We all go through life differently in terms of how we're brought up. Some of us had parents who were very supportive and wouldn't stop at anything for their offspring to succeed or be happy. Some had very demanding parents, who had children who wanted to have a career in something that their parents were not comfortable with them doing; those types of parents who want their children to have rewarding careers. If you were unlucky, you got parents who wouldn't believe you could do anything.
Growing up as a kid, I would always change what I wanted to do when I grew up; one day, it would have been an astronaut, to a cowgirl, to a princess, to a scientist, to a vet. To this day, I'm twenty-three years old, and I still don't know what I want out of a career. I know what I enjoy doing, but because of growing up with a lot of doubt around me, whatever I decide to do with my life sounds crazy when I say it out loud.
Let me tell you, my journal through school: it's known to be the best time of your life, and yes, I do have my moments where I miss it, however, going through those thirteen years were very difficult.
When I was in primary school, I was put into, not the lowest group, but not the highest group, with the level of how my reading and writing was. Looking back on that, I don't see why people would do that to young children. To me, children should get equal treatment and encouraged to do their best; not be told that their level of work is not good enough. Of course, I was just a young kid at the time, so I didn't really care. When I got into primary five, I had this teacher for a year that my classmates and I loved. She would make us write stories on different topics every week and that was my favorite thing to do. I have quite an active imagination. I loved writing stories; I still do. I've had a Wattpad account since I was in secondary school and if I got a job to write stories on a website, I would quit my job in a heartbeat. I would even write stories at home at night, even when it wasn't classwork or homework at all, just to show it to my teacher the next day, because I loved her reading my stories. Whenever I did write stories, everyone in my class would fight over my workbook, because they all wanted to read the stories that I worked on. At nine or ten years old, I decided what I wanted to do for a career that was likely to be more than just a pipe dream. My teacher advised me to keep a diary and I really regret not keeping one, because it would have been fascinating to go back to when I was ten years old and see what I used to think about. I would recommend for anyone who is into writing to keep a diary, because, believe it or not, keeping a diary or journal helps you improve your structure of writing.
When I told my parents, they thought it was a stupid idea because it's based on how many novels you sell. So, I got the clarification that my parents were not going to support me on this, so I had to change what I wanted to do and I would keep writing as a hobby. I then put writing to the side and when I got into secondary school, that is sort of when the hobby slipped away and I put it on the back burner. I got caught up with exams, friends, and trying to get boys to like me. When I got into third and fourth year, English became my favorite subject, because in the exam we had to write a story of our choice: personal or imaginative. If you wrote a personal story, you would get a better grade. That is when sharing personal experiences I had began.
However, when I got to Higher, I did dreadful in the close reading part of the exam. In fact, I was terrible at the critical essays too. I wasn't happy, because I really thought English was one of the only subjects I was good at. There was Higher Drama that I was doing in my last year at school, which was similar to English and I got A's for that subject. Throughout school, I was part of this group with five other girls, but then one of them moved away in third year — but that's not the point. We all hung out, every day at school, and these girls were very interested in their education, and it was crystal clear it was a high priority for them. I wasn't getting as good grades as they were, and at the time, I thought it was unfair, but now, I know it's because I didn't work hard enough. I didn't know how to study when I was in secondary school and I thought reading textbooks over and over again would get me good grades. I thought that my friends were naturally getting good grades. In secondary school, my teachers implied that I was dyslexic and so did my mother. I don't know whether I was just misunderstood as a child, but at the time, I believed I was dyslexic, because I was also offered extra time in exams. I wasn't very disciplined with answers in exams, which caused me to run out of time before I could answer every question. I compared myself to many people, as in my Highers, I was stuck in a class with people, who didn't revise at all for their standard grades, and I wasn't up in a class with my friends who did very well in their standard grades.
When I went to college, I made a promise to myself that I would work hard, but I broke that promise too easily. I met a boy that I thought was the love of my life at the time. He was at university and got grades very similar to my friends. His mum had very high expectations for her little boy dates. She made every excuse for us two to not be together. I've never dated someone where I have felt like I have dated their mother also. She was very nosy, but it was another person, who was more than twice my age, saying that I'm not very intelligent.
When I was three quarters through the year at college, I went back to my old ways. I thought I wasn't getting to see my boyfriend enough, because I was in college three days a week and I worked twelve hours a week and only got one day off; it was very stressful. I wasn't paying as much attention to college work as much as I should have. I thought every moment with my boyfriend was precious. I decided to not go further with college. Then came the time where my family and I moved out of the house I grew up in. This is where I began to resent my parents, because they kept nagging me to get a full time job. I guess I could of tried harder, but honestly, I wasn't ready to work full time. I managed to work forty hours for one week, but not all the time. I had to keep it even. Aberdeen is where I grew up, and it was difficult to get jobs there.
As the years past, I began to resent my parents more and more. Then, just last year, I had a quarter life crisis: I was twenty-two years old, still living with my parents, even though I passed my driving test two years prior to this time, I still didn't have a car, all I could get was minimum wage jobs, and I had no degree. I had a different perspective on education at the time, because I saw so many people in my age group, graduate, and then three or four years later, they weren't using their degree for anything more useful than being a supervisor in a retail store or coffee maker. I would always think, "what a waste of four years, to not use a degree for a career." I would always see people be stressed due to their dissertation, and I would always ask, "is it really worth the stress?" It turns out, life is not as black and white as many young people think.
I can honestly tell you, choosing to study at university is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I've noticed a big change in my attitude towards life. I have developed as a person, and I have seen many people use their degrees, not just for careers, but to help them get through life. It's possibly one of the hardest accomplishments to achieve in life. Now, I think "if you love studying something that excites you, but won't get you a career, go for it." We all deserve to be happy. I still get people to this day, tell me, or ask me, "what are you going to do with an English degree? Apart from teaching English?" English will help me with my communication skills, the Creative Writing part of my degree will be useful for my hobbies. At first, I went into this degree, hoping to become a primary teacher. But, you got to have one goal at a time to reach them. My point is, I'm taking part in something I care about. If you want to study a degree that people look down upon because it doesn't offer high employment opportunities, are you studying for them, or for yourself?
My advice is: if anyone who is reading this, and has felt like you're not good enough for university, that what you want to study will be a waste —you're wrong. Everyone deserves a chance to make a decision for their future. We have many choices in this world and we will make the wrong decisions sometimes. You are the person that controls your fate.