MY EXPERIENCE | LEAVING UNIVERSITY

It’s not often I get personal here on More Than Adored but just last week I had a bit of a word vomit/vent/ramble and I left it sitting in my drafts.. I then realised that it was something that alot of people could relate too so here it is, my experience with leaving university and how I’m feeling now. 

At the end of the university year of 2013 I wasn’t sure I would reenrol in the new year but it was one of those things I pushed to the back of my mind – I’ll deal with it later kinda-thing. The new year rolled around and I didn’t really want to go back to my teaching course but I didn’t have anything else to do (job wise) and everyone is always saying how bad first year is so a part of me want to see if my second year would be better. Keeping it short it just wasn’t and I realised that teaching just wasn’t going to be for me. I left before the end of the first semester and it honestly was the most empowering things I’ve ever done. I no longer felt like I was trying to please everyone else or society, I felt like I was doing the right thing for me. I instantly felt happier and elation continued for a month or so until I began questioning myself. It wasn’t that I regretted leaving because I am honestly so much happier but I think it was because I didn’t know what to do next and I still don’t.

You see when you leave university you have everyone questioning you which makes you second guess yourself. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had a panic internally because someone has asked me ‘Well what are you going to do now Sarah’ or ‘What’s your plans now?’ or ‘But you will get a degree won’t you?’ It’s although I’ve been feeling like I need answers for all these questions when in reality it’s okay I don’t know.

Leaving university has been the best decision I’ve ever made but there is all this pressure. The questions and looks of disappointment when my extended family hear that I’ve stop studying makes me feel under pressure to know what I want to do. It’s unfair. From the age of 16 onwards you’re expected to know what career path you want to take when really we’re all just learning about ourselves, our capabilities and enjoying the luxury of being spontaneous.

All this pressure has made me feel like a bit of a failure and I didn’t expect to feel like that. As I said, extended family have made me feel like a disappointment (not intentionally of course!) and I haven’t been coping with that very well at all. I do lack sense of direction career wise and I really envy those who have a set in stone idea of what they’re doing with their lives. It’s been really overwhelming because I’m the type of person who likes routine, goals, making decisions and working towards something. My boyfriend often gets annoyed at me because when plans change, I, with lack of a better expression, lose my shit. This new found unsure feeling with what I’m doing/going to do is new to me so it’s taking a little while for me to adjust.

So what am I doing now? I made the decision to keep my casual position in retail so that I could have the luxury to work hard on my website, plan my relaunch, do some freelance social media management and generally see what I can make of More Than Adored. It can be hard because I’m living off next to nothing but I’m able to do things I thoroughly enjoy. Again it’s another thing I’m finding hard to adjust too. Working for yourself can be tricky to say the least.. You create these unrealistic expectations of yourself, it’s like you have to prove to yourself and everyone else that you’re doing something really worthwhile. I overwork myself but slowly I’m learning it’s okay not to get everything done in one day. Blogging is a hard gig, it takes more hours then most think and even then most of the time when you click publish you just see all the things you need to improve on. 
So I am struggling with the adjustment but I can honestly say that leaving university is the best decision I made. I was 100% sure that my course wasn’t for me anymore. It’s the things that follow the initial leaving that I wasn’t very prepared for. There are so many things I want to do with our online community and I’m excited for the future. I don’t know where I’ll be in another 12 months which is slightly terrifying but I’m slowly getting used to the idea – THAT’S OKAY!
If you made it this far thank you for reading. I know it was a bit word-vomit like but I wanted to keep it as real and unedited as possible. I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions/experiences in the comments.
*some of these products may have been sent to me for consideration.

Sarah About Sarah
I'm a retail manager by day and a blogger by night aiming to bring you the newest beauty, fashion and lifestyle news. More Than Adored was created to help beauty lovers, like myself, make informed decisions when it comes to buying new goodies.

