Friday, August 15, 2014

Declining university offers + what the hell am I going to do with my life?

Like many teenagers across the country, yesterday morning I picked up my long-awaited A Level results. The thing is, I wasn’t really nervous – more curious. Curious to find out if all that revision that I slaved over back in Spring, and my non-existent social life as a result of it, paid off.  I’m telling you now, I wouldn’t have been upset if I got bad grades (ok, maybe a little), but rather super annoyed at the fact that I put in my all and tried my absolute hardest just to get fails. So, back to the point, I wasn’t really expecting much and hadn’t spent the time (unlike other years) predicting what I got in each individual module, and thus for each overall grade.

Long story short, I got ABC, with an acceptance into Sussex University to study marketing. How do I feel about this? Yeah, happy I guess. I met my predicted grades, with a place at my 1st choice university, despite missing their offer by one grade.

Ok I realise I sound slightly monotone, and that maybe you’re thinking ‘You should be so pleased for yourself!’, but the thing is, for a while now I have had it fixed in my head that I don’t want to go to university. 

Maybe it’s because I’m incredibly impatient, maybe it’s because I am not valuing education highly enough, or maybe it’s the rebel inside of me going against what everyone else says is the 'right thing to do'. But, in all honesty, I just want to get out there. Work, volunteer, make a difference, and see the world now – not in three years time. I keep with me always the fact that you literally never know when your life is up and I’m all about  ‘living in the moment’. For me, if I went to university I know my heart wouldn’t be in it, and like the past 5 or so years in school, I would spend the whole time wishing I was somewhere else, and therefore not able to fully commit mentally to my studies, if that makes any sense?! Oh, and not to mention the £9000 a year tuition + living fees. (Yes, I’m aware you get a loan where ‘you won’t even notice the money leave your bank account’, but I don’t fancy paying that much for something I am half-hearted about.)

Anyway, so what am I doing now, you’re probably wondering. Well at the end of October my friend and I are setting off to travel around Thailand for a month, before flying over to Sydney where we will begin our year spent in Australia on a working visa.

How long will I stay in Sydney? Who knows, it’s a one-way ticket. That’s the exciting part, I guess – the fact that I am now living without any rules, structure or confinements and can literally do whatever I want with my life (well, within the law). Will I stay in Sydney? Will I travel up the East coast? Will I do 3 months of agriculture work to guarantee me a 2nd year visa? Maybe I’ll end up hating it, and will miss home way too much. Who knows? I am going to just see where life takes me.. planning your future, I think, is just a gateway for missed opportunities. For all I know I could be offered a job in Thailand which, although crap money, would make me cancel all plans for Australia and stay there!

All I’m saying is that I want to spend my life doing what I love and what makes me happy… and spontaneity, courage, determination, and a positive mind-set are four things I believe are key to this.

In the long term, I would love to set up a social enterprise with the aim to inspire young people, or work/volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation in a developing country. Another definite idea is to intern for charities, or start-ups, doing something to do with marketing/communications and 'getting the message out there'. Oh, and did I mention I'm considering moving to the USA at some point? (Thank you mum for being born in America and thus passing down to me an American citizenship.)

Nervous? Kinda. Worried? Slightly. Excited? HELL YEAH.


  1. I had the exact same mindset but I ended up going to uni and it's true sometimes I regret going but I'm trying to make the most of it. Travel and enjoy yourself while you still can, uni can be done anytime, it honestly isn't for everyone. I would love to go to Thailand!! Have fun xx

    1. Thank you so much!! Good luck with everything - I have full faith that everything will work out for you xx

  2. I only just found this post but congratulations on your grades and decision to do something a little different! I've just finished my AS levels so am starting my A levels in a couple of weeks and the idea of university is really stressing me out. There are numerous open days I need to go to up and down the country in the next couple of months which not only makes me very anxious but also confirms that I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do. The whole situation is making me constantly worried but reading this reassured me that I can literally do whatever I want. Maybe I'll go travelling, take a year out, go to uni after all but your post really helped me to remember I can do whatever I like. Thank you and good luck for your travelling!

    charlotte x

    1. Try not to stress too much - many people I know didn't' decide whether they wanted to go or not until results day! Whatever you do, just make sure it'll make you happy. Most importantly - don't feel the pressure to decide what you want to do now, at the age of 17! Just go with the flow and see where life takes you:)