So, some big(ish?) news today…
Your girl is starting a degree.
I think I’ve said this somewhere before, but the educational side of me has always felt unfulfilled ever since I left school. 16 was a really weird age for me and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at that time (and at 21 I still feel the same, but we’ll get onto that in a second). I didn’t want to go to college and uni really didn’t feel like my thing, so I was very stuck – it wasn’t because I didn’t have the passion to learn – I love learning and achieving and being educated on things, but the classroom / school environment really just wasn’t for me – full of people who didn’t want to be there, cliques, bitchiness, drama, stress etc. No thanks. I just wanted to learn and expand my mind as much as I could, but personally I knew that these places would do more harm to me than good and so I never went, simple as that. Like I said, I had no idea what I wanted to do either, so I would have been choosing subjects based on…well, nothing, I guess. I’ve always had the biggest passion for English and if I excel at one thing in life it’s that, however, I don’t really know what I would have done with an English degree and I feel like spending years working towards something that I wouldn’t have known what to do with once I’d achieved it…again, felt like a loss to me. I knew I was good at English, but was a degree in it really the answer? I was so lost and had no idea what I wanted to do, everything just felt very pointless to me at the time and it was disheartening because it felt like I was the only one that wasn’t doing the same as everybody else. Everyone I knew was going to college and university and then there was little old me not doing either of those things because I was so confused. Other people were trying to tell me they felt the same like “yeah I know what you mean, I’m lost too!” as they then proceeded to enrol in college and start picking out their university choices, which made me feel even more alone as I sat there thinking “yeah, you really don’t get it”.
Anyway, long story short, I ended up staying on for a year at the school I was currently at, so I did my first year of sixth form if you like and honestly, I ended up wasting a year of my life. (I feel like I’ve wasted many years of my life but that one for sure tops them all) – I achieved nothing. The place I was at was not prepared for a sixth form at all, the teachers never turned up and therefore neither did I because I’d end up having to trek over there every day just to come all the way back again because my lessons were constantly being cancelled. It was such a waste and I didn’t even want to be there in the first place, I’d just stayed on because I really didn’t know what else to do with myself. After that first year I knew I had to get out and that’s when I got an apprenticeship (which I hadn’t even thought about until that point otherwise I would have done it a year earlier) and that brings us up to today. I got an apprenticeship at the current place I’m working at and worked my way up, I’ve been promoted a few times over the few years I’ve worked there and I’m in a good / comfortable position where I am now at 21 and I hope things will continue to stay that way. I’m very proud of myself because I ended up just biting the bullet and doing what I wanted instead of following the rest of the crowd, because I knew that otherwise I wasn’t being true to myself.
However, back to the educational side of things. As I said, on the educational front I feel very unfulfilled because I want to be doing something with my brain and learning as much as I can. I’ve never known what I want to do in life and maybe I never will, but through having a good chat with a dear friend recently, I started to try and figure it out anyway. It’s a lot easier to list the things you don’t want rather than the things you do, and from this I managed to narrow it down as much as I could – English, travelling and young people. So, very long story short, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a psychology / teaching degree in order to be able to teach English abroad as a foreign language. I could do this without a degree but I have specific places I want to travel to and those places require degrees so, here I am. I could’ve settled for less but I was like nope, this is what I want to do and so I’m going to go the whole way. If anyone who knew me in real life read this they’d probably choke on their drink in astonishment because the thought of me travelling to a foreign country, alone? Impossible. That’s not something the Chloe they know would ever do or even be capable of and I agree, because it’s so terrifying and outside of my comfort zone – but there’s two halves of me. One half is the realistic, anxious, worrier and over thinker that isn’t me but ends up becoming a part of me anyway because my brain really hates me sometimes, and the other half is the carefree spirit who believes she can do anything and is very much me, but who never appears as much as I’d like her to because she’s constantly being suffocated and overshadowed by my anxiety.
Through getting older I’ve realised a lot of things, one being that you can’t just simply sit around and wait for life to happen to you. Even though I’m only 21, I’m still very conscious that time is constantly slipping away from me and that I need to make the most of it while I still can, therefore that involves biting the bullet and doing things you thought you never would. We all have dreams and aspirations, so why not fulfil them? Or at least, try. Even if you don’t succeed, at least you tried – at least you won’t have to lie awake at night wondering what if.
I don’t know what I was expecting to happen exactly, but I always use the future to escape the present. I always tell myself that in 5 years my life will be worked out so I don’t need to worry – but how will it be ‘all worked out’ if nothing changes? The things I do today shape my tomorrow, and if I’m not doing anything today…why will tomorrow be any different? If I don’t do anything this year…why will next year be any different? Like I said, I don’t know what I was expecting to happen, but once I had the realisation that in fact nothing was going to happen unless I got off my ass and changed it, changed my future, it all started falling into place.
They say your 20s are your selfish years and I guess that’s what this is – I’m simply doing this for myself. A degree isn’t important to me in the way that it might be to some people – having credits and symbols next to your name doesn’t make you a better human than the next person, it’s not a pride thing for me, I just wanted something that would put my brain to use so that it felt like I was learning something. I guess at the same time I also felt like I needed an excuse to do it though, so upon having a think about the things I do and don’t like, finding a potential career path was the excuse I needed to actually go ahead and do it, and even if at the end of it I decide I don’t want to travel, it doesn’t matter because I can still do something else with what I’ve got – there are endless possibilities.
It might be a little backwards for some people but this is just the way things have personally worked out for me – no one’s life manual is the same, everyone has a different path and a different way of doing things – I’m just creating a life that’s specifically tailored to myself. I had to go out into the world for a few years to get a feel for it and to see what I did and didn’t like doing, and now I’ve decided on doing this, and it’s nice because it feels like for the first time I’m working towards a goal and that I might actually know what I’m doing because in the grand scheme of things, I never have. I’ve always kind of just been wandering, but now, I actually have some sort of plan. It makes me smile to think about.
But I had to take that time in order to reach that point – I had to spend those years wondering in order to come to the realisation I’m having now, and I don’t regret any of it. I’ve had some very encouraging, very long chats with supportive people lately and it’s really encouraged me to just go for it – I’m very grateful to have had that because sometimes I do need a little push in order to just bite the bullet and do things, and now I am.
It’s strange because ever since I was younger people have always told me I should have been a teacher, so it’s weird that I’m kind of going full circle again. I’ve also been told I should teach English as a foreign language since I was around 16, so the idea isn’t new to me because it’s always been there in the back of my mind, so it’s cool in a way that it’s all finally coming back to me. But anyway, that’s the plan for now I guess – I just wanted to write about it and document it and of course, I’ll keep you all updated as time goes on. I know it won’t be easy but, nothing ever is and I’m willing to give it a go. My blog posts might be a little all over the place while I’m getting into it but I’m pretty sure it won’t affect anything too much so unfortunately, you guys are still stuck with me for the foreseeable future (sorry if I’ve ruined anyone’s day), I feel like I’ve still probably missed out some things in this post as well but I’m sure they’ll come back to me at some point (she says).
Any words you can give me as always will be super appreciated, I feel like this is something I need to get off my chest and discuss because it’s a big deal for me (hence all the long phone calls I’ve been having with people recently!)
All my love,