I remember sitting in my bedroom watching “Fresh Meat” before embarking on University myself. They portrayed university as a series of unfortunate but hilarious events. You’d be in a mismatched group of friends in your first “away-from-home” home, getting mortal every night, sleeping with guys and girls left-right-centre. Sounds like a blast, right?
Moving into my first house the first box was ticked. A mismatched group of 18-21 year olds, all ready to start their careers. I lived with 2 guys who studied film, one very tall and sweet and the other very loud and reminded me of my uncle (that was weird); a girl who I thought was super annoying (but now one of my closest friends); and another girl who was a classic fashion-orientated art student. Then there was me, pretty basic girl without a single clue of why and what I was doing there.
We lived in a 3-story house just off campus. It was cheap and a quick find, and everything was broken. One sofa was pretty much wood covered over with a grey-ish fabric (ouch), the bathroom ceiling covered in mould, and you were lucky not to break your neck if you dared to sit on the dining room chairs. I mean it wasn’t great, but it was livable.
The first two weeks known as “fresher’s fortnight” were a blast. Another box was ticked at this point, one guy climbing out my room window on the third or fourth night and my tinder was full of potential. It was all going superb, until the course started.
Deciding what you want to do at the mere age of 18 is a pretty big task. You convince yourself that this course you’ve chosen is everything you have ever wanted to do. I mean, that was me at 18, I wanted to study Psychology since the age of 13 and be a counsellor of some sort. Yet going into my last year, an overwhelming of regret is all I feel.
Truth is, I wish I had taken a year out before going to university. Reality was, I didn’t want to be behind everyone else. I was always having to put more effort than the average student into my work because I simply didn’t get it so when I got into university I had to go. Well that’s what I told myself. I had to do what everyone else was doing. I must be graduated by the age of 21, married by 25, first child by 27.
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For as long as I can remember I have seen my life as some sort of timeline from what society had told me I should be doing. I can’t bear to think how many other 20 somethings feel the same way. We all pressed accelerate in life because we genuinely thought it was what we had to do, little did we know we could have slowed down the entire time and would have been much happier.
In high school, university was always the main priority. Looking back schools cared more about their statistic on how many students they had go to university than how happy their students were. Looking back I wish I had more education on the options I had before making my decision, because the likelihood is I wouldn’t be at university right now writing this article instead of doing another psychological report.
I’m not saying university isn’t great, because it really can be. For the right person.
I am really proud that I am close to graduation, that I will finally have a degree to my name in a subject I love. However I cannot help but think that this was really the worst decision of my life. Could I have been happier somewhere else? Could I have been more successful in a different field? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.