Monday, 16 January 2017

Leaving Education & Pretending to Adult

Here's a scary subject to broach, no more education. Schools out, college is complete and university is finito. What now? For someone who enjoys learning, working on projects and striving to get good marks, the idea of finishing education and leaving it all behind was a bit bewildering. Lunchbox in hand, I marched off to school at the age of 4. And after primary came high school, followed by sixth form college (and then there was that weird bump in the road when I had a surprise gap year) to finally reaching university and completing a three year undergrad degree. I did it! I did it and it all went by so quickly. And then I was thrown out into the big wide world to fend for myself and earn proper money and pay bills.

There's always post graduate degrees of course. Or studying abroad. Or travelling for a bit whilst trying not to think about your impending doom.

At first being free of education seemed like quite a novel idea. Now my life can start I thought. How wrong I was. I'd advise you not to think that way because your life has already begun and you've been living it all this time without really noticing. I was apprehensive about where my paths would take me but I was ready to take them and get going. So you potter along doing that grown up stuff for a year or two and things can be going really well. They were for me, I had my own business at the age of 22 and although I wasn't making very much money I was my own boss, using my creativity and passion to do a job I loved (and still do)! But occasionally this thundercloud of realisation sweeps in and I'll have a mini meltdown when I understand that this is it. Either make this work or find another job, but this is it. Education was a bit of a safety net. You don't realise it at the time but it's ok if you're only earning pennies working in a cafe or doing a bar job at the weekends because you are 'supporting your studies'. It's even ok if you're not working at all because you know, exams. Being a student is the perfect excuse for laziness and there's zero pressure to be really good at your job, or move up in the company, or have wild aspirations because it's only temporary. You're working towards a bigger goal.

The education system lays it out nice and clearly. You do your schooling in the right order and you do as you're told. You won't advance unless you pass your exams of course, but you will pass, because you want to and you work hard and your teachers want you to too. Or you can stop at some point and join the real world a bit earlier than others. But away you go! Now you're walking across the stage at your graduation ceremony like look what I did aren't I just great but you've no clue what you're supposed to do now. Get a job they say, be an adult. With this piece of paper? It's a bit harder than it looks. I think we're all just pretending to be adults while we figure out how to do it properly. Or maybe we never do. Maybe our parents and teachers and bosses are still pretending too.

At 25 I've seen many people my age and younger who seem to have all their shit together. They know what they want and they are out there getting it. Why aren't they flapping like the rest of us? On the whole I don't think I'm doing too badly and how silly it would be to whine or moan about having to deal with life when so many wonderful things come from doing a bit of growing up. But I'll leave you with this... I have no idea what I'm really doing. And I have a sneaky suspicion that no one else does either. But shh, just go along with it and try not to panic when you come to realise there isn't a 'correct' next step. Good luck finding your own route (or even deciding on the destination).

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1 comment

  1. LOVE THIS!!! I'm totally feeling this, been really thinking about this the last wee while having just left my job and having a major freak out about what i'm going to do with my life! Aaah! Thank you for sharing this!

    Rachael xx.


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