Week seven of my why school or college is not for everyone series! Where has the time gone?! Are you enjoying the series? Is it helping you? Please let me know in the comments below! Today we are meeting Abi who is going to tell us about her education story.
Let’s meet Abi.
My University Experience
I had always enjoyed school and education. I would look forward to learning about the world and its treasures, and challenging my brain to solve puzzles and interpret others’ opinions. I studied hard, even in primary school, and as a result I would have considered myself fairly academic.
University was not something I had ever included in my ‘life plan’ as such.
To me, university was for those choosing to be doctors or teachers. It was for those whose careers needed a degree. Not knowing what my career was going to be made it quite easy for me to omit the thought of university, even when picking my GCSE options.
It wasn’t until I got into Sixth Form (Year 12) that I noticed my love for education and hard work begin to dip.
Whether this was due to the increased pressure and workload, the deterioration in my mental health, personal life drama (it’s not easy being 17!) or anything else, I’m still not sure. All I know is I wasn’t happy. I didn’t have the motivation to listen in lessons, to research, to complete assignments. I felt like I had lost my way.
By February of Year 12, I had completed disengaged with my studies. I was regularly skipping classes and rushing essays just to get by. I began looking at my other options, and found a college course that sounded amazing. It combined everything I felt passionate about at the time but in a more engaging and practical environment. So, rather impulsively, I applied for the course and simultaneously informed the Head of Sixth that I would likely be leaving after my first set of exams (this was back in the day when A-Levels were split into AS and A2 levels).
My AS results were a lot better than expected considering the (lack of) effort I put in, and I had actually done well enough to continue into Year 13. But I knew that something didn’t feel right and leaving seemed the only way to potentially make things seem better.
Once at college, I immediately felt a lot calmer and more settled.
The work was more engaging and the workload itself was a lot more manageable. It’s so hard to describe, but even on the first day, it felt like someone had flicked a switch and I had got that buzz and eagerness to learn back again. I threw myself at my course and instantly saw the results.
It wasn’t until we were nearing the end of the two year course that my tutor at the time recommended that I take a look at UCAS, as he believed I could and would find a course that I would enjoy and succeed at. I spent a few weeks browsing their courses and looking at university websites and ended up more and more positive about the idea of continuing on to university.
And the rest is history really!
I found a course that I fell in love with, on the perfect campus, in the right location to suit me. I studied Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, graduating with a high 2:1 in July 2017. And I’ve never looked back.
I may have taken a slightly different route to get there, and it may not have been in my ‘plan’, but I’m still very proud of what I have achieved. It just goes to show that there isn’t a definitive way of succeeding academically; we all work better in different environments and at our own pace, and that’s something I think is super important.
Thank you Abi!
This post has taken a slightly different approach on the why school or college is not for everyone series. Above Abi says she didn’t think her plans were to go to university but in the end she did and she loved it.
While I was the complete opposite. I was dead set that I was going to college and yet here I am working on my own business!
If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out Abi’s blog and also read the other guest posts in this series HERE!