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    Hi everyone , first post on this and just signed up today just siting around in a wee Costa cafe. I always find myself coming to this site occasionally and I am in need of some serious guidance , if you are up for reading a small story of my situation then read on . I will try and be concise and to the point and I implore any advice , criticism or anything . SCROLL DOWN TO ALL CAPS TO IGNORE MY BACKGROUND

    I am 18 turning 19 in June , I live in Scotland

    I left School with what I consider above Par / average grades
    A- Adv H music
    B-H music
    B-H history
    B-H English
    D-H human Bio (twice in a row from 2015-2016 I struggled with exams but retained knowledge to answer verbal questions strangely enough)
    (the usual nat 5's including C in maths , Bio and French)

    In 2016 and decided to take a course in nursing . I did 6 months and quit after completion of first placement and decided I just wasn't mature enough or tough enough to handle it but above all of that my heart simply wasn't in it to be honest.

    I still live with my mother and stepdad and two siblings who I love very much. Recently my situation has gone from relatively manageable to a bit more than depressing. In 2015 Just before the new year I attempted to kill myself at home
    which not many people know , only my parents and one member of staff at my school who I had spoke to about it personally. The pressure of trying to get good grades got me down really bad , I've never been brilliant at school but I've never been very technical with my hands either to the point were one could possibly consider me clumsy to a fault. I work one job currently at a Hilton hotel as a waiter, which is light and easy work most times and a good laugh ( everyone there is brilliant and smart ) however I have to get a taxi to work and wouldn't consider it to be financially viable/ worth my time to ask for more hours until I can drive. I make just about , more or less £400 monthly and have only just started budgeting to get driving lessons.

    I am just getting by and my step dad and mum know this , my step dad has recently made strong hints at me to get a busier/ another job or get kicked out . Although this seems harsh they have there reasons and I understand , my mother works as a nurse ( one thing that made me pursue a career in nursing in the 1st place) and my step dad works demanding night shifts ) My house hold income is just a bit better than working class but I would in now way consider myself to come from a middle class background and therefore it's not respectable for myself to sit around the house doing nothing until work comes round (3 days a week usually at 6' o clock to 11 ) especially with a 4 and 5 YO brother and sister who constantly need to be looked after as they are so young. My mum and step dad are worried about what I am going to do , and they are both disappointed that I never stuck through my nursing course but understand my reasons for leaving.

    My dad stays hours away from me and is in his 60's , I see him very rarely maybe once every 5 or 6 months but I try and stay at least a week . I worry about his health as he is a heavy smoker. I love him to bits and he tries to support me as best he can although sometimes he struggles to support himself, he works very hard as a handyman of sorts and is always on his feet .

    My big sister is a Glasgow uni student who is very smart and I'm proud of her loads. She has held my hand a lot since my parents divorced with every aspect of life and has told me recently that I need to do things for myself which I agree.

    I do admit that I am not as proactive around my house hold to the point were I am selfish almost , I like to do chores when no one is around as I will not be criticised for the quality of how I handle household tasks however, I consider myself to wash dishes and sweep and mop quite well haha (excuse my colloquialisms however I do amuse myself with the absolute Jargon my brain spouts sometimes) . I get up at 10 in the morning usually however I am scared of my step dad if I don't know what mood he is in and don't leave my room unless he exits the house or I have a plan for the day . Strangely enough I have a brilliant work ethic around People I don't know and people I am acquainted with e.g always smiling and more than happy to man up and do the jobs others try to avoid which my parents don't see in me apart from my dad who I always help with jobs which mainly include shifting furniture and boxes from house to house and flat to flat, I love doing this and have a laugh. I search for jobs twice a week which obviously isn't good enough however I vow to change this .

    I have a brilliant girlfriend who loves me loads and supports me with whatever I do and always trys to offer advice she is still in school but is in her final year leaving in May. I have a clear conscience when I am with her and her family most times , her parents have been in the situation I am currently in and love and support me loads even with my shortcomings.

    In terms of friends , I can count them all on one hand . I am a sociable person but find it hard to make proper connections and when I do there is usually something that stands in my way . My friends aren't exactly role models and I would say most of them come from backgrounds worse and more disadvantaged than mine , I have taken Marijuana in the past on several occasions usually for fun but have stopped as I worry this is giving me tunnel vision and makes it hard for me to function / concentrate . My mother considers them bad influences although does not know them well personally . My friends always have my back and consider me a smart guy and talented which I hear occasionally although I feel they're not as determined as me to move on in the world and get out of this small town we live in. I used to have loads of friends in school but got really depressed and drove away lots of my old friends who couldn't understand what I was going through even though some of them stuck with me through thick and thin a lot of them moved away to pursue further education and I never really get in touch. I have an accent which I also can't explain , I am Scottish but have a North American twang in my voice which alienates me a lot of the time and makes it hard for others to understand me . I also am quiet sometimes and depending on ones' first impression of me I tend to keep that persona util I get to know that person really well (which is a rare occasion)

