Okay, so let’s start this post with a bit of a back story shall we?
After I finished high school back in 2010, I really wanted to go and start at a new college instead of staying on at sixth form like everybody else did. (I went to an all girls school for 5 years, can you blame me?) I chose Law, Media, Sociology and English Literature and boy oh boy, was that step from GCSE to A Level a shocker! It’s also worth mentioning at this point that I never really had any prior interest in university, as it was during this time that tuition fees were trebled from £3000 to £9000 – as a working class family gal from Merseyside, I just never saw it as a viable option.
Flash forward to 2011 and I’d finished my first year of AS levels. (I say finished but what I should really say is barely scraped by) I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself and my awful grades, so I decided to drop out and try and get a job. What a stupid idea that was!! I spent an entire year getting knocked back, wondering why no one wanted to employ a weird looking (and weird acting) 17 year old with no qualifications or experience? My birthday is in May, and after a loooonnnggggg year I finally turned 18 and went down the job center, got paid once…. and was then sanctioned for missing the bus. Lol.
Looking back now, I believe I was at the first of many low points during my teen years.
It was 2012 when I decided to take myself along to The City of Liverpool College open day and sign myself up for a hairdressing course. 5 days later, I was in! I attended the college for 2 years and it was during this time I realised the importance of doing something that you enjoy. I started to gain an interest in SFX makeup and would practice at any opportunity; my tutor even arranged for me to sit in during SFX classes that I was not enrolled on in order to further my skills.
During this time, I started to think about university again. I found out that University College Birmingham offered courses for people like me, those who didn’t have a lot of UCAS points due to studying towards NVQ’S or VRQ’s rather than A Levels. After applying for student finance, an open day visit and many panicked phone-calls later, I was in!
I applied for an FdA Specialist Hair and Media Makeup degree and would have to later top-up to BA Hons. First year was a blast, I loved meeting hundreds of new people and I felt like Birmingham belonged to me. I was walking round a city I’d never been to before, yet I knew more people than I’d probably met throughout the course of my entire life. I was loving my degree (to an extent, more on that soon) and was pretty much living in the fairy tale of it all.
At the end of first year, I decided to apply for a job as a Hall Manager. If you don’t know what that is, then think of any student accommodation and that one d*ckhead that comes knocking on your door during parties to have a go at you, turn your music off and ruined your night. That was me – but I got paid for it. The sole reason I applied for the job was due to the fact you got given free accommodation plus wages and could work the entire summer whilst living in Birmingham for free. I was an absolute bloody BALLER that year, lemme tell you! NO RAGRETS XOXO
I quit after 15 months of doing it because I finally had enough of everyone hating me, since I was basically doing the same things I would have to go and tell people off for – and I don’t cope well with being disliked. I also decided that I didn’t want to do SHMM anymore and so I graduated with an FdA and applied for Digital Marketing BA Hons as my top-up instead. I was finally in a class with my best friend and was getting 1:1s and 2:1s with barely any effort at all; I’d finally found what I loved to do and what I am good at! So that brings us to now; June 2017, and I’ve just completed my second degree.
Reflecting upon moving to Birmingham, I definitely had completely different expectations of what my life would be like when I finished. I assumed I would be a full time makeup artist, working on film sets and obsessed with blood, guts and SFX makeup. However due to my decision to start a 2nd degree in Digital Marketing, I’m now looking at getting a job within the digital industry, such as a content/ website editor relating to social media, and looking back, IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY PERFECT SENSE!!! I got an A* in my Media GCSE and a B at AS Level (aka the only one I didn’t fail) and I would encourage anyone feeling a bit lost to just get out there and see what options there are for you – I can guarantee there are options out there that you didn’t even know about! If you’re interested in something then pursue it, because it’s never too late to learn something new. I’ve been quite lucky in that it all seemed to fall into my lap but I believe in good karma so that’s my excuse..
Basically, finishing uni is huge for me. I’ve been through a LOT and to come through it the other side with 2 degrees, life-long friends, an amazing boyfriend and some unforgettable experiences – I’m pretty proud.
And although leaving my friends behind in Birmingham will be the saddest day, and the thought of it alone makes me want to burst into tears, I’m now looking at moving down to Brighton with my boyfriend… Onto the next chapter I suppose!