Friday, 22 January 2016

Why I Left University

"Not all those that wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkein 

Almost a year ago now I wrote this post about wanting to live a life that was mine, a life I enjoy and that I felt was what I wanted. At the time I had been wanting to leave university but I was still so heavily influenced by the world around me and I assumed everybody else had a better idea of what was best for me than I did. I think there is definitely a lot of wisdom in listening to others and being given advice from people with real life experience but there is only so much advice and help you can get before you need to just go it alone. 

I didn't really want to go to university but I went anyway, it made me very unhappy and I wanted to leave but because I didn't have a life plan I was made to feel like I had to stay so I moved to a different university and a different course. After the first few months the excitement of new friends, new church and new place began to ware off and all I was left with was university. It still wasn't right. But I just didn't know what to do. Everyone I knew was at university or had gone to university, it was the normal way of life - the thing that everybody did. A good platform to start from before you entered the big wide world of work and a wonderful time waster for those of us who really had no idea what they wanted to do. But it just didn't feel right to me, I felt trapped and alone and so so unhappy. I started to get ill, depression and anxiety took over and I sunk to the lowest I have ever been. It was an awful time but it made me realise this was just not right, forcing myself to go to university because everybody else thought I should had actually made me ill. It took almost a year of bad mental health to realise what the problem was. And so after much thought, prayer and talking to others I made the decision to leave university.

Its been a couple of months now since I decided to leave and I can honestly say I feel amazing. My mental health rocketed back up as I began to take control of my life and ask myself the question what do I want? I had allowed myself to be dictated to for so long that the thought of being able to spend time actually figuring out what I wanted filled me with joy. I decided to get a job so that I could support myself as it's a little bit hard to feel in control of your own life when you have to move back in with your parents and I have began to explore what makes me happy. 

Of course I am still not 100% sure what that is and to be honest I am not sure anybody does. There are obvious things like my fiancé, the outdoors, puppies and books but my job and possible purpose in life I don't have much of an idea. I know I love writing and I want to do that for as long as I can but that is about it. And that is okay! I have discovered that this is okay, even if the world makes us feel like we should know what our sole life purpose is right now and that our job should define us, it's okay not to know. People ask me what my plan is, where my life is going, what I am working towards and I've just started to shrug. I don't know and to be honest I don't care too much right now. I'm a wandering through life, taking all the opportunities I get and enjoying the moment right now. I want to write my books and hopefully get them published but that is about as far as it goes for the moment. 

Leaving university may seem like a crazy move and for a lot of people university is great but for me it just didn't work. It took me getting very ill to figure that out and although I think it is important to stick some things out to see how they go ultimately you have to listen to yourself and if it's not right it's not right. Working a part time job and writing a novel was definitely not what I thought I'd be doing right now but its working for me and I love it. Maybe in the future I'll go back to uni, maybe I'll find a full time job I love, maybe I'll travel the world who knows. For now I am just happy on focusing in on the present and on what life has to offer right now, because if you take time to look around I think you'll see life is pretty damn good. 

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