This post is a bit of a long time coming. I suppose I should give account for my recent activities and behaviour to sooth you all. If nothing else, this can be recorded down for posterity. Yes, I am aware that I am awkward to deal with and yes, I am aware that I’m also not the most emotionally engaging man in the world, but I feel I am better at writing than speaking, so let’s get it all out in the open.
So, the one that matters: university. Wow, Gott im Himmel this was a tough decision for me to go on. I mean, career and just generally, university is always a safe bet if you know what you are doing. You aren’t going to find many companies that will pay you for the use of purely theoretical physics (if there is an actual Black Mesa out there, I will eat my words just before that Bullsquid eats my face) and whilst you would think “a lot of SMEs have accountants, a lot of them need new workers for the workforce that is due to retire in 5-10 years, companies would take new blood in and train them in accounting.” No. See, companies are like that one guy who took his teenage vow of him and his girlfriend saying they’d always love each other too seriously and now he can’t trust women. So many companies are worried that once they dump boatloads of money into your training, your salary, etc. You’re just going to get up and leave to a better company. It’s a real concern and one at least the AAT are looking to combat with the introduction of more brutal, almost Feudal like apprenticeships, but hey try anything, right?
What was I talking about again? Oh right, university. So yeah, the plan is to do my 3 years, maybe 4 if I decide upon it a bit later this academic year. That 1 year will be a work placement which I can hear to be invaluable to getting your experience and rapport with a company. My first year will be at LMU, with the view to transferring out on the 2nd year. I plan to be getting ready to do all of this about January, so I’m looking at a very busy next 2 months of my life.
So why did it take so long to decide to go to university? Well, to answer that fully would require a whole other blog post, but I’ll give you the Laurence abridged version of my past 7 or so years so you can get a full idea of how my mind works, or more accurately, how it doesn’t.
See, all this started because around 15-16, I had become really so fundamentally opposed to being schooled thanks to my teenage edge lord days that I didn’t really think school was worth it. The subjects I took that I did well in and wanted to main were government and politics and religious studies. Now, whilst I won’t be so arrogant as to say these are useless degrees, I do think they lead you down a very uncertain path and you have to know what you want to get anything out of them. I thought at 16 I wanted to be a teacher, at 17 I wanted to be a political journalist and at 18, about midway through my last year of A levels, I thought “I really don’t want to go and regret the rest of my life and pay off all this debt for something I don’t want”, so I ducked out of university. Ignoring other events in my life, flash forward to about March this year. I had started to take university as a serious option, but I kept thinking of all these things that would hinder me. Did I truly understand what I was getting into? Did I even know why I wanted this? These thoughts would continue to haunt me and warp my thinking until the very end.
As soon as I decided I wanted to go, it seemed all the problems then at once came onto me and threw me off. Firstly, with all the forms and everything else completed, all I needed was a reference. I got my old tutor to write me a reference, but she didn’t attach it to submission and once I realised what the problem was, she had left for holiday and was un-contactable. A somewhat mild inconvenience considering this was late June and wasn’t back until late August, so that was a lot of days lost. I eventually was able to get the form sent off, but we’re talking August time here, so we’re already cutting it close.
Then MDMA night happened and…well, I’m not going to say that was a mistake because if anything it was a wake up call. I was mostly fine, if physically tired and irritated the Sunday coming back with you guys, but MAN. Monday. Monday damn near broke me.
First of all, it was my birthday and I was just super sensitive that day about me getting older; I cried at every little thing and every other little thing. I would check my emails and see a note from a university and wouldn’t want to open it for fear of rejection, I had to cut short phone calls because I was starting to get emotional, I would leave mid-way during dinner to go into my room and cry, I thought about all my failures at once coming back to me. This feeling of dread and worry essentially paralysed me from doing anything positive or at least productive for a long while. I mean, maybe 2-3 weeks. You know those days where I hardly said anything to you all? That wasn’t me snubbing you, that was me in one of the worst depressions I’ve had. Hardly anything cheered me up, hardly anything distracted me, even trying to get on with what I had to do was too much.
I can’t and wouldn’t do an estimation of how much feeling like this has cost me in terms of days, but if we added up all the hours we’re talking about at least 3 or so weeks this year alone. That’s pretty unacceptable to me and I feel it’s unfair on you, so I’ve decided it’s about time I do something about it. Now, my primary focus is on catching up with my studies, moving house and making myself settled in, but as soon as that is sorted, I want to go and see psychiatrist or a life coach about myself. I’m not sure if that means I’ll go on anti-depressants and start to be a “different” person and I’m definitely not sure that it will make me happier, but at worst it can go down on record that I feel this way and maybe then something can be done about it.
For the short term, what does that mean? Well, I won’t be taking MDMA any time soon again. I feel I’ve reached the threshold when I ask for 4-6 hours of enjoyment for hours upon hours of sheer misery. Also, most of my drinking and smoking will stop, which I’m fine with because I only really did those socially, minus the hell of it for drinking.
So back to my uni predicament: When I finally got everything sent off, I got a lot universities saying that because what I studied in A level wasn’t really relevant to my course, it was extremely unlikely that I would get in. I sort of expected this and had lowered my expectations to a university that essentially wasn’t Bedford and would get me away from this place. Well, I found one..sort of. The real story is it was about Mid-late August and they were the only ones that responded positively to me and I felt matched what I was looking for. I know I’m not the smartest man in the world by any measure, but I also know that if I stayed to do a year or two in college to get the grades I wanted, I would be looking to finish at 2020. I would be a fucking old man by then. I would be trying to launch my career in my 30s. To me, that’s just not acceptable.
So, just sign up to this uni and go for it, right? Well, sort of- see, For whatever reason, I had about half the copies of my qualifications with me. When I think about all the dumb shit that I do, I think “losing your qualification” ranks among the top five. So for those of you who probably never had this problem, you might want to know how you retrieve your qualifications. Simple, you just ring up your school, find out which exam board you did your qualifications with, go to that exam boards’ website and submit for a replacement copy. Luckily, this only involves printing out a form that’s 7 pages long, filling it out, paying a load of money (about £40 per qualification) and you could have that thing delivered to you in a month! Simple!
Right..so that was all of that. By the time I got everything finally sorted, I think it was about September 18th, 3 days from the deadline. That was cutting it close as all hell and I never intend to go through that again. I didn’t get a confirmation of anything through for 12 days, when finally I was able to finally commit to throwing everything at university. So I’ve since cut my job down to just Saturdays, booked a place that isn’t ideal, but there is Nothing at all going except some of the more out of the way/pricier ones, so we have to make do.
Laurence gets sad and feels he can’t do stuff, Laurence realises you have to get on someone’s case constantly to get them to do the stuff they said they’d do, Laurence is going to try and fix his mental health, Laurence appreciates he isn’t the easiest person in the world to back and like, but wants to improve his life.
So yeah, we have a lot to get through this academic year. I start this Monday, I’m excited and at the same time nervous as all hell. All’s well that ends well, right? Let’s hope.