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.