Sunday, 15 June 2014

LIFE: Kirstie Allsopp Versus University

I think the one revelation of growing up is that you will never know everything. You might know a lot, but every day is one that you've never seen before and so you're still learning as much as you were when you were five.

When you were five, you thought that twenty was really old, that people became policemen and nurses and firefighters. You're learning basic maths and spend a lot of time running around screaming and playing.

Now you're in your twenties, you know you don't want to be any of those, but don't know what you want to be either. Twenty is really young. You're trying to figure out mathematics for the logistics of flat sharing. You run around mentally screaming at other people about how slow they're moving.

You will always be five years old.

You'll just add more and more years.

I've read a lot about Kirstie Allsopp's article on the pressure on young women to be the most that they can possibly be. I wholeheartedly agree. I would change so many things in the past to sculpt my life into what I'd love it to be right now. I think most people would change at least one thing of their past, however trivial. I said the other day that the thing I would change would be to never go to University, but now I think that's not true. I'm glad I went, I just wish I'd studied something different. University gave me Student Loans, Bursaries and Grants that I saved up and bought my kitchen with. It helped me buy my current car. It gave me the means to move out of my parents house forever.

But, if I'd gone straight into working, I would be where I am now, just more financially secure and ready for the future. Prepared, if you like.

I will tell my children to be who they want to be. If they want to go to University then they will. But, I will make sure that they know that it's not their only option like I thought it was.

The only thing I would change about Kirstie's article is that it's not just women that need to know that. Men, boys, lads need to know that Uni isn't the only way. My Lad went to Uni twice and failed twice. He's done more for his future in the three years since getting a proper job than he ever did wasting his money there.

University will be the route for some people - no doubt - but for others, that crucial pivotal point in their lives should be spent figuring out what they want to be when they grow up without the price tag of Uni.

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