    I have always had a passion for music and find it's the medium I can express myself most in . I have played guitar since I was 13 and love it more than most things in my life and will often put off things just to sit around and write music . I listen to lots of music and consider myself naturally talented with a good ear for music . I play almost religiously and have taken part in school bands , outside bands and my own things . When the others teens in 6th year were studying or getting lunch I would play guitar myself surrounded by multiple effects pedals which I would pack in my school bag . I would consider myself an exhibitionist when it comes to performance , I don't have a solid repertoire of songs however ask me to create and I will give you something amazing I swear on my ability to see, touch , feel. When I played music after school and during lunch (I wouldn't eat to be honest I was that absorbed in the moments) I loved to receive praise from other students or staff , generally I would receive glances from teachers who thought I was strange but I didn't care . I remember my music teacher who knew I was troubled when no one else could understand , he was strict in his profession but incredibly supportive of me and gave me chances every time I would hand in things late or not show up to class ( I had an attendance rate of 60% in higher music ) he would occasionally give me ultimatums and I would walk a thin line always but I think he did care for me , I'd play piano after school and he would let me hammer away at the thing even though he knew I didn't read sheet music. I would love to be a musician although I know pursing this would be living with my head in the clouds . I am currently in a band that does stuff on and off , we have good ties in the hip hop industry however I feel we don't do stuff frequently enough as the other band members have other commitments . If I stick with this I know for a fact I will make contacts though .


    Here are some of my thoughts, provided also is the mental reasoning behind these things

    in 2016 I attended a interview/audition for Aberdeen for music education and was assessed as a fail , my nerves got the better of me when asked to sing before I played guitar and although i passed the theory with flying colours I am more than ashamed to say I peeked at other peoples answers at some questions. I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I almost walked away from the assessors and out the door in less than masculine tears and fear advice given to me by the assessors was clouded by sympathy .This failure got me down majorly and it made me gravitate towards a different career hence nursing , which puzzled many of my friends and teachers at school and to be honest it puzzled myself .

    I have been exploring options , and I'm seeking a career or further education . I am really confused on what I should be doing with my life at the moment in terms of education . I have been told by many that a HND in music is a waste of time I would love to progress from this into a Bmus although I don't know if this paired with my grades would be enough to catapult me onto a course . I would really love to be a music teacher however do not understand what it takes and how long it would take for someone like me to get there , as stated before I am confident when I say I am a proficient and naturally talented guitarist/musician and having a look at grade 8 ABRSM guitar pieces provided me with a more than manageable challenge even though I am in no way classically trained . I am self taught and play by ear/imitation to a high standard but cannot read sheet music or understand it very well . I am wondering how I could relearn grade 5 theory and if getting piano and classical guitar lessons would be of any use at all.

    Another option I have is to retake highers although I don't know if this would be a waste of my time . I was thinking I could take lessons in music along with this to supplement my education and I know if I am only doing 1 or 2 highers I will succeed with an A or B . I feel this may give me breathing space while I properly assess where I want go and what I want to do however it could all just be one big waste of my time.

    Money could be an issue for me however I am looking to take my driving lesson within the next month which should open more job opportunities for me and give me an important life skill.

    I was thinking of also taking a uni course in law and business , criminology or Human resource management all of which are 4 year courses with good prospects which I know would make my family proud however I feel I would be miserable If went to go on with my life doing these types of jobs maybe I wouldn't with the money I'd make but at the end of the day I'm here for a mad yin no a bad yin .

    I would love to hear from you all , has anyone got any success stories starting with a similar situation to mines would anyone like to talk to me or anything , I am open to all sides of criticism and don't mind comments like "buck up and nut up" or "GO DO SOMETHING" I am told constantly I need a kick up the arse from my dad who always says that as a joke but I know there's subtle undertones to his comments

    Thank you in advance

    please excuse my grammar and punctuation , I never really learned how to do things properly .

    Hi Leonard,

    That was a lot of information to take in so you'll have to bare with me.

    It's obvious that you are trying to make your parents proud, but I think you should trash the idea of taking a university course in Law and Business, Criminology, or Human Resource management as you have already attempted at doing something they would like, ie Nursing, yet it didn't work out.

    You won't ever succeed at something if your heart is not in it. Even if you did get the degree, you would never be happy. Pursue a career in what you want, music, and you'll be so much better for it.

    I know you have a lot of pressure from your parents, mainly your stepdad, and that you are frustrated that they can't see the attempts you make (bravo by the way, none of the boys in my house even know how to wash a cup) or the work ethic you hold, but you need to focuse on yourself. I think this pressure is quite common (well it is with the people I know), even my own father acts that way towards my brother who holds a part time job whilst living at home with 3 younger siblings.