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17 Comments

  1. 1

    Really lovely post Sarah! I found it really interesting, and somewhat inspiring that you decided to leave uni! I mean if you definitely know that you did not enjoy teaching, why continue with it? The last thing you want is to be stuck in a career that you hate, and resent going to work everyday. I really admire you for going after what you really want, maybe even if you don’t know what that is yet! This really resonated with me because I’m currently choosing Uni courses (eek!) and I’ve been unsure about it for the last two years, and still unsure if what I end up choosing will be the right fit for me, but of course, I can always change! I really hope that everything works itself out for you, and I’m so excited to see all the knew things you’ve been working on. x

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  2. 2

    Thank you for this post Sarah!

    I felt like that just dropping a third year subject more than halfway through it!! I felt so bad for my lab partner but I couldn’t handle it! Anyways, I made it through my 4 years of uni and went into teaching… About 5 weeks in, I wanted to quit. I actually went in to school in said I wouldn’t be coming back anymore. The lovely staff reassured me that I was good at what I was doing and to work through it and they will give me support. So for the rest of the year, I tried to do it but ended up stressing and crying about it every other night. I had no idea why I was so affected and maybe I wasn’t great at what I was doing even though I loved teaching but something must have been wrong if I dredged going to work every day.
    In the new year, I tried to start fresh but only made it through a few weeks and couldn’t go back. The hardest call I had to make was to tell the school that I quit and I felt like a disappointment and i let everyone down. I had no idea where I was going next. Luckily, I had my job at the chemist to keep me going and then started applying for other jobs.
    Now, I’m back at school but not teaching, the pay is a fraction of what I was getting before, only work a few a hours a day and extra hours non-paid but I love what I’m doing and life is much better!

    It’s good to have some unknowns in life, it makes it worth looking forward to and it keeps us flexible =)

  3. 3

    I think it’s really admirable that you made the decision to leave something that was not making you happy! I feel like a lot of people stick with it and then regret all the time that they’ve wasted when they could’ve been pursuing something else they really loved. I’m still in first year, so I’m hoping second year will be better. If not, then I really don’t know what I would do! (Probably stick with it, because I’m a coward living under my parents hah).
    Loved reading this Sarah! It was not word vomit at all, it was really nice to get to know more about you personally :)

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

  4. 4

    I think a lot of people can relate to this Sarah and I think it’s so great that you can look at this rationally as your own person separate from everyone’s expectation of you.
    A lot of people who are still enrolled in university still feel lost and unsure of what they want to do after their studies too. I know for me, with my graduation looming around the corner, I don’t feel like my university degree has set anything in stone either and honestly all of my options for what to do after uni has nothing to do with my course. Thinking about my future is something I often get really anxious about but then i take a step back and see that I’m still so young and there are still so many opportunities to try a bunch of things i want to do! I shouldn’t have to commit to a career path and stay there forever especially if it is not something i love. I think we live in a day and age when so many more opportunities are presented to us and we have to option to travel and meet people. Because of all these new possibilities, we just have to work a bit harder to really pick out the things we love and we’re good at c:
    It’s amazing to see how much your blog as grown, you should be proud!

    Chloé⎪à la foliee

  5. 5

    You did well with leaving, I know so many people who are fucking miserable with uni but don’t feel like they can leave. It’s a lot of money to spend on something you don’t enjoy doing. Kudos Sarah!

    taylordevil.com

  6. 6

    I know exactly how you were feeling leaving uni. I quit uni about 4 years ago, have stayed in retail since and haven’t looked back since. I always get so many questions asked like, ‘Are you always going to be in retail?’, ‘Is this what you want a lifelong career?’ and the most asked, ‘Are you going to go back to uni?’ At the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right and if it works, it works and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Leaving uni isn’t the be all and end all. And hey, some of the most successful people in the world didn’t even finish high school!
    So good on you for making your own decision! Keep up the great work (: xx

    http://www.lifeloveandlipstickblog.blogspot.com.au

  7. 7

    At the beginning of this year I was in a similar situation to you. I’d spent the last 2 and a half years going through a teaching degree, which I loathed. It wasn’t until the final school experience block that I realised that I was never going to like teaching, and it would always make me ill. I was very fortunate – I was able to swap my placement for a longer dissertation, and so still achieved my degree. It just goes to show that life doesn’t always go to plan, but I’m so much happier now than I would be if I were teaching!
    Beth x
    swallowsandskylines.blogspot.co.uk

