Sometimes we let people choose a path for us, price but I believe as individuals we have to take responsibility and choose a path that suits us best. If you’ve ever felt stuck or unhappy with what you’re doing there’s always time to figure it out, diagnosis but you have to take action to do that. Every experience has a lesson and there’s no such thing as failure.
My story begins at 16 years old. I was about to go to college to study A-levels. I was excited, site and ready to go! A few months passed and I was falling asleep in Business Studies class, not paying much attention in Psychology class, and talking to someone in Philosophy class about how the college life was not for me. The girl next to me said, “So if you leave, what you gonna do? You want to be a ‘bum’ and do nothing at home.?” I didn’t want that so I carried on. I was being creative in Media studies and doing what I enjoyed. Things didn’t seem so bad until it was time for exams. Damn! I didn’t revise but I thought, as long as I pass 2 of my chosen subjects then it will be okay. Results day came, I opened the letter and read: Media studies – D grade and the rest, Ungraded. To be honest with you, the first thing I did was laugh. I didn’t like it there anyway. Then reality hit. I failed and let my mum down.
That’s what was going on in my head when I found out that my grades were not enough for me to carry on to the 2nd and final year of college. After several meetings and opportunities later (which were not really working out), I stopped and really looked at what was going on. I realised why I wasn’t happy or satisfied. I picked a path that wasn’t for me. I did what I thought was right but also didn’t feel right all along. I did not just want to go to college/university for the sake of looking good or intelligent or because everyone else around me did it. For me, It was time to figure out what I really wanted, and not just in my education but in life. This was the beginning of my journey of self-discovery.
Within that time, I read and wrote a lot and also contacted many people online who I felt could help me on my journey. Most people around me seemed unavailable, busy in education or work. I felt so alone, but I was happy I was finding myself. I discovered so much about life, relationships, the world that we’d never be taught in school! I rediscovered my interests, and confidence. Soon after I got a call from one of the advisors at connexions who I visited a few times before. He was recommending me a course he thought I’d be interested in. It was an Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production (Print Based Media). He took note of my interests in writing, creativity and the media industry. Of course I was thinking not college again! And I felt the fear of failure. I also felt ashamed of starting college again with people younger than me and thought people would judge me for going back. However despite all of that, I felt it was a chance to prove to myself that I can pass at something again, and that I am capable of accomplishing something after failing. I left that college with a triple grade (Distinction, Merit, Merit), and a self published book I wrote which highlighted my personal journey and not to mention, tonnes of experiences that made me the person I am today.
What I can say now is that the problem wasn’t the struggle to pass exams. I know I could have done it if I put effort in my studies and actually revised. I was just not interested. You know when people say “this is not for me?” In most cases people decide to study courses for the sake of it, to make their parents happy or because it’s just what people do. But when do you ever look at yourself and think, “do I really want to do this?” I guess I can’t speak for all 16/17 year olds making decisions for their future. I just knew the path I took the first time did not feel right for me. Me choosing to do a course I enjoyed was just the beginning of my journey. I gained purpose, strength and confidence to do what felt right and still live that way today.
If it wasn’t for me failing. I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had so far. I managed to work in big companies; work closely with CEO’s; learnt the world of work and figured out that my passion lies with young people.Within every young person there is potential, and that potential creates a better future.
Written by Leigh-Ann Ncube