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At a crossroads in life: what should I do? A quarter-life crisis ... watch

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    • Thread Starter
    #1

    Hi, first I'd like to say that I prefer this post to remain anonymous. I've never really got why TSR has only granted two-forums the anonymity feature, but oh well. Here goes.

    A bit of background information:
    - I'm 20 years-old. Despite going to a very-poorly performing comprehensive where 5 A*-C GCSEs was just over 30%, I managed to do fairly well - even though I know I had the potential to do much better. After secondary school I went to a decent local Grammar School Sixth Form where I got 3 As at A-Level
    - After leaving sixth-form in 2012 I deferred entry into a Top 10 University to study Politics: it was actually top 5 for my subject at the time
    - I spent my gap-year lounging around, playing games, and working full time - although it got a little depressing at times, on the whole I enjoyed the year out: I managed to save up close to £5,000 from my job and enjoyed not having a care in the world other than going home to play games and socialise with friends
    - So, come September 2013, my time to start university was fast approaching - I never wanted to go, to be honest. But I put on a smiley face and pretended as though I couldn't wait. In reality, I was dreading it
    - I moved into uni in October. I had to leave both of my jobs. My accommodation was great, and I enjoyed the course. I didn't really like the people, the environment or the culture (i.e I wasn't a fan of clubs and pubs, and the whole living away from parents on a campus full of students didn't appeal to me)
    - I left uni after 11 days. A bit stupid, some may say, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I'd never fit into that environment, and to be honest, I didn't want to: I missed my job, my friends, my family. I hated living away from home and knew that there was no way I could commit three years to it
    - After leaving I immediately reapplied for a Uni closer to home - it was only 15 minutes away from my house, was a Russell Group University, and meant I could live at home
    - I was given a start date of September 2014. So I had a another gap year, basically.
    - That year, much like the first, was great. I got my old full-time job back, made some friends-for-life, saved up some more money, learned to drive and bought a car.
    - Then September 2014 came. I was optimistic this time and feely hopeful given that I could live at home whilst studying. I started my degree and initially enjoyed it. I travelled over to uni by car most days, and still managed (and still do) to work full-time because of the evening work I do

    Now:
    - I'm just halfway through my January exams. I only need about 35% to pass first year, and that's all I'm aiming for. I don't feel the need or desire to push myself to get a decent mark knowing that it doesn't impact my overall grade
    - I'm enjoying my course, but that's it. I don't like the actual university or the environment. I just like my course.
    - I'm have no aspirations to have a career or go into a well-paid job. I don't want to be a politician, lawyer, teacher or anything else.
    - I just want to be happy in life. I'd be perfectly happy to have an average paying job: say £22,000 a year. It sounds naive to say that I want to be happy: as long as I'm in a loving relationship and have enough money to ensure an average standard of living then I'll be happy.
    - I'm currently still working full-time alongside my first year. I know that come second year I'm going to have to give my job up. I currently earn £300 a week after tax, which is pretty damn good for a university student. I don't have many bills, so, despite being at uni, I'm probably banking close to £200 a week. I've managed - since leaving Sixth Form - to save nearly £10,000
    - The thought of giving my job up and focusing solely on uni is harrowing. I don't want to do it. I'm not very happy at the minute with uni, even though I'm finding it quite easy, and I enjoy work.
    - Overall, I'm not happy at uni. I feel pressured to do well and get a degree, but it doesn't appeal to me. By the time I finish uni I'll be 23. I feel as though its a waste of my time. I'm unhappy, going to get myself into thousands of pounds of debt, all for a piece of paper which, in reality, can't guarantee anything
    - I just want to be happy. That is all I want in life. I remember somebody once saying that in the end there are only two things that matter in life: healthy and love. That is all I honestly want. Health and love. As long as I can earn enough to guarantee an average existence then I'll be fine.
    - Should I drop out? It's only first year, but I really don't look forward to another two and a hlf years of this

    - I've always maintained that if my current job - paying about £17,000 a year, upped my wages to about £22,000 - and guaranteed my job for 10 years - I'd drop out of uni right now. Even though it's a pretty sh*tty job, as long as I enjoy it (which I do), then I'd be happy.

    - Should I sacrifice my happiness to do a degree that only guarantees £50,000 worth of debt?


    Sorry if it's a not long-winded and rambley in parts. I'm very confused at the minute and theres a lot of emotion inside me.
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    I don't really have any sort of 'advice' to give, but here's my uni story...

