By the time I left University, I had a degree in my hand, but felt completely drained after running the educational treadmill since I was four years old. I apologise if this sounds a little melancholic, and I understand that it smacks of someone who had everything thrust into his lap, but that was just how I felt. I was tired of the yearly, high pressure exams; being on pins for weeks, if not months, awaiting the small white envelope which held the keys to my future. So upon completing my degree I decided that a battery-recharging break from education would be a good idea. To be completely honest, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but was much too under confident to pursue it. The ideal vocation was teaching, but the thought of standing in front of class full of gaggling kids made melt like a snowman dancing at the gates of hell.
I decided to go into the workplace for a year or so to really decide whether I had the confidence for teaching, or whether I would have to take an alternate path. However, this proposed year in the workplace turned into getting married, buying a house, having two kids and then buying another house! Effectively, due to family concerns and financial pressures, my proposed teaching career was shelved… in a dark filing cabinet… in a basement somewhere…never to be seen again! I was happy enough, but always felt a nagging regret that I let my vocation slip away.
Ironically, the more deeply I was entwined within work and family, the more confidence I gained- one of the reasons I rejected teaching in the first place. Ah well… it was never meant to be… Or so I thought.
Recently, I experienced a particularly painful ‘life change’, which freed up a lot of time, and gave me a different mindset. I will always advocate that you have to make the best of the cards you have been dealt, so I saw an opportunity. As fate would have it, my work life is also coming to a crossroads so decisions had to be made.
Currently I am in the process of setting up work experience in local schools, looking into the PGCE course itself, and whether it is feasible financially. It is a daunting prospect- will i still be able to cope with the educational pressure? Will I stack up against the younger graduates? I will almost definitely have to either sell or rent my house to make ends meet, plus I still have responsibilities to my children to consider.
My advice to undergraduates who are a little unsure or under confident in thinking whether they will measure up, is to suck it up, remember that you are at university for a good reason- you are excellent- and just think what’s the worst that could happen? Take a leap into the big deep blue, it’ll be an adventure if nothing else! When you’re 30 make sure you’re writing a guest blog about grasping the nettle!
Steven Lomax is the writer of supermegahybrid.blogspot.co.uk, a blog celebrating unique and indispensible films, as well as the soon to be launched runninggeekblog.blogspot.com