Why I Regret Higher Education

So the EU referendum has happened over here in the UK and we’re going to be leaving. I have been absolutely heartbroken as myself and my family members voted to remain. With everything that’s gone on in the past couple of days, it’s gotten me thinking about the kind of impact that it will have on the UK as a whole, education in particular. Then I got thinking about how despite going into higher education myself, it was actually a rather big mistake for me and I would have been better off doing something else. Here are a few reasons why I regretted my choice.

1. The subject I chose to study.

From a very young age, I have always known what I wanted to do with my life and that was to write novels. Even though I found other career aspects appealing, my heart always came back to being an author. I was originally going to study creative writing at university but I changed my mind after tuition fees got raised and I drifted away from actually writing anything. Film production was a very big passion of mine for many years so it felt right for me to study it in university. However, a year into my course, I realized that I actually did want to pursue a writing career rather than a film one. I completed my course and chose not to stay on to do a Bachelor’s (I got a Foundation Degree instead) and then began working full time while developing my writing on the side. As much as I enjoyed making films, it’s not something I want to do as a career anymore.

2. My grades.

This was a huge factor as to why I regretted my choice to study further; my marks weren’t that good overall. I worked so hard towards my uni course, even after my heart wasn’t entirely in getting a job in the film industry. I spent lots of my free time working on as much as I could to the best of my ability, but it just wasn’t enough to get me the marks I wanted. I graduated uni with a 2:2 which most people would be overjoyed with. But me…I was devastated. What was even worse was the fact I was 2 marks away from getting a 2:1, which is what I was aiming for. To me, my marks showed that no matter how much time, effort and dedication I put to making films and all the other aspects surrounding it, it would never be good enough. It also didn’t help that there was one person on my course who never handed in any work on time and was one of the stupidest people I had ever met. Yet they managed to pass (barely). It angered me.

3. What I Actually Learnt

I will admit, some things that I learnt in uni were very useful to me and I am able to use what I’ve learnt via my YouTube channel. But everything else I learnt doesn’t really apply to me anymore. The only real thing I learnt was that my work was never going to be good enough for anyone and someone so pathetic and stupid could manage to successfully pass the course, despite numerous protests from myself and other students. I’m fairly sure that person even got a Bachelor’s Degree. Although I learnt about storyboarding, colour grading, different angled shots, certain methods of filming, I don’t use any of it for my YouTube channel. Yes, I have an idea of how I want my videos to look, but I don’t go to excruciating detail to make sure that’s what the outcome is. I’m making a video, not producing a film.

4. My Mental Health

Getting out of secondary school was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life so far. I hated my school and I prayed that by going to university, I could come out of my shell and it would help ease my problems. And for the most part, it did. However there were certain moments on the course where my mental health became worse. A prime example of this is when I had to give a presentation. I used to hate doing presentations; the thought of public speaking terrified me and every time I did a presentation, I had a panic attack straight afterwards. Although my classmates were incredibly understanding and supportive, there were times where one of my tutors dismissed it altogether. When I finally managed to overcome my fear and give what I thought was a good presentation, many of my classmates told me how proud they were of seeing me so confident. My tutor however, picked my delivery apart and shredded it into a million pieces, forgetting the fact that what I had done was a pivotal moment for me. I think I got 52 on that presentation and I had never been so angry in my life.

Despite me regretting my choice of higher education, I did have some amazing memories and I got to make some awesome films and even more awesome friends. I’m proud of a lot of the work I did on my course, even if it didn’t get the marks I hoped for. All of my friends from uni have gone on to do amazing things with their lives and I couldn’t be happier for them all. I just wish that I could have maybe gone and done a course that could have helped further my writing, or maybe even just gone into work full time to begin with. It’s a real shame that we’re leaving the EU as I have thought about doing a writing course numerous times. With the way things are going, that’s probably not going to be possible let alone affordable. Oh well, a girl can dream, eh?

Have you regretted learning higher education?

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5 Comments

  1. 30th June 2016 / 8:34 am

    This is such a great post Holly. These days there are so many people going to UNI as standard without really thinking through whether it's right for them – it's like schools promote the idea that anything less than UNI is a waste of time/sub par, which is nonsense as there are so many great alternatives these days.

    Like you I knew deep down that I wanted to be a writer but I picked Media & Comms as my subject. Honestly? It didn't really put me on the route to becoming a writer and I found that a lot of people saw it as a mickey mouse degree. It infuriated me as I worked so hard! After that I did an MA in Creative Writing, which did help, but it didn't guarantee a career in writing. I'm still working on that!

  2. 30th June 2016 / 11:52 am

    I rarely read blogs but follow you on YouTube (my name is peace&cookies) and IG (my name is Wolfhailstorm), but after seeing your IG post on this I just had to read this because I'm really struggling with my first year of uni. I'm wondering if I carry on will it become a thing I will regret because it is also having a negative impact on my mental health. This was really enlightening. Thanks Holly, oh and I also voted in for the Referendum and I'm really worried about what our future will become.

  3. 30th June 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Thank you lovely! Yes, I hate that uni is practically forced on a lot of people, it definitely was with me when I was at school. I've found that people who didn't pursue uni were actually better off in the long run! xxxx

  4. 30th June 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Hello you! :3 I'm glad you found some comfort in this post and I hope things go okay for you! xxxx

  5. 1st July 2016 / 3:09 pm

    I can really relate to this. Especially the presentations thing. I refused to do the presentation for my Creative Writing course and so failed it (that assignment, not the whole course.) There was just no way I could have got up there and done it. I dropped out after 2 years anyway, and my only regret is that I didn't push through and get the degree. After 2 years I might as well have stuck it out, ya know? x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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