The truth is, that sometimes things don’t always go how we plan for them to go. Sometimes life can take a completely different turn of events. Sometimes they can be good and sometimes not so good. When I was very young, I thought I had it all planned out. I thought to myself, that this is what I’m going to do in life, this is what is going to happen. But as I got older, I changed my mind about things and unplanned and unexpected occurrences happened and things didn’t go to plan. (Also sorry for such the long post! Once I started writing I just couldn’t stop).
As we all do when we are little, we dream of big things for when we get older. My one dream was to be a successful pop singer! That song about cats that I wrote, that I’ve mentioned on here before, that’s still definitely a number 1 hit right there! But as I got a bit older, I wanted to be a post-woman, a policewoman and a vet! But I was still going to be a famous singer too! But it actually got to a point where I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do! Throughout school, I would listen to my fellow class mates talk about what their plan was and what they wanted to do and what they were going to do when they finished school. I got my first job in 2004 when I was 14 as a waitress. I ended up doing that job for 5 years until I was 19, and then went on to work in retail, but I always knew that as soon as I could find something else, I wouldn’t work there any longer. But as school was coming nearer to the end and I was almost 16, I knew that I still had a strong love for music. I also wanted to explore that area more. I knew which College I wanted to go to, one that wasn’t too far away and in an area I sort of knew. I got a place studying Performing Arts at Boston College in Lincolnshire.
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan
Although just before starting the course, on the day when I went to school to collect my results, unfortunately, I didn’t get the grades I needed to go into the national diploma course for Performing Arts. I was absolutely distraught. I was so mad and annoyed with myself. I ended up getting three C grades and lower grades for the rest of my GCSE’s. Throughout school, I got picked on and it did knock my confidence and my work started to suffer. Because of a few other pupils, I had to move classes. My heart just wasn’t in my work anymore. But after going to College to meet with the tutors so they could check out grades, I found out that there was a space on the First Diploma course for Performing Arts. Although it meant that this course was just a year long and it wasn’t the original Performing Arts course that I wanted to go on to, I was so thankful that I was able to get a space on it. I also found out that I wasn’t the only one in the same situation. When things don’t always go to plan, it’s easy to automatically think that this is only happening to me. But there were other students in the same situation and we all became quite close friends.
As the end of the year was coming to a close, I knew that I wanted to go on to the two-year course of Performing Arts, that I originally wanted to go on to but didn’t get the grades for. After all our work was handed in and marked, we each got given a time to go see our tutors and find out if we had made it on to the next course. As I sat down at the table with my tutors, the news wasn’t good. I didn’t get good enough grades to get on to the next course. Once again I was left feeling so distraught and upset. I really thought that I would get on to that course, it was what I was aiming at and working towards. I made lots of new friends and I found a huge love for musical theatre and acting. I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do next. Thankfully the staff at the College were very helpful and helped me to decide what I was going to do next and my next plan of action was going to be. Two very different courses, but I brought it down to two choices, Hair and Beauty or Music.
I had started playing the drums when I was 15 after seeing someone play guitar at a school concert and thinking to myself, it would be so awesome to play the drums along to that song. At the age of 5, I learned to play the Piano and then at the age of 10 I learned to play the Flute. So music has always been a huge part of my life from a very young age. But after being so disappointed with not getting on to the next Performing Arts course, I just thought about doing something completely different instead. But after taking some time to decide, I knew that deep down I wanted to still try and pursue music.
As my friends were going on to the next part of their course, it felt like I was taking a step backwards. And not knowing anyone on my new course, was a little scary. But I soon made some new friends, people who I am still friends with today and am also in a band with too. I had a whole new love for music. Having not played the drums in a band before college, I got together with two people who I formed a very close friendship with and we gigged together as a band, recorded two albums and gigged around Lincolnshire, Derby, London, Bedfordshire and other places. We also won 2 battle of the bands competitions and had a music video made for one of our songs. I thoroughly enjoyed college so much. As College was now coming to a finish for me, I worked hard and got the grades I wanted.
I thought I was going to continue my dream, not necessarily as a singer like when I was younger, but as a musician in a band with the people who I had become very close to, that was my plan. Unfortunately, as they went their separate ways, and went on to further study and different career paths, I was left feeling empty and heartbroken. Still, to this day it does hurt, but I am happy that I got to experience and do what I did. I had already decided before the end of the College year, that I was not going to go to University. It just didn’t feel the right time to go.