    I applied for Medicine in 2008, didn't get any offers (not surprising, considering how competitive it is), but got into my 5th choice on UCAS (which was Biomedical Sciences, as I could only apply to 4 Medicine courses). It sounds a bit weird, but in a way, I was almost happy I didn't get into Medicine. I was more excited about a shorter, less demanding course. I started Uni in September 2009 and just like you... "enjoyed" my first few months there. I wasn't ever really passionate about the course, nor was I a fan of the whole clubbing culture. I was lucky, I could still live at home, so it almost felt like another version of 'school'. I was also lucky that I made a few really good friends in my first year. Unlike me, they were genuinely passionate about the course and I could see that in them every day... What we had in common was our lack of interest in clubbing every night and the fact we all lived at home so had to commute to Uni every day. In a way, my friends made me realise that Biomedical Sciences wasn't for me. Whilst I liked learning about SOME parts of Biomedical Sciences, and genuinely found some of the lectures interesting, it was never as much as my friends and fellow students. I had a long think about it in the summer after my first year and realised that I definitely do not and can not see myself working in a lab (what most Biomedical Science graduates go on to do/or Medicine!) for the rest of my life.

    I went into my second year of Uni knowing this fact. I still hadn't accepted it fully, but I was aware that it was going to be very unlikely that I'd be getting a job in the Biomedical Science field after finishing my degree. I wasn't motivated, didn't push myself, and wasn't doing extra reading like most other students do. I was always just 'satisfactory' at Uni. I did all the assignments, tests, exams, etc, but I didn't care enough to try and do my absolute best. I always just did enough to 'pass'. I still enjoyed the whole year, though. Didn't 'LOVE' the course, but enjoyed it and the whole experience. Again, I think my friends were part of the reason I liked it. It was a routine and I was used to it - going to Uni every day, seeing my friends and laughing in between lectures, trying to not fall asleep in lectures, and then going home to do whatever I liked.

    3rd year came and that's when I started to panic a little bit. I was close to finishing my course and yet I had no desire to ever use my degree to get a job in the field I had studied. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, in fact! it scared me. I ended up graduating with a decent degree in 2012. The whole graduation ceremony didn't really mean anything to me - I was just sad to be leaving my friends.

    Anyway. I was confused for a few months after I graduated. My family and friends were constantly listing the things I'm "good at" to try and help me, and eventually, I decided Journalism might be the ideal 'career' for me. I ended up doing some internships as well as a postgraduate course in Journalism. At the end of 2013, I got an amazing opportunity to work in a top TV News station as an intern for about 5 months. But around April 2014, I was jobless again and doubting my 'career' choice.

    I then got a job in a theatre. It was just meant to be a casual temporary job to make some money whilst I was deciding what to do with my life. Doing evening work was ideal, because I had the days to do productive things like writing and video editing (all things I've always enjoyed doing as a hobby). I stayed at this theatre job for a lot longer than I had thought I would. It's been nearly 8 months now and I'm still there. I don't want to stay there forever, but I'm happy for now. I enjoy working because I get along really well with my colleagues, and I've always been a big fan of theatre, so I enjoy the environment.

    I've written all this to try and show that it doesn't really matter. Yes, I went through 3 years of Uni doing a course that I didn't LOVE and only really 'liked', I went through the motions basically, got my degree and did nothing with it. I'm now working somewhere which gives me a decent salary, allows me to work on the creative things I enjoy during the day, and generally keeps me happy.

    So relax! Don't think too hard about it. If you REALLY love your job that much, and you definitely can't see yourself being happy at uni for the next 2.5 years... I'd say quit.

    But if you think you can at least enjoy Uni, have some friends there, and enjoy some aspects of the course, maybe keep at it? 2.5 years goes by fast! And at the end of the day, having a degree can always be a good thing in the future. Even if you never use it. I've always felt that my Science degree is a nice 'back up'. I feel like I'd worry about my future if I didn't have it, which sounds silly! Especially as realistically, I probably will never use it properly and Science jobs are unlikely to ever hire me, considering I've not had any experience in the field since I graduated. It's just a nice 'feeling' for me personally to know I have it. But perhaps if I'd found my current theatre job whilst I was at uni, and hadn't made the great friends I did whilst studying, I wouldn't have been motivated enough to finish my degree.

    Anyway. If you read all this, CONGRATS! Haha!

    And good luck whatever you decided to do. It sounds like you really love your job and lifestyle you had for those 2 'gap years'. I think it's best to follow your heart. As long as you know you'll be happy doing the same job or similar jobs for the rest of your life, then I don't see how doing a degree will help you. Good luck!
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Sam4God)
    I don't really have any sort of 'advice' to give, but here's my uni story...

