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.




What I learnt from a gap in University