When I Grow Up

In January last year, I had 5 offers to study English Literature in September 2013. I'd confirmed one, turned down the rest, and my life was pretty much set for the next 3 years. Except, I was unhappy (lightest use of the word ever). I felt like I wasn't ready for Uni, I spent all my time on websites looking up 'gap year' plans, and I signed up to various sites for Au pairs. Every time I'd mention it to my family, I would be shouted down. People didn't understand. Surely, you've had years to think of this, to think of what you want to do. Why is this so difficult? Go to university or get a job. Simple. No either or. These are just some of the things I heard when I bought up how unsure I was of my future.

We spend our lives being told we cannot do this or that, being told we're not 'ready' for the real world, to focus on the here and now. Do your homework, don't do drugs, eat your greens. And then suddenly you are 18, and you're being told you have to decide whether you want to go to University or get a job. Stay in your town or travel the world. Suddenly, everything which seemed so far away is the here and now. And you have 9 months to make this life-altering choice. Everyone has been telling you to live whilst you're young, but now that way of life is not okay anymore. You need to take responsibility.

My 18th- The Day I Became an Adult (featuring the gorgeous Evie)
Unfortunately, our education system can be a little bit crap in terms of preparation for the outside world. There are things we do learn which at the time make you sweat puddles of stress into your text book, and most of those, after one exam, you will never think of again. Then, there are the bits they won't even begin to teach you in school. These are the things that slap you across the face when you're holding your A Level results in your bedroom surrounded by Beanie Babies and posters of Zac Efron. How to pay your taxes. How to write a cover letter (what even is a cover letter). How to walk away from that guy at the bar who just won't leave you alone...

But thanks for the lessons in trigonometry.

So how are we meant to make our life choices, when we've never been taught anything about life? I'd never  been in a situation where I'd had a gut instinct so opposing to what the rest of the world wanted me to do. In secret I pulled out of the University process, I knew 100% I wanted to be an Au pair, and I found a host family. All without telling my parents, and it was the best life choice I've ever made. There was nothing they could do, and after a bit of 'coming round' time, they gave me their full support.

Leaving England for 8months at 3am
I guess the point of this not-so-little ramble post (back to rambling Alice), is to go with your instincts. And remember it is your life. People can advise and dictate and moan and groan, but essentially, you are in control of your own decisions. If you want to be a rocket scientist, be a rocket scientist. If you want to be a Kim K tribute act, then you go girl. Albert Einstein said (that's right, I'm the kinda girl who can quote Einstein): 

'Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.' 

knew last year, I wasn't ready for university. And this year thinking about how happy I am now and just how awful I felt back then, only confirms it all for me. If you're not happy, if you don't know where you're going in life, if you don't want to follow the hoards and get into thousands of pounds worth of debt, then do your own thing. Because I did, and I know I'm exactly where I should be right now.

Ciao for Now! x


  1. I went to uni and at times I was so close to dropping out, but I stayed on as I loved the social aspect of it. But now that I am graduated I am not so sure what I actually want to do with my life! Everyone seems to be judging me for not jumping straight into a 9-5 job and settling down! I'm very glad that you where able to follow what you really wanted to do!

    Lauren | laurenthedaydreamer.blogspot.co.uk

  2. haha i'm a student in bologna too, and i moved to england for 10 months too! but to study, because i can't imagine my life being any different than books and exams and notebooks... and now that it's all almost over i don't know what to do with my life D:


  3. Hello! I must say I do agree with what you've said; being 16 at the moment, idk if I want to go to university though for the past few years I've been fixated with doing medicine. I feel like I may not be able to do it though many think I'm bright enough and as I'm a strong believer in nothing is impossible, I do hope to mentally prepare myself! On the other hand, I would love to take a gap year and to do something wild and new and adventurous, that would be the most awesome time of my life.
    Ahh well, only time shall tell I suppose and I am glad to hear that your decision has made you happy and I can only hope mine will too :)
    Have a great one :)

    1. Hii! Ahh I think you should never have any self doubt, and even so you're doing the right thing by starting to think about it now! You have a year or so before you have to actually make the decisions! You can always do both, take a gap year and then go on to study medicine! A lot of people do it, and Uni's absolutely love gap years because it shows you have life experience as well as grades! Especially if you find some kind of work experience which relates to the degree :-) Good luck! xxx

  4. I was at university this year and dropped out after 4 weeks and was definitely too soon for me and was totally unprepared for it as my whole life I'd be very academic and wasn't told of any other options. I am going to uni in September to do English Lit with plans to travel in the summers in between years whilst living at home and working this year. Where if you are planning to going to uni this year?

    1. I can completely relate, I think if I hadn't pulled out back when I did, I would've ended up pulling out once I'd arrived! That sounds like an awesome plan, I'm going to do the same when I start uni this year! I'm going to Royal Holloway University of London, and I am SO excited! Which is like the total opposite to how I felt this time last year hahah! So I know it was the right choice! Good luck! xxx

  5. This is probably my favourite blog post of all time, I'm currently doing A levels and i have no idea what I want to do afterwards, its so difficult, and this really did help! I guess its best to just stick to what you're good at and what your heart tells you to do, no matter how cliche that sounds! xxxx

    Amy | amystirling.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Ah I'm really happy it helped you! I just think you need to be honest with yourself. A lot of people go to university and absolutely love it, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone! Or maybe it is for you, just not right now etcetcetc... Just think through everything! But I definitely recommend a gap year if you're not 100% sure because you can always apply for uni in that time or realise you don't want to go at all. Good luck with your A Levels, they'r'e a nightmare! Hahah xxx