University… Should I stay or should I go?

It’s that scary time of year for a lot of young people right now where they are packing up all their belongings to head off to University. This post will be about my education journey and how I would have maybe done things a little differently if I had the chance to go back and do over.

I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career. I always said I wanted to be a Teacher but that was purely down to the fact that they have so many holidays. Not enough of a reason to motivate me in any possible way to study and get the grades I need to follow that career path.

I ended up doing 3 years at college. I spent a lot of time socialising and being hungover rather than attending any lessons. My attendance rate was pretty poor and in the first year I had tried, tested and dropped 3 subjects. I started doing courses in Dance, Sociology & Maths. The subjects that I actually completed at AS Level were Drama & Welsh. My grade in Welsh was far from great and I decided to start over and do that class again. In my 2nd Year I was doing my A Level in Drama, AS Level in English Language & Literature & AS Level in Welsh. Towards the end of the year I ended up dropping out of the Welsh class knowing that I hadn’t done enough work for the 2nd year running to try and sit the exam. By my third year I had an A Level in Drama which I achieved a B grade for and was sitting my A Level in English Language & Literature. 2 A Levels were not enough to get me into University so I took up Film Studies A Level as a fast track which is done in 1 year. By the end of my 3 years of no work and effort I managed to leave College with 2 B’s, 1 C in A Level & a D in AS Level. This was enough to get me into University and I was accepted to Bristol UWE.

 That Summer I spent with friends and family before September loomed closer. I was excited about going away and had done all the ‘Back to School’ shopping with my mother ready for the move to Bristol from Swansea. The first two weeks of Uni are a big huge drunken haze. I spent a lot of time out partying and meeting new people. Once freshers fortnight was over that’s when the work was supposed to start. I ended missing one of my very first lectures due to being tired and hungover. Not a great start.

When I finally did start going to the lectures and seminars I absolutely hated it. I was only in lessons for 6 whole hours a week! I had moved an hour and a half away from home and friends just to be taught for 6 hours a week. I literally couldn’t believe it. My lectures weren’t even on the campus I was living on so more often that not I was missing lectures because I couldn’t be bothered to travel for 45 minutes just for a one hour lecture. By the time it came to start writing essays and sitting exam papers before the term ended I had learnt nothing. Nothing except that I hated this new life and just wanted to be home. I used to get the train home nearly every weekend because I hated where I was and the thought of staying made me anxious and sick. I decided enough was enough and that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be in University any longer.

My final train back home was when I was going to tell my parents that I was dropping out of University. I hadn’t been feeling well all that week and was having quick bad chest pains. As soon as I got onto that train in Bristol Parkway I knew something was really wrong. My chest was tight and I was struggling to breathe, I was getting shooting pains down my left arm and I had pins and needles in the tips of my fingers which was travelling up my arms. I completely panicked. This was it a heart attack! I thought I was going to die on that train. I was crying loudly and everyone on the train was staring at me, but nobody came to help. What the hell was going on with me? What was wrong? I tried texting my father but my hands wouldn’t work. I tried phoning my mother but all I could do was cry, no words were coming out of my mouth. By the time the train arrived at the Cardiff platform I was going to get off and call for help. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. I really truly thought that was it and I was going to die on that train. It turns out that it was a panic attack. I spent the night in A+E trying to get my oxygen levels back up and my heart rate down. This is what the thought of having to stay at University had done to me. At this point I knew that dropping out was right for me. So when the new term started in January I didn’t go back.

I went and got a part time job after that and have been job hopping ever since. I still have no idea what I want to do with my future but one thing is for certain. That myself and Education really don’t get on.


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