I was always the sort of student that did well at school. I knew how to write the essays that my teachers wanted to read, I did well in exams and, since primary school, the plan had always been to go to uni after high school. I’m not saying I enjoyed every second of Year 12; there was plenty of break downs and all-nighters and days spent crying about whether I was going to be able to get the marks I needed or get into the degree I wanted.
At the end of it, I came out with a pretty solid ATAR, a couple of uni offers and the plan to get a degree.
It seemed like a good plan. It’s what my teachers had been telling me my pathway would be, it was what my parents expected me to do and I was okay with the fact that I was going to have to spend the next couple of years of my life studying in order to land the sort of job I wanted.
Like all of the best laid plans–my post school pathway went to shit. I hated uni: I hated travelling so far to get to a campus that was meant to be one of the best, I hated studying a degree that wasn’t giving me any practical knowledge, I hated the idea of finishing up in three years time with a massive debt and no job prospects.
So, after a year of writing uni essays, slogging through group assignments and listening to boring lectures, I dropped out.
It wasn’t an easy decision. I was worried I’d wasted a years worth of time and money, I was scared of disappointing my parents and facing a world where I wasn’t confined by the structures of any sort of education system. What the fuck was I going to do if I wasn’t studying?
In the end, everything turned out fine.
If I’d stuck with my degree I’d be graduating this year. Instead I’ve worked as a clerical assistant, a waitress and a bartender. I’ve done work experience with local newspapers and written content for major organisations. I started writing for Year13 and managed to land a full time gig here, doing a job I love and all without a degree.
What I’m trying to get at is that regardless of what people tell you, dropping out of uni doesn’t make you a failure. It doesn’t mean you’ll be any less successful or that you’ll ruin the rest of your life.
It’s scary to make such a massive decision like dropping out of uni, especially when everyone is telling you not to, but don’t let that stop you from doing what’s right for you. Dropping out of uni was the best decision I could make and if nothing else, take this as your sign to have a look at your other options–there’s plenty of them out there.