Sometimes you lose yourself in life

Leaving home was an interesting one, it just kind of happened in a series of opportunist twists from the path beneath my DM boots at the age of 18. I was pretty average at school, no passion for much really, apart from indie music and my broadened reading material, NME and Melody Maker. I enjoyed art and so that is what I thought I’d be best doing and got a place at Aberdeen College on their Diploma course. Had no idea where that was going to take me but it was something.

Much to my surprise I got my higher results through (A-Levels) and I’d actually done quite well, in fact I got the same results as the posh girl up the road whose life was destined for Uni from birth. When I heard that I was essentially as brainy as her I thought, so why can’t I go for Uni. I think I even laughed at the thought, something I had never considered before.

Left pondering and thinking we had both got to the same stages of our lives and would be defined now by our grades. We all know growing up we are conditioned to think that school grades are all that matters – if you don’t do well you will be a bum.

I started a little research. In my break at work, I used my tips money to go on the pay phone and called the Uni. I asked them what courses I could get on with my grades. After going through a few people and being told I should have applied in the ‘milk rounds’, again something for the posh kids, I eventually got through to a lady who rattled off a few Degree titles. To be honest I didn’t even understand half of what these subject matters were so the last one she said was the one. “ Yeah, the product management one, how do I get onto that course”.

And so with a few other phone calls and a visit to the Uni I’d picked my destiny. I was still laughing at myself thinking ‘who do you think you are’…but I thought well, what can go wrong?. If I don’t pass the first assessments, then I’ll leave and go back to designing album covers for my imaginary band.

After this decision I went home and told my parents ‘oh by the way I’m not going to art college now I’m going to Uni’. They probably thought I was on the wacky backy.

Uni started, first assignment was 70% odd in an Economics assessment. ‘Economics! Ha ha! WhodidI think I was’. Shortly after a friend introduced me to a mad Manc who said she was in Halls of Residence and that there was a spare room in her apartment due to an international student not turning up. I arranged to meet the mad Manc the following day and marched to student office pretty much demanding that room. I got it! God knows how.

Same again went home, casually let the parents know ‘oh by the way I’ll be moving out’.

It all happened so quickly and all so unexpected, and I never looked back, well to be honest even if I had it would have been tough as the parents emigrated to Australia the year after!

It was most certainly a life lesson, to just go for it, so what if you fail, you’ve tried. A few of my friends will call me a chancer, or lucky, or ‘you always land on your feet’. I would say to that, you sometimes have to have the guts to try something and mentally deal with the outcome of failure before it may happen.

The further lessons of uni were not at all in the subject matter, I cant remember a thing. I learnt, how to drink…..many (one pound a pint ciders on a Monday night). I learnt that the posh kids have hard times too. Once I witnessed a full on break down of a fellow student because Daddy hadn’t put enough spending money in her account for a Ralph Lauren shirt. In contrast I learnt to put an outfit together for about 10 quid all courtesy of the charity shops. Also that the mad Manc was actually ok and has been my bestie ever since. The group of friends from this time of our lives have provided us with many reminiscent laughs into our 40s.

That decision to leave home at that time and in that way was the catalyst to being me. I often revisit that 18 year old and think, what would she do. Sometimes you lose yourself in life and I go back to her and think ‘go for it’. It ‘nearly’ always works out!

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do”

Share this...
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *