This time of year always makes me think of finishing school for the final time and all of the decisions I had to make at that time.
I’ve had a lot of messages lately from people who are in that position now who want advice on what they should do next and how they should make those decisions, I have of course replied to each of those people individually but I thought I’d also do a blog post about my experiences just in case there is anybody else out there who would like to know!
I had such a rough time in high school, it was generally a miserable time for me!
So when it came to deciding what to do after school I maybe wasn’t thinking straight when it came to my future, I just knew that I wanted to get out of that place and that was it.
On results day, I stood in line waiting to sign up for 6th Form (year 12 & 13) and I just remember looking at the people standing around me, I was with my friends but I could also see the very people who had made my time at school hell so I walked out and never looked back.
I didn’t know what to do then though because I knew I had to do something but the options were never really explained to me by my school it was just assumed that everyone would stay on for another 2 years and that was it.
I got in touch with a careers office and had one appointment with them, they asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said I wanted to be a writer and they said okay go and do a Beauty Therapy / Cosmetology course, so I did.
I was 16, I didn’t know how to make life choices, I was lost and to be perfectly honest I was scared, I didn’t know what to do so I just took the first thing I was told to do because I knew that I had to do something.
I didn’t enjoy the Beauty Therapy course AT ALL but I stuck it out and completed the full two years and then I was back to square one because I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I didn’t want to work in the Beauty industry, I wanted to be a writer, I’d always wanted to be a writer.
I decided to go back and do my A Levels so I applied to go to a Sixth Form college and do my A Levels with a plan to go to Uni and study Journalism, I passed my A Levels and was accepted into Uni but I didn’t end up going because I’d had enough of education, I was 20 by that point and I’d been in education for what, 15 years? I didn’t want to learn any more, I wanted to work.
My blog had been the one constant thing in my life throughout that period and it was the one thing I actually think I worked the hardest at.
To cut a long story short flash forward 4 years and here I am a full time blogger working for myself and I’ve never been happier.
I sometimes wish that I’d stayed at school and done my A Levels straight away and gone to Uni and done the conventional thing that all of my friends did but then I look at my life and where I am now I realise that I got here all by myself.
I could regret the 2 years I wasted at Beauty School and I suppose I could regret the 2 years I wasted preparing for Uni when I didn’t end up going but I don’t because I made some great friends during those times in my life, I had some great adventures and it was fun and I did actually learn a lot.
Let me be clear though I do regret hastily jumping into the beauty course because that was the only option presented to me, I wish I’d said “No, I said I wanted to be a writer not a Beautician” but I didn’t and yet I’ve still managed to achieve my goals of becoming a full time writer.
My advice for anybody who is currently struggling with this decision is this:
- Don’t ever lose sight of what you really want to do with your life.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things
- If the careers office offers you something that’s completely different to what you want to do then see what else they can offer you.
- If you start something you don’t like, still finish it because jumping from thing to thing will look bad on your CV
- At the same time though don’t be afraid to change your mind.
- Do what YOU want to do not necessarily what your parents or guardians want you to do, at the end of the day it’s your future not theirs.
- Make sure that whatever you do, you give it 100% and get the most out of it.
- Do loads of research, see what’s out there for you!
- Don’t do something just because your friends are doing it, do it because you want to.
- Make sure that you’re happy.
And just a little added note for the people leaving school with the plans to become the next big YouTube / Blogging sensation or whatever, I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m sure you’re sensational but be prepared to work damn hard at it and remember that it never hurts to have a back-up plan just in case!
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