Readers, once again I’m appearing to you after what seems a shamefully long time of no talking, or, more accurately, writing. It’s increasingly difficult to think of something worthwhile to say to a student audience; I keep thinking “what would I have wanted to hear in this situation, and that situation?”, and that’s how I come up with ideas for this column. This time, I’ve decided to come and talk to you a few months after deciding to take a year out from university, and rethink the career I want for myself. I think I decided too quickly the first time around, but now I’ve had a year at university to think about it, and I’m reaching the beginnings of a decision.

My first year at university was not a good year.

I’ll explain: I did not enjoy the major part of my course, I didn’t get along hugely well with some of the staff at my university, I was unwell for a lot of the time, and I began to really dislike the industry that I was attempting to make myself a part of. I found the start of my degree so stressful in different ways that I felt stretched out. I was worn out, and panicked so much that I would have actual fainting spells because my body just didn’t want to co-operate with me. I felt like I was going crazy.

I stuck out the whole year and realised that it wasn’t for me. I won’t lie; that was a knock on my confidence. I chose my degree, and apparently, my choice wasn’t the right one. It felt like I was incapable of deciding on a course that was right for me.

So now, I’m taking time out and rethinking the future. The biggest thing I’ve learned from this is that it’s okay to go wrong the first time. Deciding on a degree, on a career, on higher education or further education, is a hard choice. It’s a tough decision and you shouldn’t rush yourself into it. If there’s something you excel at, pursue it, if you hate it, don’t. Give yourself some structure, do your research, find out what it is you want in life. Ask yourself: What do you want after you finish your degree, or whatever it is you’re doing? How can you get there? And then do that. Get there. I know it’s not that simple, but if you’re determined enough, and you think that you can do it, then who is there to stop you?

Most importantly: remember is that it’s okay to start again; I’m doing it. I know people who have done it, and maybe, just maybe if you go wrong the first time around, the second try will be much, much better.

It’s alright to feel a bit knocked back after thinking you’ve made the right choice and discovering otherwise. The important thing is not giving in. You’re allowed a second shot. And a third one. My point is that you don’t have to be stuck with what you’re doing, because it’s important that it’s what is right for you.

As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, they are, as ever, welcome. Catch you next time!