After taking two years out and continuing to work in retail, an old lecturer from College rang me up asking if I would like to come back to College and study HND Music. Although I was now 22, I decided to go for it. Because I was still figuring out what I wanted to do and I it just felt right to go back into education. It was one of the best decisions I made and I met lots of new people and was able to carry on with music. I also joined another band and it really helped my confidence too, as I went on to do some session playing for another band. I also learned so much about the business side of music. We got to create our own record label for the College, gig, create 2 music videos. I also got to help with the sound side of pantomimes. After 2 years of studying HND Music, it was time to figure out what to do next. There was always talks of there being a third year that we could go on to in which we would be able to get a degree. But unfortunately as the last year of the HND course came to a close, it turned out that there wasn’t going to be a third year. It was happening again and I just didn’t know what to do next. But what I did know was that I wanted to get my degree. I wanted to finish what I started. But it meant that I would have to have a few more years in education. As my friends were moving into their own homes and starting their careers, I was still figuring it all out.
I worked so hard during my HND Course and I came out with the grades I needed to get into University and did even better than I could have ever imagined. But right before starting University, I had another setback. Because I had just done an HND Course, I received a letter stating that I would not get funding for my first year of University. I can’t even begin to explain how upset I was. When I received the letter saying that I had been offered a place at Uni I cried so many happy tears. So when I received this news I was so heartbroken because as you know, University fees are very expensive. And as it was going to be the first year that I would not get funding for, it made it so much worse. Thankfully with some help and using some money that I had saved for the future and from doing extra hours at work, I was able to still go to University. At 24 I started studying Audio Production at The University of Lincoln.
I graduated University last year, age 27. I thoroughly enjoyed it and if you are thinking about going to University, go for it. Maybe like I was, you are a mature student. Honestly, don’t worry about age. There were so many more students who were older than me and age was never an issue for any of us. When I first started, I felt that everyone may look at me differently as they were all 18 and 19 and there was me age 24! But I made close friends and we were all there to do the same course and achieve our goal of getting our degree. I had many amazing experiences at Uni, such as producing a radio show, interviewing people, going to London on a trip to visit the BBC studios, seeing Scott Mills presenting his radio show, learning lots of new skills, creating my own audio pieces to help raise awareness for anxiety, OCD and Autism, go in to a primary school and teach pupils how to create and produce their own radio show and so much more.
I suppose the whole purpose of this post is that if things don’t go to plan and how you want them to go, things will work out, even if it takes longer than expected. I thought that as soon as I was in my twenties, I would have finished College and have my career sorted, that was the plan. But it didn’t work out like that, and you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The obstacles I have faced have helped me to grow stronger as a person, and it has also helped me to find out more of what I want to do in life and to learn so much more about myself. Things that I may have not necessarily thought about doing, but it has helped me to learn and find new skills that I never knew I had. And this post is also a reminder to never think that you are too old to do anything. It doesn’t matter what age you are, if there is something you want to do, then go for it. If it wasn’t for all of those setbacks and things not going quite to plan, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I have had comments made to me about being in education for a long time, but you know what, that doesn’t bother me the slightest, because I wanted to go back into education and I was able to achieve what I set out to achieve and I regret nothing.
To be honest, at 28, I still don’t really have a plan of what I actually want to do, but I’ve learned to accept that, and that’s ok. And you may not think there is, there are so many people out there who are in the same situation. I have learned so much over the years, and I have found a huge passion for writing and photography. My blog has enabled me to learn so many new skills, such as the writing and creating imagery, social media, promotion and so much more. It has also given me the opportunity to include the skills that I have learned throughout Uni through studying Audio Production, to incorporate this into my blog. As I mentioned above, I’m still playing in a band, and I have formed very close friendships with the other band members. I may still be figuring some things out and things haven’t gone to plan, but I am happy with what I’m doing. I was able to get my degree and gain so many new skills related to audio. University also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and do things that I never thought about doing. I suppose what it’s taught me is that I don’t really want to just settle for one thing, I am a creative person and there is so much that I want to do and what I am going to do.
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