Mental Health, University

For Those At The ‘Drop Out’ Crossroads

Throughout my life, I have known many people venture away from home to begin a new educational chapter. During this time, I have learned there is sadly a massive amount of stigma that comes in association with those who ‘throw in the towel’. Whether this said towel throwing is due to failure of academics, change of heart or just because, you are encouraged to explore all other options than the dreaded ‘drop out’.University is not for everyone. Your university might be two minutes from your house, it may take two days travel to be treated to a famous Mumma’s roast dinner. Nevertheless,

University is not for everyone. Your university might be two minutes from your house, it may take two days travel to be treated to a famous Mumma’s roast dinner. Nevertheless,  a university is a big adjustment and cannot suit all types of person.

I, myself, for example, was very worried about moving away to university; I have very doting parents who do a lot for me and are incredibly generous. Moving away was this big looming ominous cloud that had an angry frown and evil rainy eyes, yet I have loved (almost) every minute and the skies suddenly cleared. Adversely, some profoundly confident people I know did not want to go to university or decided it simply ‘wasn’t for them’, whatever this happens to mean for each individual person.

I do not think it is fair to try and fit each individual into the Big Bad University Criteria. Even though most teenagers are advised to go to college, it is profoundly difficult to try and figure out which path in life we wish to take. At 20 I still struggle to decide what I want for breakfast in the morning, yet I also had to decide at 16 what career path I wanted to pursue. At such an age you think almost every questionable decision is a good one, whether it is that dodgy top from New Look or that boy in your science class with brown eyes.

In light of this, sometimes we make the right decisions and we choose a direction we can blossom into, enjoy, perhaps even love in years to come. This is absolutely fine, you nailed it. Sometimes, we also make the wrong choices – we do a few silly things and just wing it for a bit, working odd jobs we laughed at in our younger years. This is also fine and dandy, you nailed it.

I am currently at the ‘Drop Out Crossroads’. I have a decision to make. This tatty old signpost in the middle of nowhere has one arrow pointing to ‘JOB’ and the other pointing to ‘UNI’. Every job I look to apply for I am consequently informed I have zero work experience, making me an invalid candidate to some degree (university pun not intended). Sure. Okay. Yet, I also soon discover, in order to gain ‘said experience’ I need the ‘said job’ and thus the vicious cycle continues. Houston we have a problem. Alternatively, I could stay in university and redo the year that became a little pear-shaped. ‘Big grown up’ Lucy must consider – is this realistic with my current ambitions? Would this decision make me happy?

As for now, I am undecided. But I will figure it out. As will every one of you out there -those of you who are camping out next to me under the tatty old signpost where the paint is peeling, and those who are fresh-faced in your college classroom with half of WHSmith in your backpack.

Here is a reminder from Tim Burton to those who feel that they’re drowning under the waves of life – ‘the sea leads to many places deary, maybe you’ll land somewhere better.’

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