Dear people thinking of dropping out of University,
OK! So I need to get something off my chest. These days it’s so hard not to get caught up in comparing yourself to everyone else’s life *COUGH* social media… It’s easy enough to to look around you and see others graduating from University, becoming engaged, having babies and buying houses. I’m here to tell you it’s OK if you’re not at that level yet and it’s OK if you never will be! I want to talk about something close to my heart, and that’s dropping out of University.
I left school as soon as I could at 16 and decided I wanted to choose an Art and Design BTEC National Diploma course rather than force myself to take more academic courses which I would of HATED. And do you know what? It’s the best choice I ever made! I’m now 24 and yes, I might not have some attractive A-levels in subjects I’ll do nothing with like Science and Maths. But those two years doing Textiles, Art, Printmaking, Photography and Drawing (to name a few) were the best two years of my life, as of yet. Now, I’m not saying that studying Science isn’t impressive (because boy if I was academic in the slightest I would jump at doing it). It’s just not for me.
You may feel pressure from parents, peers, teachers or even siblings to take ‘proper’ subjects but I’m here to tell you, you do whatever makes you happy. I bet Alexandra McQueen or Vivian Westwood didn’t listen to anyone telling them: ‘it’s a silly idea to go into fashion you won’t make anything of it, it’s too competitive!’
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Dropping out of university
I went to University when I was just turning 19. I’d experienced a full gap year to decide whether and what I wanted to study at University. I’ve always loved the idea of working in Television or Film Production so I knew it had to be something in a creative field such as this. In my gap year I had some shitty retail jobs, none of which mentally challenged me. At that point I knew I had to better myself by studying. Off I popped, applying for lots of TV and Film Production courses. Obviously, me coming from an Art and Design course – I had very little in terms of my portfolio which was related to TV Production. But I was accepted onto the Broadcast Television course run by Salford University in Manchester, UK.
I was SO excited, I genuinely believed I was on the way to getting my dream TV Production role. (We’ll get on to that later). I learnt camera skills, worked on live stream content; filming news pieces, music content and drama content. I loved what we did for the most part. But a lot of my course mates really didn’t care, nor did they want to be there.
I’ve honestly have never experienced sexism in my life until that point. My course was filled with guys. The ratio was probably 10:2 guys to girls. Back in the day TV and Film roles were heavily filled by men. However, I would say TV Production is now very split but I can’t comment on the Film Industry because I’ve never worked in Film.
Being in a dark place and getting my dream job
SO, I quit University in the beginning of my second year. For reasons I’m truly not ready to divulge on my blog, maybe at some point I might but let’s just say it was a very sad and dark time of my life. I quit University, I moved back home with my Dad and I went off sick from a job I absolutely loved in Topshop. It was horrendous. I felt like a failure. I felt empty. I felt like my life had come to a holt.
Then came an incredibly surprising day. I was offered a 3 day trial working as a TV runner on The Jeremy Kyle Show. I could not believe it! Someone was looking down on me that day because that was a real turning point for me. I suddenly had a purpose. I suddenly was on the way to building my DREAM career! And guess what? I was a drop out! Me, Imogen, a drop out. A bloody hard working drop out but a drop out all the same.
So for all of you who have dropped out of university, received a bad degree, or never even went to uni I’m here to tell you it really is OK! Life is full of chapters. It may not seem like it now but things will change for the better. I promise.
Please let me know if you want me to divulge a little further on my experience working in the Television industry and I’d be happy to. If you want to read more like this please click here