University | Moving Out and Moving On.

Someone once told me that when university is on the horizon your mum will try to become your best friend and that you should let her.

This is undeniably true. Whatever the relationship with your mum, whether it's already a positive, close one or whether it had above and beyond the realms of 'normal teenage' problems- your mum will try and get close to you. It's typical bird flying the nest syndrome, especially if you are the first to leave home.

My parents weren't exactly supportive in my decision to return to education. When I say not exactly supportive that transpires in my mum trying to bribe me with a world cruise holiday with my family, asking me if 'just getting into university was enough?' and flat out saying that I was being selfish and stupid in going. Not really the best support in what is already a stressful decision but I get it and that isn't me trying to bash them. I understand their hesitance though, they never had this opportunity, university is expensive and a huge commitment but one i'm ready and very eager for. I suppose some back story would help clear up their reluctance.

See, I dropped out of college at 17 because I was ill. I had some quite serious mental health problems and during my second year everything overwhelmed me and I couldn't cope. So I left because my grades were slipping but not to an awful level, I went from As to Cs and yes, I could have gone to university with those. However, I would have been sacrificing my health and ending up settling at a university to fit the grades I was getting. I honestly believe if I had pushed on and gone to university that I wouldn't be here today. So I chose myself and I chose my health. I didn't leave because I didn't enjoy learning- I LOVE learning. I always wanted to go to school as a kid. I even loved studying and got a real rush of learning something new.Importantly, I always tried hard to reflect that interest. 

It took around 16-18 months for me to get back to feeling 'better'. I felt lost and had already decided that I wanted to go back to college and finish my a-levels. Unfortunately I hadn't timed my re-emergence back into the world with the academic calendar and missed the re-enrollment. So I got a job. A great job in fact, which to this day I still have fond memories of but all this did was drive me further into wanting to go back into education. Then, my mum became ill and my parents decided to retire at the ripe old ages of 51 and 53. 

They retired and we moved. To Cornwall. I balked at the idea of getting a serious job down there because I could so clearly picture myself becoming complaisant and staying in the same job moving my way slowly through the ranks. No thank you.  
I inquired about local courses that would get me into university as I was now officially too old at 19 to complete my a-levels unless I wanted to re-do both years. Thanks, but no thanks. Instead I found an access to higher education course that would take a year, would have mature students and give me a good opportunity to get into university. Perfect. I enrolled and had an interview the day before the course began. Then I told my parents. They were not thrilled at me going back to college but there was very little they could do. I got a part time job so I could support myself and joined a writing club. 
I was determined to make the year in Cornwall count. 

Fast forward and it's now July. My course is complete and I passed with really good grades. I had my graduation yesterday. I got into every university I applied to. I did it.
I have accepted my place at university beginning in September and I now feel like I have a real direction in life. 
I know things change and life doesn't always go to plan as it certainly hasn't for me. I didn't think I would be going to university when I was 20. I didn't think I would be going somewhere in the south when I had my heart set on somewhere up north. I didn't think I would be attending my friends graduation when I was just beginning my university journey. 
That's the way its happened and that's okay, it's time to move on and not dwell on what would have been. I now know that i'm going because I want to, not because I was running from growing up and that I will be studying something that I am genuinely passionate about and interested in. 

I now have a clearer goal about my life after university and the direction I want to steer my life toward. Maybe those goals still be the same after university. Maybe they won't be. Who knows?
The future is unpredictable but you can do your best to be prepared and I am certainly going to try to be. 

With or without my parents blessing, when I move out in September that marks a new chapter in my life. It won't all be sunshine and binge drinking, it'll take hard work and commitment to reach my goals but I'm so ready.