    What I want to know is how come you haven't mentioned reattempting to get into Aberdeen for music? I know you messed up your previous audition, but it's normal to feel nervous and stressed especially as it must have been a totally new experience. You yourself even know that you're better than what you came across as.

    If you think that a work related course would be better for the way in which you take things in, go for the HND, followed by the BMus. Nothing is stopping you. You mentioned that others said it would be a waste of time, but isn't sitting around, working at Hilton Hotel three times a week exactly that? Sure, you're making some money, yet it doesn't further your career.

    You stated that you wanted to be a music teacher. I live in London, so I am not completely educated on the understanding of Highers, the HND and so on, but if you want to become a music teacher you could always get a university degree in music, followed by a masters which you would need if you want to teach at college level. I would also recommend getting experience after your degree as then the students would respect you more and better relate to you, plus universities would be more inclined to hire you.

    Again, I am not educated on Highers as I took A levels, but those grades seem really good. I don't think there is any need to retake, but I would recommend looking at the course you want to do, checking what grades it requires then comparing them to your own. If you have the grades, then great! If not, you could always retake. A lot of people retake their exams to get the grades they need to pursue their goal, for example my sister redid her English A level not once, but twice (that was before they changed it to having to wait a year in between retakes).

    Regarding retaking Grade 5 theory, and taking piano and classical guitar lessons I think it would be good for you not only experience it (as obviously it will be a new experience for you as you are self taught) but also it would be really useful for you to learn to read sheet music. You don't have to continue the lessons for long, or even take them, but if you feel that it would further educate you in music or even fill in those gaps that you have, then go for it.

    Another thing about university is, if you do decide to choose to take a music degree, there will be a music sorority, and opportunities to join a band and play in bars ect. That would hopefully give you more confidence and let you meet new people which you will then go on to know for a long time. You wouldn't realy have to worry about money as well. Student finance would pay for your university fees and also provide you with a maintenence loan to help you with the cost of living. Many universities also offer grants and scholarships that would be really helpful.

    I know that at the moment you are part of a band but you're limited in your progress due to the other commitments your band members have, so maybe joining one whilst at university would put you in a better place due to everyone then being in the same boat, having the same commitments and available time.

    Another thing I wanted to say was about your friends. I'm really glad you have such an amazing girlfriend who's parents support you, and it's good to have those supportive and trustworthy friends even if you can count them on one hand (if anyone actually has more than a handful, I'd be amazed) but don't fall into their habits. You yourself know that they don't have the same drive to do well like you do, and who you surround yourself with really does have an impact. I have friends who are laid back and lazy towards their work, which I then mimic, holding things off yet when I realised what was happening I limited my time spent with them. It didn't mean I completely cut off contact with them, I just hung around the library during school hours yet when I wasn't working, I socialised with them.
    All I really mean is don't pick up their bad habits or limit yourself because it's what they themselves are doing.

    Good luck and I really do hope you figure out what you want to do.

    P.S. If you feel alienated with your odd accent, London is a diverse place where no one blinks an eye at things like that
    • Thread Starter

    I'm surprised and incredibly grateful someone took the time to read that ! I've had a good read at your comments and it's helped me realise a lot of things such as the opportunities presented . Thank you for sharing that story about your sister and I do quite like the idea of taking music lessons as well and know what I want to focus on now .

    Thank you very much .

    P.S. I'd quite like to move to London . It's quite a bit different than up the road

    Hey, sorry if I get some of this information wrong because that was a lot to take in, but I will try my best!

    As a fellow Scot I can tell you that by looking at your grades, you may not get into very course in the world but you can certainly get into a lot. Also, whoever said a HND in Music is a waste of time clearly doesn't love music as much as you do.

    Pursuing something that makes you happy is never a waste of time. Being a musician may not be reliable in terms of money, but is any job really when you look at them closely? No.

    In terms of making money whilst you study whatever you choose to do, you could literally do local gigs, weddings, busking, even be a guitar/piano tutor. There's so many things you could be as well with music that many don't consider - a music teacher, a music lecturer, a music marketer, you could work in the theatre side of music, the radio side of music, sound production and a whole lot more. Why not look at courses all over Scotland seeing as you have the advantage of free education and SAAS? That too will help to get you by.

    Of course, if you don't want to pursue music that way then don't, but don't not pursue something because people say no!

    (Original post by BoyFrom98)
    I'm surprised and incredibly grateful someone took the time to read that ! I've had a good read at your comments and it's helped me realise a lot of things such as the opportunities presented . Thank you for sharing that story about your sister and I do quite like the idea of taking music lessons as well and know what I want to focus on now .

    Thank you very much .

    P.S. I'd quite like to move to London . It's quite a bit different than up the road
    I'm glad I could help and I wish you all the best for the future

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