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Put it Off

A few weeks ago, just before I was supposed to go and visit my first choice university for an open day, I decided to defer my place.

If you don’t know what deferring is, it’s a process students in the UK can do where they ask for their university place to be saved for the next academic year. Instead of going this year, they just put it off. Bloody students.

This decision meant I had ultimately put off my future for another year. But why? I hear you all enthusiastically asking. You were so excited to go? Why change your mind?

Well imaginary audience whom I pretend read my work, here’s why:

If you’ve read my other post about feeling scared for the future, you’ll know I was having doubt about the whole… becoming an adult thing. And it was seriously weighing on me, the idea that I might be making the wrong decision by going to uni, that I’d just go to impress the people around me, and that I was doing it because I thought I had to. So after weeks of dwelling on it, one morning I just decided to ask. I emailed the university, asking if it was possible to defer my place at this time in my application. They said yes, I confirmed I wanted to, and it was done. Portsmouth are waiting for me until 2017.

I did this because I didn’t want to just give up on my uni dreams (not that it was a dream so much as a “sure okay that sounds a good idea”). but because honestly I don’t feel ready. And I’m not sure that I even need a degree to go down the route I’m hoping (whatever that is). So, if I can try and get myself in a good place within the next year, maybe kick-start a career with a company or get my name out there. Hell, maybe even get this blog to a place where it can help me in the future, I’ll do that.

I’m not doing a “gap-year” to travel, or laze around until I have to back to education. I actually like education. I like lessons and learning and projects and essays. But I don’t know if now is the right time for me to do that. It’s almost too soon to be going straight from one qualification to another. Man needs a break.

I want to spend this year finding ways to get where I want to be, see if I could do it without a degree. Earn money, maybe go on a few holidays, reconnect with old friends, maybe even move out. And if it so happens that I do need or want to get my degree at this time next year, then so be it. But I want to explore my options first. You know, without the £30,000 debt before I’m 25.

It’s funny but, I feel like a weirdly large amount of people in my year are opting out of university. I only know a select number of people who are planning to go, and an even fewer amount planning to go this September, instead of waiting. I don’t know the official statistics on the matter but why is it that less and less of us are taking the traditional route to success? Is it the money? Is it fear? Is it learning from our elders’ mistakes or are we repeating them? My parents never went to university, nor did anyone in my family until that one cousin last year. What makes it so off-putting that not only would people choose to leave it for another 12 months, or just scrap the idea altogether?

I guess we’ll have to wait another twenty or so years before we can really see the lifestyle differences between the groups that did and didn’t, but for now I’ll wish everyone luck. Going to uni or staying behind to get on with life as soon as possible, I salute you. Whether you’re at the end of your gap year, finishing A Levels or even finishing your degree, well done. You’ve done great. You’re gonna get there, I promise.

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