In life there are decisions to make. Small ones, large ones and even bigger ones that you thought you’d never have to. In the end, however, they all make a difference. Each decision is a piece of the jigsaw that is our life. Like most, we try and fit it together carefully and correctly, but sometimes we have to take a piece out or start all over again. This doesn’t suggest we’ve failed; it just indicates that there may be a different route to completing the jigsaw. And anyway, what’s the fun in getting it right the first time?
“Each decision is a piece of the jigsaw that is our life”
Choosing what you want to study at university at the tender age of seventeen is a tricky choice for anyone. Not only is it possibly the biggest decision of your life, but you are expected to make this whilst studying for your A Levels, the most stressful and highly pressured time of your life. With all these thoughts whizzing around your head, how on earth are you expected to make such a monumental decision? One, may I add, that will affect the rest of your life.
Having tossed and turned for what seemed like forever on what decision I should make, I decided that studying Maths at university was what I wanted to do. I had no idea what job I hoped to strive for once I had graduated, but I knew that Maths was a subject that I enjoyed and would hopefully find pleasurable and fulfilling over the next four years. After giving it my best shot for six months, it was glaringly obvious that I couldn’t carry on studying this subject. No matter how much effort I put into the work, there was one thing, and the most important, that was missing; happiness. Maths was no longer making me happy. I had no motivation to go to lectures and I was becoming less and less interested in something that I had always loved. My spark for the subject had gone and there was no way back.
“There was one thing, and the most important, that was missing; happiness”
You often hear of friends that have dropped out of university, but you never think that that person will be you; well, I certainly didn’t. Making the decision to leave university is the hardest I have ever had to make. I left behind good friends and good memories at an amazing university. ‘Dropping out’ made me feel like I’d failed. In reality though, I hadn’t; I had just removed the puzzle piece that didn’t quite fit properly the first time.
It was time for my next decision and that was ‘what the hell was I going to do next?’ In some ways it was obvious and staring me straight in the face, but it was risky (and a risk taker is something I’m not.) When growing up, you are told by almost everyone to follow your dreams. “You can be anything you want to be if you put your heart, mind and soul into it.”… “Never let the thought of failure stop you from reaching your dreams.” It’s all well and good being told this, but putting this into reality… that’s a different story entirely.
“I had just removed the puzzle piece that didn’t quite fit properly the first time”
Music has always been the biggest contributor to what makes me me. It’s what makes me smile, what makes me cry and most importantly, something that I just can’t live without. You could cut through me and I swear there would be music notes flowing through my body. It was when I was sat at my university desk having made the decision to leave my current studies, that I knew what I wanted to do. It was simple; I couldn’t live a life that wasn’t surrounded and fully immersed by music. I wanted it to be not only a part of my life but the biggest part that it could possibly be. Having loved the creative side of my English Language A Level and my passion for informing (and probably boring) people about the latest goings on in the music industry, I made the decision to start university all over again but this time doing a subject that I couldn’t be more passionate about if I tried; music journalism.
I am often worrying about the decision I’ve made. University has gone wrong for me once already, so what if it were to happen again? Everyday, however, I am reminded why I’ve made the choice I have; I cannot be apart from music. From seeing my favourite band live in concert, to hearing an up and coming artist I’ve supported from day one have their first radio play. From a new album being released by a highly anticipated artist, to watching an X Factor hopeful send shivers down my spine with a hair raising first audition. These are only small, but significant, things that remind me that I have to follow my dreams. If I don’t, I will only wonder what could have been (and would probably still be sat in my lecture room trying to comprehend Cantor’s theory on infinite numbers – nope, I’m as clueless as you too.)
“You could cut through me and I swear there would be music notes flowing through my body”
What all this boils down to really is one thing; don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. I may have been told this a billion times by god knows how many people, but it has finally taken me all this time to trust and believe them. My family, my friends and my teachers were right all along (although obviously I still hate to admit that.) When I look to the future now, my mind is no longer filled with ‘what if’s’. It is instead filled with excitement for what is to come. Anxiety and apprehension are still there of course, but who doesn’t have those feelings?
The jigsaw that I have puzzled with for the first twenty years of my life has not been an easy one. I have, however, finally found that one piece that is significant and helps me fit together the other pieces of the puzzle. It may have to be removed and jiggled around a bit, but I do know something; I won’t regret putting this piece in place.