Everyone hates being called a quitter, well I do at least. It’s the idea that other people will think I couldn’t stay the course and hack it out. I was more afraid that I’d think that about myself. So, for a while now, I’ve been asking myself: is there a difference between giving up and knowing when to move on? This is the story of why I left University and how my life changed when I made the decision to become a Rebel.
It started about a year ago and I figured I’d start by giving you a bit of a back story. I’m not sure what it was like for you, but growing up, I always had a clear path laid out for me. I was told that when I finished school, I would go to college and get good grades. Then, once I finished college, I would go to a good University and get a degree. After that, I would go on to get a job that matched my intelligence level. There were no other options presented to me, that was the path I would take as I grew up and I would succeed in every step. So that was what I set out to do.
I finished school, went to college to study the International Baccalaureate and got accepted to my first choice University with an unconditional offer. I got good grades (they weren’t the best, but they were decent) and went on my way to University. Ready to get started on my path to independence.
So, I set off for university all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was ecstatic at the prospect of meeting all of these new people and learn new things (which is something I have always loved doing). It started out wonderfully, there were so many opportunities to expand my knowledge and I was growing my independence. I was growing more confident and my perspective was changing constantly.
I never had the normal separation anxiety that other people seemed to have at first and I was loving every second of the independence. Flourishing in the new environment, I was constantly learning new things about the world and its many cultures. It wasn’t until mid/end November that things began to get difficult for me.
By this stage, lectures were in full swing and I started to realise that I couldn’t learn in lectures. I don’t take in or retain any information through auditory learning which made lectures difficult for me. It wasn’t until later that I discovered I’m a Kinaesthetic learner it was a comfort to know that I just learn differently to some other people.
Not learning anything in the lectures meant that I had to put in a lot more effort to stay on top of things. This inevitably meant that I ended up spending all of my free time studying with almost no break. It was difficult and meant that I began to struggle for the first time with being away from home. I needed the strong support network around me to help me cope with the stress of it all.
It wasn’t long until Christmas now. I thought if I could just get through until then, I could talk it out with my family. We would fix things. When I came home, we talked it through. I allowed myself to consider that University might not be the best place for me to be. I wasn’t learning, I wasn’t happy, and I was surrounded by strangers. It was quite lonely.
So, I tried to look at things differently and see if I could stay and try to enjoy myself. Try to ease up on the studying a little and interact with the many people surrounding me. I then began to fall behind in my studies and ended up playing catch up. This led me right back to where I started.
After a couple of months back, I decided that University just wasn’t the right place for me. So, I came home and started looking into apprenticeships. I knew they existed but had never really been taught about them. It was then that I discovered that they cater to all sorts of learning types. This would allow me to learn in the way that I felt was best.
Within a week of being home, I found my apprenticeship provider. By the end of the next week, I had interviews. At the start of my third week home, I began my Business Administration apprenticeship here at Rebel. I haven’t looked back since.
Being in an environment where I can learn through experience means that I am constantly absorbing information. I am much more suited to this way of learning. Being here at Rebel makes me happy and I’m content knowing that I work with/for people who believe in making the world a better place and treating people with the care and respect that they deserve. It was eye-opening to step out into a work environment that made me feel safe and secure despite everything being so new to me (having never had a job before, literally everything was new). I don’t think that a day has gone by where I haven’t learnt something new and I’ve progressed so much here that I am constantly thankful to have found somewhere that I can learn and earn my way in the world.
There was only one question that I still had regarding my journey to get here and that was whether I had given up on University or made the decision to change my life to be the one that I want. It wasn’t until my dad pointed out to me how happy I was as a Rebel and how much I had grown as a person here, that it all sort of clicked for me. It may have seemed like quitting to an outsider, but I think that instead of giving up, I allowed myself to change my mind and begin doing the things that I actually wanted to do.
Giving up is quitting because something is too hard, and you don’t want/can’t be bothered to try anymore.
Allowing yourself to change your mind and start something new is knowing that your reason for starting is either no longer what you wanted, never was or isn’t important to you anymore.
Sometimes, it’s important to realise that no matter how hard you hit a stone, it’s never going to bleed.
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