    I applied for Medicine in 2008, didn't get any offers (not surprising, considering how competitive it is), but got into my 5th choice on UCAS (which was Biomedical Sciences, as I could only apply to 4 Medicine courses). It sounds a bit weird, but in a way, I was almost happy I didn't get into Medicine. I was more excited about a shorter, less demanding course. I started Uni in September 2009 and just like you... "enjoyed" my first few months there. I wasn't ever really passionate about the course, nor was I a fan of the whole clubbing culture. I was lucky, I could still live at home, so it almost felt like another version of 'school'. I was also lucky that I made a few really good friends in my first year. Unlike me, they were genuinely passionate about the course and I could see that in them every day... What we had in common was our lack of interest in clubbing every night and the fact we all lived at home so had to commute to Uni every day. In a way, my friends made me realise that Biomedical Sciences wasn't for me. Whilst I liked learning about SOME parts of Biomedical Sciences, and genuinely found some of the lectures interesting, it was never as much as my friends and fellow students. I had a long think about it in the summer after my first year and realised that I definitely do not and can not see myself working in a lab (what most Biomedical Science graduates go on to do/or Medicine!) for the rest of my life.

    I went into my second year of Uni knowing this fact. I still hadn't accepted it fully, but I was aware that it was going to be very unlikely that I'd be getting a job in the Biomedical Science field after finishing my degree. I wasn't motivated, didn't push myself, and wasn't doing extra reading like most other students do. I was always just 'satisfactory' at Uni. I did all the assignments, tests, exams, etc, but I didn't care enough to try and do my absolute best. I always just did enough to 'pass'. I still enjoyed the whole year, though. Didn't 'LOVE' the course, but enjoyed it and the whole experience. Again, I think my friends were part of the reason I liked it. It was a routine and I was used to it - going to Uni every day, seeing my friends and laughing in between lectures, trying to not fall asleep in lectures, and then going home to do whatever I liked.

    3rd year came and that's when I started to panic a little bit. I was close to finishing my course and yet I had no desire to ever use my degree to get a job in the field I had studied. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, in fact! it scared me. I ended up graduating with a decent degree in 2012. The whole graduation ceremony didn't really mean anything to me - I was just sad to be leaving my friends.

    Anyway. I was confused for a few months after I graduated. My family and friends were constantly listing the things I'm "good at" to try and help me, and eventually, I decided Journalism might be the ideal 'career' for me. I ended up doing some internships as well as a postgraduate course in Journalism. At the end of 2013, I got an amazing opportunity to work in a top TV News station as an intern for about 5 months. But around April 2014, I was jobless again and doubting my 'career' choice.

    I then got a job in a theatre. It was just meant to be a casual temporary job to make some money whilst I was deciding what to do with my life. Doing evening work was ideal, because I had the days to do productive things like writing and video editing (all things I've always enjoyed doing as a hobby). I stayed at this theatre job for a lot longer than I had thought I would. It's been nearly 8 months now and I'm still there. I don't want to stay there forever, but I'm happy for now. I enjoy working because I get along really well with my colleagues, and I've always been a big fan of theatre, so I enjoy the environment.

    I've written all this to try and show that it doesn't really matter. Yes, I went through 3 years of Uni doing a course that I didn't LOVE and only really 'liked', I went through the motions basically, got my degree and did nothing with it. I'm now working somewhere which gives me a decent salary, allows me to work on the creative things I enjoy during the day, and generally keeps me happy.

    So relax! Don't think too hard about it. If you REALLY love your job that much, and you definitely can't see yourself being happy at uni for the next 2.5 years... I'd say quit.

    But if you think you can at least enjoy Uni, have some friends there, and enjoy some aspects of the course, maybe keep at it? 2.5 years goes by fast! And at the end of the day, having a degree can always be a good thing in the future. Even if you never use it. I've always felt that my Science degree is a nice 'back up'. I feel like I'd worry about my future if I didn't have it, which sounds silly! Especially as realistically, I probably will never use it properly and Science jobs are unlikely to ever hire me, considering I've not had any experience in the field since I graduated. It's just a nice 'feeling' for me personally to know I have it. But perhaps if I'd found my current theatre job whilst I was at uni, and hadn't made the great friends I did whilst studying, I wouldn't have been motivated enough to finish my degree.

    Anyway. If you read all this, CONGRATS! Haha!

    And good luck whatever you decided to do. It sounds like you really love your job and lifestyle you had for those 2 'gap years'. I think it's best to follow your heart. As long as you know you'll be happy doing the same job or similar jobs for the rest of your life, then I don't see how doing a degree will help you. Good luck!
    Wow, thanks a lot. That you for taking such time and effort to help me out, I really appreciate it. Our situations mirror one ankther in many respects.

    I'm not committing myself to anything yet. I'm gonna wait it out. Let's see what year 2 brings. Like you say, having a degree can only be a good thing, right? Perhaps I can try and arrange something with work to drop my hours to part-time, that'd be good I guess.

    But again, thanks a lot for your story. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well and you're happy right now :-)
 
 
 
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