So if you don’t know already, I’m a drop out.
I’m one of those disappointments, those quitter-type people.
I’m at the young (yes, young) age of 28 right now, but a few years back at around aged 19; I set off for the University of Bolton with wide eyes and big hopes. I weren’t at all nervous about starting uni, because I’d had an amazing college experience. After leaving school, I did three years on an Art and Design course at a local college; and it was the best time ever. I made friends for life, developed my skills, encouraged my passions and felt like I was truly at home. So with some great grades (showing off now) I headed to a university I thought was right for me and looked forward to starting a new adventure.
It all gets a bit tricky from here on out though. I had a great group of friends immediately, and in fact my best friend from college had joined me at the same university and on the same Graphic Design course (we were inseparable LOL). It was fantastic. That first year was just a haze of drunken nights, laughter and being absolute dicks. I looooved it. However the whole reason I went to uni was to learn, obviously. Was I actually doing this? Nope. I hated my classes, I wasn’t inspired, I avoiding doing work and I didn’t care about skipping lectures. By the end of the year, even though I adored the class I was in (just due to my friends tbh) I realised I wasn’t going to get anywhere carrying on that way. So I decided to take action.
At the end of first year, I sat down and had a serious talk with one of my tutors. I told her Uni wasn’t quite going the way I wanted. After a long talk about why this might be, we came to the conclusion that a switch in course might be the best thing to do. I missed doing hands on, creative artwork. I missed painting, working with different textures, and exploring a range of styles; so I switched to Fine Art instead. The only thing was, I had to start all over again. This wouldn’t count toward my degree, I was going to start year one again, *sigh*. But it’d be worth it in the end, right?
So I started all over again, on a brand new course. I felt sad to leave my friends, but I had to try find something I loved. Unfortunately, Fine Art didn’t go too well either. I won’t beat around the bush here guys – I had crap tutors. I really hated them. They were unhelpful, snooty, patronising and boring. None of them inspired me or challenged me. In fact, they were so disinterested nobody noticed I hadn’t done any work for almost a year. I made a few friends on this course (including Laura!), but to be honest I was really distant. I made no effort to be social, I felt lost, and due to a toxic relationship I was going through a really depressing time. So even though friends asked me on nights out/parties/etc I always turned them down. It was probably the least social I’ve ever been. I lasted 2 years on that course before I finally decided to quit. I knew I only had to do one more year to get my degree, and countless people told me I was being a dick for quitting; but I couldn’t help it. I honestly felt like I wouldn’t survive another year, I was miserable at Uni. So finally… I just stopped going.
I could try pretend that I was responsible and at least worried a little, or even wondered if I’d made a mistake; but I won’t lie. I have never once regretted it and I never once wish I’d stayed. In fact, I’m really happy that I took action when something was making me so unhappy. Soon after I left University, I had my heart broken, I had to move back in at my Mum’s, and I had no job. I’ve spoke about this time before, because it was the worst time of my life to be honest. But the sad part is that my Dad then died, and the last few months of his life he only saw me at my unhappiest/most lost. However throughout all this, I still never regretted leaving University.
Time moves on as it always will, and things started to get better. After a few years, I can now say I’m working for myself, and I’m one of the only people out of all the friends I made at University; who is actually doing something creative/remotely related to the course they were on. I’m pretty proud of that. I feel so much more determined, motivated and inspired these days to go after what I want – and I have confidence knowing that I can achieve things even without a degree.
I left University because I wasn’t getting anything out of it, and I was truly miserable there. It was affecting everything in my life, and sending me into a deep depression; so I felt like it was a huge relief to leave. I’ve learned that you can still go far without a degree too, and I’ve gotten such a range of valuable work experience now. Just to be clear here – I know that being a freelance creator isn’t easy, and I’m not “successful” by many standards. But I would like to note now that before I went self employed, I managed to bag a full time management job in a huge social media company. I was in charge of a small group of people, and numerous business accounts. It was a fantastic job with great prospects, and I had no relevant experience or qualifications before it. I managed to achieve it through perseverance and a passion for the industry (this blog was a huge reason they hired me). So it’s comforting to know that University isn’t the only way.
Some of you may think I’m crazy for leaving that job, and I totally get it! But it was very corporate, and I didn’t feel it was truly ‘me’. Once again, I left a situation because following my passion is more important than money, prospects… or wise decisions. Haha. No, really, I’m still glad I left there.
So yeah, that’s the story of why I left Uni, and why I’ve never regretted it. I hope anyone considering University or even considering leaving Uni sees this as helpful, in knowing there isn’t only one path you should take. I’m in no way at all saying Uni is bad either! University can be amazing for some people, and obviously it can be a serious MUST for some professions too.
But if you truly believe it’s not quite for you? That’s okay 🙂
Basically just have a good long think, and trust your gut!
Thanks for reading guys!
SORRY THIS WAS LONG AF.
*Any items sent for review are written about 100% honestly and in my own words. Sometimes collaborative content and partnerships with brands will appear on this blog. Affiliates links are used throughout this blog.