One of the hardest choices I ever made.
To go to University or Not.
When I turned 16 I went straight to college. I studied Health and Social Care Level 2. I was actually one of the best in my class, almost every grade was a Distinction. In the midst of this course, I decided that this was not what I wanted to do for a career. I’d always been a creative child, I sang in many of my school choirs and loved art and writing. That was when I decided to take Photography Class instead. I started in Level 2, Level 3 then Level 3 Extended Diploma. For 3 years, I studied Photography. I love my camera, I love taking pictures and I love the freedom my camera gives me. There was only one problem with this. That was that I was not given the freedom to photograph what I like. A project on Music photography – not my thing. A project on Commerical Photography – not my thing. So naturally, I got bad grades because I didn’t enjoy what I was working on, It would be like asking a Sci-Fi writer to write a book on Politics. I only excelled in the work I had created with freedom, which wasn’t very often.
I went from being at the top of my class to around average. I love that this challenged me, I was not the best. I had to put in the work and it was all a learning curve. At the end of it all, I applied for University.
I attended my University Interview with all my personal work in which my interviewer loved. He said this stuff was better because it spoke about me. Showing my interviewer pictures of bands, products etc, wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, I showed him my personal adventures pictures of my daughter, dog, family, day’s out.
I deferred my placement till September 2018. (Applied in early 2017) After my interview, I was happy at the thought of going to Uni, how it would change my life. But when I finished college, I had realised I had lost the only thing I felt most passionate about, my photography.
My whole Photography experience has always been photographed for someone else, whether that be a client, an assignment or for a portfolio. Never once was a photograph for me. I envied that the one true thing I loved had been ruined for me. It took me months to actually get back my passion and start to photograph and love my camera again.
I’m glad that I deferred my place to give myself time to figure out what was right for me. Otherwise, I would have rushed into something and then have to drop out halfway which is just not something I feel will benefit anyone. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life thinking what if…
I hope this can give anyone struggling in the decision to go to uni or not. I actually wrote this a long time ago but as I know University starts soon for people in the UK, I thought I would share my insight.
Never lose your passion, always do something because you love doing it, not because you feel like you have to. I will always push people to do what they love most. Making sure I didn’t spend the rest of my life in a career I don’t enjoy is something I am passionate about. It’s okay to make a decision and change it. Not everything is set in stone.
^All photographs are just to show some of my personal photography.