When it comes to young adults, I feel everyone is sort-of guided in the same direction.
From my own personal perspective, it took 6 months at Glasgow University and a £4000 debt to question why I was there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting living off grid in a pop-up tent on the outskirts of Foxdale, or to seem hypocritical of a system that has prospered for decades.
However, looking back at the trials and tribulations that took me from school, to gap year, to university and then to dropping out; if I could go back and give myself 3 pieces of advice, it would be this:
1. You learn more about what you want to do, by doing things you don’t like
At first, this was just a comfort while I did the rounds, trying to find an interest in a particular subject or niche in business. Soon, however, it because closer to a motto.
Without taking it out of context, to me, this is perfect – pursue what you find interesting, and if in the end it’s not quite what you thought…then no sweat, right?
2. Take your time
Near all things in education and business are driven by deadlines. Whether it’s choosing subjects, completing a personal statement or making a choice on which college or university you want to attend – time constraints are always a factor.
It’s easy to be consumed by the idea of ‘being behind’ or ‘getting ahead’ of others.
Life is not a race, but a journey.
I can already hear my friends saying “Alright Gandhi, who put 50p in you”, but the reality is, you shouldn’t let yourself be rushed in to a decision that you aren’t ready to make. A little life experience has never done anyone any harm.
Did you go to Bali to find yourself? I hear you ask…No, I didn’t. But 12 months working in several different jobs, places and with a variety of people taught me an invaluable amount to take with me wherever I decide to go in life, even if I did end up at uni, only to leave again.
3. It’s okay to quit
This is a controversial one, but hear me out.
The “hard work leads to success” mantra surrounds our culture, and this is how it should be. Having a sickening work ethic is something I’m not embarrassed by, and honestly quite proud of. But in my opinion, too many people are consciously unhappy with their situation, yet are too afraid to provoke a change, often due to the opinions of others or being labelled as a ‘drop-out’ or a ‘quitter’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you to drop out of your Law Degree because you’ve partied from September to April, and suddenly realise you have 2 days to write 10,000 words and prepare for 3 exams (not that it isn’t possible, as many will prove me wrong) just don’t suffer silently, or get dragged along with a system that doesn’t suit you.
The irony of being a uni drop out is I could probably bash out a 10,000 word dissertation on the decisions I made and what advice I’d give myself if I could go back two years, but cliche as it is, don’t worry.
The results day mayhem will pass, you’ll find a solution to what seems an unsolvable problem, and eventually things will fall into place.