What I learnt from a gap in University

Throughout my University years, two and a half to be exact, I learnt less about life than I have in the past 5 months of absence from my studies.

I feel like a giant reality slap has occurred. Pulled from an educated and guided void that I seemed to be living in, strangely a void of which harboured me from age 5 till 20.

Studying Psychology, I am naturally a thinker. Everything to me has a giant thought process behind it and I can’t change that, it’s who I am. When I was enduring the two and a half years at University, time seemed to simply pass, I would study, pass assignments, study, pass exams, work, go on a vacation and repeat. A life that is normal for the atypical University student. Living at home allowed me to have the luxury of buying nice things and going on holidays in the break, which I wouldn’t change for the world. Some are more sensible and prefer to have life savings behind their belt, I on the other hand am a bit more for the life experience route. Which is also fine, its me at this stage of my life.

The thing is, I constantly thought throughout University what it would be like to live in the working world, the “real world”. Every year I pondered taking a different route, hearing of people who succeed without having to work up debt. I am a dreamer, always have been, and yes I am aware my reality is often spent dreaming of an alternate reality. Going straight to University did no good for my nature as a dreamer.

Rather, it threw me into a false void of security. For the atypical University student, you rarely talk about salaries, rarely overthink whether what you are studying is for an actual job that you want, rarely talk to lecturers, because why do these things. Well, now I see why these things are so important. University straight after school is a money maker. University institutions make a sh** load of money out of privileged individuals who go straight to University after school, why? Because these people are human. There minds will change and their ideal pathway WILL change. Meaning more studies and essentially more money.

University used to be a privilage for those who were intellectually and financially gifted enough to continue learning after school. Now, it appears more of a means to prolong entering reality. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not.

In a first world country filled with options, less concerned with financial outcome, more concerned with image and social approval, it seems we are all rather lost as to what options to take. The thing is, society appears to be progressing to a point where happiness is the ideal. Therefore many of us now spend our 20s searching for this job that will fulfil our daily satisfaction, as apposed to saving for a home or a family. We know these things did’t make our last generation happy, so what do we do in this generation?

Is this search good? I have no idea. What I do know is that once you enter the world from University, whether it be before studies, during, or after, your perspective will change dramatically. I would never change the path I have chose, in no way was I ready to enter life upon completion of School, I was unmotivated, scared and had a lot of learning to do.

I think everyone should be exposed to what I learnt from a cleaner at my London workplace. University is an institution, it cost money and makes money, and most importantly of all, it is a hell of a privilege that provides opportunities to learn, grow, and essentially survive in this over populated world. If you don’t know this. You shouldn’t be there.

 

 

 

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What I learnt from a gap in University

Comparison

Today I want to touch on something that has been severely bothering me over this past year.

I have done alot this year, a hell of alot. At the beginning of the year I went on a holiday to two countries, followed by completion of the most challenging semester yet of my degree, then I threw it in for a semester off because I felt the need to see the ‘real world’. That part surely happened, myself and the person at the beginning of the year now appear almost worlds apart in our thoughts.

My travels led me to get a job in London, verge around Europe, fall in love, fall out of love, and realise that I am potentially even more lost than when I started. All in the short span of four months.

Aside from the debt accumulated, of which I now must find a fulltime job to fix, I don’t regret a second of it.

The only thing is, I still find myself comparing myself to others? Is anybody else finding with age, that as the years go on, there is a pressuring presence to compare. Something that I find myself battling with on the daily.

It’s like a battle between choosing to do what I really want, in my authentic self, and comparing my situation to someone else’s. Anyone else’s who is more privileged. People began to notice it aswell, I once got told

“its like you are always trying to catch a feather that is blowing in the wind”

 

This dear friend of mine, who I had only met a week before, knew the crux of my inner strife more than I knew myself.

I am learning more and more each day, that when you compare, you transition into someone filled with envy rather than enjoying the beauty of each moment.

Seeing the world is a gift, but it can certainly change your perspective on life and what you want from this life. One thing is certain, you should never fall into the trap of viewing others lives from outside your own, because you might just feel the nagging urge to step into their shoes. Once you enter someone else’s shoes, your own may just get stolen.

Comparison

20’s

  • Travel.
  • Love your family.
  • Lose friends you love, then find new ones.
  • Don’t stop singing in your car.
  • Move to a new area.
  • Trust everyone, until they give you a reason not to.
  • Never compare.
  • The future is not for you to know.
  • Learn that thinking won’t change reality.
  • You’ll start being more cynical each year. It’s fine. Life’s hard.
  • If you need Ben and Jerry’s, eat it.
  • If you find something you love, forget this list and do that.
  • If you haven’t found what you love, don’t search. Just get out there and live, according to what life is to you.
20’s

Observe 

Serenity, pure bliss. I sit on a warm ledge, heated by the suns delightful rays. It beams down with complete certainty, engulfing me in the process, making the life around me so clear, so clean. A women just walked up to me, I sat with my head directed down and my mind on the sound of my music, she attempted to gain my attention as she reached over my shoulder to retrieve a useless leaf. Her black curly hair rests underneath a Santa hat, an object which defines her place in society as a rebellion, someone who swoops in disregarding the formality put in place by those above. “It’s not fucking christmas” says the man seated across the shrubs, directing his words at me with a sly smile that creates creases in the crevasses of his wilting face. I do not respond, nor give my approval at his remark, all I do is simply place my head back down towards my phone, a place where it belongs in today’s society. I conform. I do not create the boundaries, i abide by them. But is abiding by the unspoken laws as bad as the men who make them, those who sit on high chairs beneath large paintings which represent beauty and struggle that they will never endure. Am I as bad as they who scorn, to sit here with nice clothes and a pivoted head, shoulders slouched so the world can not enter my senses. Once the world enters the senses we become victims to the pain inflicted by others, pain that despite all effort is harder to remove than gum on a dirty street. There are others, though they do not speak. For the others are not of worth, they lurk in the shadows creating formidable shame to the men up high.

Observe