  8. 8
  9. 9

    I can completely relate to this after leaving my course a few weeks ago. People asking what you’re going to do now and just feeling like a disappointment to everyone has been something I’ve been struggling with as well. Thank you for sharing your experience, you do such a great job with More Than Adored and I know you’ve got an amazing future ahead of you with this website! :) xxx

    Ash / thebeautycollection.wordpress.com

  10. 10

    This is such an eye opener Sarah, I know somewhat of what you’re going through. I haven’t left university however my oldest brother did, but I had left a course that I just wasn’t enjoying. Lucky for me, that opened my eyes to what I do love to do and that’s beauty. So I applied to a beauty school, I didn’t have the disappointment from family and friends. Although I did feel horrible as I still wasted time and money, but it’s amazing that you had the guts to do what you wanted. Not everyone can so I hope that you feel proud in yourself because you deserve to be happy.

  11. 11

    I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until I was 26 and even then it took me a few years to get to the point where I was actually doing it. Even now I have times when it’s a struggle but it’s all worth it when what you do is making you happy :) and I totally agree; blogging is a hard gig!!!

  12. 12

    University wasn’t the happiest moments of my life, I’ve often thought about dropping out. I knew that Science wasn’t for me about half way through second year, but I stuck with it and finished it (doing as many general education subjects and electives outside of Science as I could) because I didn’t want to waste all the money and effort I’ve put in the first year and a half. I also think coming from the typical asian culture also forced me to stay put and finish my degree.

    Although I’m not working in the Science industry, I’m actually quite proud of myself for finishing a degree despite not liking it. I guess the one thing I have learnt or gained out of it all (besides a stupidly expensive piece of paper which has my name on it) is that I strongly dislike science.

    Abigail / Shrinking Wallet

  13. 13

    Wonderful post Sarah. I finished my uni degree and now I don’t even work (or want to work) in that field anymore! It was a great experience but I wish I had the guts to stand up sooner and say that it wasn’t for me. :) You’re still so young and have the world at your feet. Enjoy where you are now :D

    Kate | themintedbeauty.com

  14. 14

    What a great post. My husband left uni in his first year (I think the first semester actually) and he worked hard and has ended up working for some great companies. He puts his all into his work and even studies and works on his days off. He ended up getting his dream job even though he was concerned he wouldn’t even get a look at because he didn’t do uni. They were more impressed that he got all of his qualifications on his own hours than having a degree.

    While qualifications like a degree can be great, it means very little when you’re out in the workforce. Hard work, dedication and enthusiasm will get you so much further than a piece of paper.

    Wishing you the best for the future, no matter what you choose to do :)

  15. 15

    I was just talking to my mum about how I wish that I didn’t spend so long at university. I wanted to enter academia so badly that I wasted 6 years at uni, I don’t mind my job at the moment but it’s not something I am incredibly passionate about. I loveeeed my position in the beauty industry while I was studying, but I was judged hard by family friends. I say follow your heart, you’re heading towards the right direction. :)

  16. 16

    Wonderful post Sarah & one I can sort of relate to, even though I’m (probably) a good 10 years older than you. I can definitely relate to the lack of direction career wise – I didn’t make it to uni (my mark just…well..missed the mark I guess) and have floated in and out of jobs since, but in a way, I’m kind of glad I didn’t go, purely because of the what if’s – what if I wanted to drop out? What if I didn’t like the course I wanted to do? Even now I still have absolutely no clue about what I want to do with my life and I doubt I ever will (like you, I envy those who know what they want career wise & go for it), but like you said, that’s okay! Sometimes I wonder whether having a degree gets you anywhere these days.

    Anyway, your decision took guts & I applaud you. :o)

  17. 17

    Well written Sarah I think you are very courageous in making this decision and I know that this website will be the start of a great future for you
    Lots of love Jenny N

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