Why does society expect me to go to university?

Hi all! I hope you are well. 

So, todays blog doesn’t have anything to do with makeup, but there’s a lot I feel I need to get off my chest in terms of the massive change my life is currently transitioning through. The first few weeks or even months after finishing school / sixth form there is a massive buzz surrounded with the idea of finally having freedom. However, once the new academic year starts and the summer of exploring and spending unlimited amount of time with friends with no responsibilities ends, it becomes an emotional rollercoaster.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel up until now my whole life has been school; I don’t really know anything else. It was so normal waking up every morning and spending every second of every day with friends within the school bubble. So, it is to no surprise that it is struggle to grasp the idea of waking up and no longer being with your friends on a daily, yet alone them being in completely different cities all over the country.

It’s hard for everyone when university starts as it such an unknown concept. Despite deciding not to go university – a decision I do not regret – I have felt every emotion that my friends starting on their new adventures have felt. Over the past week, from the side line, I have watched all my close friends around me move away and start to settle into their new lives. Initially there was parts of me that instantly regretted not following what society deemed as “normal” by going to university. Questions floated around my mind like: What have I done? Am I missing out by not going to university? Have I completely chosen the wrong path?

I have always been very secure and sure that the path I have chosen to pursue my dream career was the best possible path. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t constantly rethink everything when people within the community would come up to me to, firstly and kindly, congratulate me on my exam results; but then secondly straight away question “what university are you going to?” Now, I don’t have anything against university and if I wasn’t so adamant and set on following my dream to become a Makeup Artist, perhaps I would have fallen into the crowd and gone to university too. However, I do think that it is a massive shame and huge arrogance, that society has taught everyone’s first automatic question to an eighteen year old, that has just got their A level results, to be what university they are going to. Why is the first question not “What are you doing next year?” or “What are your plans now that school is over?”

I have never been one to follow the crowds, as I like being an individual and following what I truly believe in. But I can’t say that it’s not a bit soul destroying when people constantly undermine the creative industry. Recently, I have found, when I reply to the closed-minded people, who automatically ask which university I’m going to, that I will be training to become a qualified Makeup Artist, their faces completely drop, trying to hide their slight disappointment. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a sensitive person, but every time this has happened, my ambition shatters for a few moments, until I decide their doubt and dismay is just additional motivation. In these people’s opinion, I am wasting and throwing away the A level results that I worked so hard for; however, what they don’t realise is that I worked so hard to achieve the grades I got, to show these kind of people that I am not stupid and not going into makeup as “an easy way out,” but because I genuinely have such a huge passion.

It frustrates me that there is such a stigma and stereotype around not only the makeup industry but also generally around all creative subjects. I find it really unfair and quite frankly very rude. As I mentioned before, people’s doubts just push me to work harder and the quote “haters are motivators” as cringe as it is, is extremely true.

I have a goal, that as my career and platform grows, that I will be able to educate and change peoples narrow and inflexible views so that they can become to appreciate creative subjects as well as creative careers. I want to be able to normalise people’s opinions on makeup artists and get rid of the stigma surround with it.

I would also like to get to a point to show people that you can be successful without going to university. I think its a enormous misinterpretation that you have to go to university to do well in life; the pressure surrounded with university is unneeded and can be detrimental on our generation. I think other options and paths need to be promoted as much as university is; so that those who don’t want to go to university don’t feel as isolated and looked down upon.

I apologise for the slight rant, but I feel very passionate about university not being the only route for young adults to have a fulfilling career. I would like to think that I can have some impact on intolerant people to be less stubborn about university being the “norm”, as well as changing the stigma around professional Makeup Artists.

I also just want to put a disclaimer, that when I have spoken to people about my plans in the makeup industry,  is it not everyone that undermines me. I have spoken to some people that they are very supportive, intrigued and proud that I know what I want to do, without falling into the crowd of ‘going to uni’. I truly appreciate the people that have the time to try and understand and give support.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post! I would love to know your opinions on university or not university.

Bye for now 🙂  

Instagram – judithsarahmakeup

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