I've just got the job working for Max Factor, and I'm super excited to do something completely different (see the theme here? I like to try new things). No, it's not related to my degree, it's not with children, and yes, it's pretty low paid, but I am only 22. I still have time to do these things. I haven't travelled, and I've never not known what I want to do. So please, if you have gotten to the end of this incredibly long rant, just do what you want to do. Not what you think you should do, or what other people say you should do, do what you want to do. They don't have to face the consequences of your decisions. You do. Apologies for this essay, but please keep this in mind, whether you are unsure of what your future holds or whether you want to give advice to someone. Just make sure that what you do makes you happy, and if it doesn't, do something about it! With love xxx

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean I'm about to enter my final year of uni and I'm so scared as I have no idea what I am going to do! I've nominated you for the Liebster award, so I'd love if you could take part in it! x