Thursday, 17 April 2014

Too Old For University?!

*Image from Pinterest.
It seems to be quite the norm these days to go straight from school into higher education, and whilst there is nothing at all wrong with that I often wonder whether or not young people are being given proper guidance about the options available to them after they leave school. In my opinion far too many people jump at the chance of a place at university even though they have no idea what they want to do or even what their course of choice entails. I think a lot of people probably feel some sort of pressure on them, especially with the job situation at the moment, but I think you need to be really sure that higher education is for you. I left school with excellent Higher results which got me an unconditional place on an English Literature course at Glasgow University. Why English lit you say? Simple really. I was good at it in school. 

Its no surprise that a year and a half later I dropped out. I hated the course, and as a result I stopped doing the work I needed to do in order to get good grades. It was quite disheartening going from As to Ds, and it made me realize how little I cared about the subject after all. The whole time I spent at GU I felt as though life was just passing me by. All I felt was stressed and anxious, which is something no 19 year old should ever feel. I was super scared to tell my mum and dad that I wanted to withdraw, but they were really supportive and understood my decision. My adviser of study also said I could pick up were I left off as long as there was space for me when I came back. Of course I didn't want to go back. I started working full time, mainly in a nightclub and got myself a senior position in my cashier job. The money wasn't amazing but I feel like I gained so much life experience and employability skills in those short two years. Around that time I also started to toy around with the idea of running a blog. Of course it took me a long time to build up the confidence to do it and only last August 'The China doll Diaries' was born. 

Now at the more mature age of 22 I decided to go back to university, and I'm pretty glad I did. By this time I had had enough time to decide that I wanted to go down the teaching or journalism route (maybe even both) and I saw university as a way to gain my dream career, rather than just something to fill up my time. Don't get me wrong it is slightly daunting to think that I would have graduated last summer. But, in a subject I hate with zero life experience and no idea of what I truly wanted to do. I feel a lot more relaxed this time around, and now that I'm studying something I actually enjoy my grades are soaring again. I've also found that the more mature me is more likely to ask for help when she needs it! Something which I was so bad at the first time around. It is strange to think that by the end of the year some of my friends will be earning double the salary I was on when I worked full time while I class myself as a poverty stricken student. But I don't consider myself lagging behind. Sure it would be lovely to have a mortgage, or be in the position to pay of my student debt but its only a few years of my life and this time I'm pursuing a career rather than a job. And now when it comes to graduation I'll have so much more to put on my CV from managing business social media to running my very own blog! 

So what is the point in this post? I guess I just wanted to let people know that its OKAY if you don't know what you want to do with your life. Believe me when I say I know 30 somethings who still don't know what they want to do. So don't be fooled into thinking higher education is the only way forward for you, it might be an option yes, but it doesn't have to happen straight away. Gap years are a great way to get some life experience through travelling or working or even volunteering. I just wish that the teachers in my school had given us more information on what our options were. It was pretty much higher education or nothing, and that shouldn't be the case. Do what you want to do and pursue the dreams you want to pursue, because you will only be young once. 

Are any of you about to leave school or has anyone experienced any of these issues before? Let me know what you think?


  1. So true, I went straight to uni after school and went from course to course, finally left for fulltime work and went back to uni at 25 to do my nursing degree..I jut went to uni t 18 as it was the done thing x

    1. Yeah I think a lot of the time its schools or parents who push people into higher education!! Well done on the nursing though, thats a fab and rewarding job!! xxxxxx

  2. This is a great post Lisa, great points very well made. I didn't go into higher education till I was 28, and I'm so glad that I waited. I appreciated it far more, and loved my time there. I've added this post to StumbleUpon I hope you don't mind, its should be read, will tweet it too. Have a great day, hugs x


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