Yes, you read that right. I only had six months of study remaining until I was supposed to graduate. 2017 marks the fifth year that I have been attending university and with only 24 weeks left, I am throwing in the towel.

You are probably thinking that I’m crazy for quitting at the 11th hour, but do you know what I think is crazy?

Feeling nauseous at the thought of checking my student email.

Calling in sick to my internship purely because I did not want to go.

Spending the better part of four years forcing myself to study something that meant nothing to me because it seemed like the right thing to do.

I am so tired of doing what is deemed the right thing to do in place of what makes me happy. A shroud of confusion has consistently plagued my brain for the past three months. Every waking hour has been a tennis match inside my head, back and forth all day long. Do I quit, or do I stick it out for just a little longer? For some, it might seem like such a simple answer. ‘But you’ve only got six months left, you might as well just finish it.’ How many times have I heard this statement! The socially acceptable thing to do would be to finish my course, but I see more benefits in quitting now than continuing to waste time and money, just so at the end I can say I have a degree.

Everyone seems so impressed when they ask what I study and find out that it is a bachelor of creative industries with a major in fashion and minors in creative writing and journalism. ‘Wow that sounds fun!’ is the typical response I hear. It’s so different to a degree in nursing or law or business management that people are immediately intrigued and want to know more. I will admit, it does sound great, but the novelty wore off about three years ago.

When I applied for my course in 2012, I was only 18 and back then if you had of asked me where I would be in five years I probably would have said somewhere in New York, working as a stylist or a makeup artist. Throughout high school I lived and breathed fashion. I had a monthly subscription to Vogue and would pour over fashion blogs every afternoon after school. I started modelling in grade 11 and that became my identity for the rest of high school. When I was signed with an agency it felt like the biggest achievement of my life, but puberty struck me soon after and my previously stick thin body filled out in all the ‘wrong places’. I knew it was time to stop when my body image began to dictate my life and lead me to form unhealthy habits concerning food.

Styling was the next role I looked in to and I was lucky enough to tag along to a few fashion shoots to be an assistant stylist. I saw how much work was involved and I realised maybe I didn’t have the passion or talent for styling that I thought I did. I then completed a makeup course and became a qualified makeup artist. My makeup kit is still gathering dust under my bed.

My gap year after high school was a period of trial and error all while I worked at the local grocery store. One day my drama teacher from school came in and suggested a bachelor of creative industries. She said I could study fashion and creative writing in the one course and I didn’t hesitate in applying for what I thought was finally going to be my gateway for a career in fashion.

Now at 22, the desire I previously had to work in the fashion industry has not just waned, it has disappeared altogether. My mum said to me that you grow more in your twenties than any other time in your life and now I know exactly what she meant. I can’t remember the last time I read vogue or looked at a fashion blog. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what is currently trending if you asked, because frankly I just don’t give a shit anymore. I am no longer interested in the harsh competitiveness or the cut-throat standards that state you have to be precisely 174cm tall to be a model. I have grown to learn that I have a gentle soul and I am sensitive. I do not have a thick skin, my self-esteem is fragile and even the smallest criticism I will take to heart. My interests and values and beliefs have evolved, turning university into more of a chore than anything and the fact that this is my fifth year of study should be a major indicator that uni hasn’t been a priority for me for a long time. I’ve taken two leave of absences in the hopes that a break would have me returning feeling motivated and inspired. However, after each 6 month period off, I found that I came back more uninterested than ever.

So this brings me to today, where I have finally reached the decision after many weeks of deliberation, that I am no longer interested in forcing myself to do something I do not want to, just because other people think I should. Or because it will look good on my resume, or because I have come this far already and I might as well just finish it. Most of us are conditioned to think this way, I know I did for a long time, but the question I have started to ask myself recently is why am I doing things that make me unhappy?! It just doesn’t make sense anymore.

As melodramatic as it sounds,  I have no idea how much time I have left on this earth. It is so easy to grow complacent and shuffle through life, knowing what it is you want to do, but never taking the steps to get there. We keep pushing those dreams away until tomorrow, living comfortably in our own personalized mediocre states of existence. We think we have an infinite amount of time to achieve what we want to. However the reality is this; the only time we have is NOW.

This is why I woke up this morning and un-enrolled from my university course. I have created this blog to give myself the opportunity to live the life I have always dreamed of, the one I now know that I can have. I am excited for the journey ahead and wherever it will take me and would be delighted for you to follow along with me.

Gem xx



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