I have some news…
It’s a bit strange when something major happens to you and you can’t talk about it for whatever reason. Especially when you have to keep quiet for quite a while. It’s really not my strong point; I should probably work on that in case by some form of miracle I become a really successful YouTuber and end up working on top secret projects that you have to keep to yourself until the corporate people give the go-ahead. I’ve been keeping something to myself for a few months now (when I say “myself”, I’ve told my family and some close friends but have kept it well away from everyone else for a couple of reasons – as you read on it’ll become glaringly obvious why). I didn’t really have a date in mind for telling everyone, but seeing as someone else let the cat out of the bag before I got a chance to say anything (they won’t read this, but ironically out of privacy I won’t name and shame) I guess I can say it now.
At the end of this summer, I’m leaving my full-time job and going back to college to study Media. I’m gonna be a full-time student. Technically, a “mature student”. Yep, I know.
I guess it won’t come as a major shock to anyone who’s followed my blog or my YouTube channel for a while. From the age of 13, when my Dad brought home that very first dial-up 56k modem, I’ve been a complete internet nerd. I was the kid who lived the vast majority of her teenage years online, making new friends and learning HTML so that I could make my own websites which kids at school would then tease me about. I was the teenager who blogged about her (uneventful) life on LiveJournal, and later on MySpace. I remember thinking how cool it would be to have my own domain name, my own website that I made all by myself where I could just write about things that I was passionate about and post photos of what I got up to, and that people might actually find those posts interesting or helpful. Somewhere in my late teens or early twenties, life happened. Full time jobs, relationships, moving away from home, suddenly my priorities changed. I was still online every single day, but I was completely focused on the concept of “success”. I touched on this concept a little in a video called “I’m Not Growing Up” – the most common interpretation of “success” is having a high-flying, well paid job, a nice house in a good area, possibly a partner and some kids… The white picket fence, you get the idea. And I shared that ideology until just over a year ago. I have always wanted to climb that career ladder and get that promotion or qualification, in the hope that it will help me be as financially stable as I possibly can be. So that I can get that nice house in a good area.
Ever since school, I’ve struggled with figuring out what I want to do with my life. I’ve tried lots of different jobs – mainly in administration or finance, because there’s a lot of opportunity to develop your skills and achieve greater things. Another reason is because I know I’m good at it. I’m quite analytical and technically minded, so why wouldn’t I try to achieve success in that area? Makes more sense than trying something different and starting from the bottom, right? Wrong. When I enrolled in a basic Photoshop college course a few years ago out of curiosity and boredom, the seed was planted. Being creative stimulated my mind, and I knew I needed an outlet. So I tried a basic Graphic Design course, which was an epic fail. I had started watching YouTubers, so I decided to try the Digital Video course, and the rest is history. Fast forward 18 months, and I’m uploading videos every week. I have my own blog and my own domain name. I have a space where I can create content and be myself. I spend my weekends filming, editing and uploading. And I love it.
I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I do. I didn’t expect to keep it up, either. But taking those basic courses set off a spark, so to speak. The likelihood of being able to make YouTube videos full time is pretty much non-existent. But if you enjoy being creative so much, why not develop your skills and get paid for it? I did a lot of thinking in the first 6 months of 2014, and as some of you may recall, I enrolled to study media part-time. It would take 2 nights a week for 2 years to achieve an HNC in Media and Communication. But if there’s one quality I have, it’s determination. I would work full-time and study at night. Once I got my HNC, I could try and get a job with that, or go full-time for a year and get my HND. I was sorted. Then it all came crashing down on me when the course got cancelled. Apparently no one wants to study Media part-time.
I didn’t know what to do. The thought of waiting a year to do anything was horrible, and I ended up applying to go full-time last summer. I wasn’t thinking straight; there was no way I could support myself financially at such short notice. Instead, I threw myself into my YouTube content and my blog and my job. I was glad of the distraction. The plan was to see how I felt when applications opened for this year, and take it from there. I had just moved role in the company I work for, I had such great opportunity to develop – would it be worth the risk? In February, I decided to apply. Nothing to lose, I thought. When I got in, I had the strangest feeling. It wasn’t elation. It was terror. If I hadn’t got in, the decision was made for me. Now I had to decide.
Over the past few months, I’ve thought long and hard about it. I’ve talked about it with my family till I’m blue in the face. The thought of being a full-time student again is petrifying. Not so much the concept of being a student, but the amount of change that comes with it. I’m going to have to get a part-time job. My wages will be a mere fraction of what I receive now. I can kiss goodbye to half the shows I go to, not to mention any thought of my own flat or car. What if I fail? What if I can’t get a job at the end of it? The thought of leaving a good job only to fail literally makes me sick to my stomach. But I know that it’s a good fear; other events out with this whole process have made me see that I have to go after what I love. I have to take risks and just live. If it goes wrong, then at least I gave my dream a shot. But I swear to God, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure It goes right. I’m going to be studying for a year, and I’ll be learning all about TV, radio and journalism. If I pass, I can do my HND which takes another year, and I can specialise in a specific area if I want to. I can’t tell you how excited I am to learn about other aspects of the media that I’m not familiar with, as well as building on the knowledge I already have.
Since I started writing this blog post, I’ve been able to make a video telling everyone my big news. Some of you might have already watched it (thank you if you have). I’m gonna be spending more time writing lengthy posts on here over the next few months. Hell, I might even end up writing in other places and sharing my (lack of) wisdom with the wider world. I guess we’ll see. But one thing’s for sure – I can’t wait to get started chasing my dreams. I feel like my life is just beginning. I just wish I had seen the light sooner. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I guess we’ll find out together.