I graduated from Aberdeen University in June 2016, with a 2:1 in English & International Relations, lots of extra curricular activities, and volunteer work all on the CV ready to conquer the world.
In my last year of university, I had decided that I’d eventually quite like to be a teacher. I’d thought about all the positives (mainly the holidays) and had decided to get lots of experience by working in a school as a PSA and volunteered for Girl Guides for just over a year. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and rather than take my year out (as planned) I just went for it and applied for it very last minute, and got in. I started mid August, and by mid October I’d decided to sack it in.
I think teaching is something you are 100% sure about from the first time you step into the classroom, and I wasn’t sure. It’s not because I couldn’t ‘hack’ it (as some have rather offensively suggested), I’d worked with troubled kids for 18 months before hand, I was a troubled kid.. my classes were lovely. I just didn’t enjoy it. My lessons went well, but to put it plainly… I couldn’t be bothered. The essays, the lesson plans, the daily critique, the daily reflections, the TDSA’s, and the fact that the student loans company gave me basically nada to live on for the year so I was working every hour that I could slot into my schedule.
My favourite addition to all of this, was the fact that teaching was limiting me being myself. I was openly judged and embarrassed by one of my colleagues for my tattoos (none of which are not on show often) and I didn’t want to be in an environment where I wasn’t able to be myself or a place where I was made to feel like I had to hide a significant part of my identity to please some old farts.
I was miserable, I barely saw my friends, or my husband for that matter, I was tired, stressed and had enough. So I decided that I needed to go and do something that would make me much happier instead.
SHOCK OF THE CENTURY – I’M NOT 100% SURE WHAT THAT IS YET.
(and that’s okay, I don’t need a plan, I want to just be happy for now.)
I guess what riles me up is how much this shocks people… the concept of someone deciding not to do something because it wasn’t making them happy comes as such a huge shock. Why would I suffer through another year of pressure for a career I wasn’t sure about? What shocks me is that some of the people you are closest too, would rather watch you suffer through something that you are clearly struggling with and that is making you miserable by telling you to keep going, and that it’s just a year or two rather than listening to you and helping you out of a miserable place, and supporting you as you get out of that place.
The other thing is that people now expect me to have a concrete plan in place immediately, and that I should be sure about what I want to do next, and just about everyone has to offer their ten cents of suggestions too. “But you’ll get a proper job in the new year?”. No, contrary to your life plan for me, I’ll get a ‘proper job’ when I decide what the ‘proper job’ for me is. That isn’t just any office job. It is just whatever I decide that I want to do, something that is made for me, something I am excited to go for and leave the house for each day, when it comes along.
I have spent a pretty large amount of my life being stressed. If it wasn’t the pressure of education stressing me out, it would be something at home, and by the time I had decided to leave the PGDE I was extremely anxious, and had multiple breakdowns because I was so nervous about what people would say.
So I finally made a conscious decision to make a choice that would make me happy, for the first time.
I don’t want to have a plan that fits everyone else’s expectations. Sorry about that.
My current life plan is just to:
1) figure out what kind of person I am when I’m not under extreme stress all of the time.
2) spend lots of nice, quality time with my husband, family (be able to take time off to meet my sisters sprog) and friends.
3) be happy in absolutely everything that I do – it’s a working progress.
4) get some more tattoos
5) dye my hair a crazy colour
6) go to see more live music
7) eat out more
8) read more
9) move to Edinburgh at some point
Get back to me in a year, and I might have a more concrete life plan, but at the minute I’m enjoying my glamorous grub life, blogger life & charity work life.
I get to spend time with the people I love, I am sleeping better, I am more relaxed and I finally feel like I’m going to be able to see who I am without being stressed, or limited for some reason.
For once I am so excited for the next stage in my life.