I have a place to read pharmacy at university in just over a month. I really wish I wasn’t. I wish I’d stuck to my original plan of taking a full year out and reconsidering my position in 2012 instead of being carried away on a high of extreme enthusiasm without thinking how it would make me feel in the long term. I am more content with my life at the moment than I’ve been in years. I have plans to start a business in a field I love where I can work the hours I feel capable of as and when I feel ready to take it on. I’m terrified university would be a massive step backwards. I don’t feel ready to go back to doing full time proper work. I don’t want anything to interrupt my stability. I know at the moment I’m living in a dream world but if it’s making me happy,selfishly it seems a shame to interrupt that.

However, I’m under a lot of pressure to take up the place. My boyfriend has bought a house and moved half way across the country, away from his family to enable me to do it. If it wasn’t for my university place, we would both probably have chosen to remain closer to our families and the area we are familiar with. A few months ago, when I first started getting doubts, I tried to discuss it with him. By that point we’d already bought the house and were in the middle of a high stress, hard work renovation. He shouted at me. I haven’t dared raise it with him since.

My parents claim to be happy with whatever I choose. I get the impression that doesn’t extend to crafting as a lifestyle choice. They want me to use my alleged intelligence and have a ‘proper’ job. It was subtle pressure from my dad that persuaded me to accelerate my plans a year in the first place. After the boyfriend shouted at me, I phoned them and cried about how unhappy I was with my decisions and how little I wanted to go to uni. They basically ignored it and have carefully avoided the topic ever since. I attempted to raise it again the other day. The first thing my mum said was “you might as well try it”, before I had the chance to raise any of my views. It’s clear what they want and the misguided desire to make my parents happy is what has led me to make a lot of bad choices in the past.

My ideal plan would be to defer my place a year. That would give me the opportunity to properly focus on my crafting and to see if I can make a go of it. If that didn’t work out, I could get some relevant work experience to prepare me better for returning to academia. I could use the extra year to really focus on me. Up until recently I’ve been fighting incredibly hard just to prevent me from moving backwards, maybe with time I could redirect than energy to moving forward. Get fit, get balanced, maybe even get some therapy to address my major issues. Seems the ideal solution, it would hopefully placate those I am under pressure from and give me more time.

However, nothings that simple. I don’t know if the university would let me defer for a year for a start. It requires a lot of good will and faith in me from them. Even if they would, there’s still a major barrier in my way. If I start this year, I will have to pay fees of approximately £3500 a year. It’s a lot of money but I’ve been really frugal for the last few years (being too depressed to eat or leave the house is at least kind on the wallet) and could afford to begin. If I start next year it will cost me £9000 pounds a year due to the new fee structure and I wouldn’t be entitled to a student loan to cover it as I’ve already had one. There’s no way I could afford that or justify that sort of expense to anyone else.

I’m stuck. Either I do something I don’t  want to do or I disappoint and alienate a lot of people. Maybe that’s what real life is, doing stuff you don’t want to for the sake of others. Sucks.



11 Responses to University

  1. Narky says:

    This is just my opinion so please, please dismiss it if I am wrong. But my answer is no, that is not what life is about. Sometimes yes, you have to compromise… but when it comes to your health and your major life decisions, they should be made by you and not influenced by other people’s reactions. It’s really hard, I know that. But if you don’t want to go, you don’t want to go. A ‘proper’ job that makes you unhappy isn’t worth it at all.

    Whatever your decision, I hope you can find peace about it.


    • anickdaler says:

      Would never dismiss your opinion, I’m after as many views as I can get! I know I should follow what I want but it seems so much easier and less confrontational to just go along with what others say.

  2. LittleFeet says:

    Mmm-hmm. That’s a tricky situation 😦

    Maybe you need to sit down with the boyfriend again? Why not pick a time when neither of you are stressed and can take a balanced view?

    Also, is there any harm in contacting the university to find out about deferring? If they say no, you can’t, then at least that’s one less option you need to explore. If they say yes, it’s worth knowing the option remains.

    Thinking of you xxx

    • anickdaler says:

      Contacting the uni is a good idea. I’m on holiday with the parents and boyfriend in a week so I may try and find time to sit them all down and discuss it. I’m not good at those sort of conversations though.

  3. Is your work at the moment something that will provide for you in the future? When the economy fluctuates, will you still be able to make a living? Thsoe are the things you should ask yourself. There is a timing for everything under the sun. You fear that the university will take you backwards. Maybe it will actually move you into position to be successful at whatever you choose to do. Sometimes frustrations and fears cloud our decisiion making. Take a breath. Write down the pros and cons of both decisions. And, give a prayer to God to help you make the right decision. He alone is the only one who can see your life now and even to the end.

    • anickdaler says:

      The problem is I’m not currently making a living from anything, am being dolescum on benefits. I would like to try and make a living selling the stuff I make but I have no idea if it would be successful or not but if I go to uni I may never have the chance to find out. Will definitely try harder to weigh up the pros and cons though,

  4. LittleFeet says:

    I’ve been thinking about you this afternoon. A few minutes ago I was knitting and listening to this. Perhaps it’ll offer you food for thought?

  5. anickdaler says:

    Aww, thanks 🙂 I shall have a listen when I get some time to myself, probably tomorrow.

  6. Lil says:

    Personally if I were you, I’d take the uni place. I only say this because I know so many people who’ve taken a year out or deferred because they want to sort things out, get themselves mentally ready, finish projects etc. But a lot of people I know found that their year out wasn’t what they thought it would be and often wish they’d taken up the uni place sooner. Especially if it was down to health problems, especially of the mental variety as they don’t respond to timescales and deadlines. You can’t predict how you’ll feel in a years time, it could be worse.
    You can still practice and try and sell your craft whilst in uni and once you’ve finished, the opportunity won’t be lost as such, just different.
    If pharmacy is anything like nursing, you’ll need your craft as a way to kick back and relax and take time out from academia every now and then. I certainly do.
    Unfortunately with the new fees you’re in a now or never situation sort of, which sounds horrible. Don’t pressure yourself too much and do what is right for you. Good luck whatever you decide. 🙂

  7. Bob says:

    I won’t give you my opinion either way, but I’d like you to consider writing out a business plan for the things you’re making. If you do this, you’ll find out the best and worst case scenarios for the money you’d be able to make (taking into account how long you’d have to make things, how much people would pay, downtime etc.). You’ll then be able to present a case to yourself/your parents. You’d need this for any loan you might want to take out anyway.

    Either you’ll realise that you can’t live off the profit you’d make, or that you can actually make it work. I’d say this was better than a list of pros and cons.

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