I quit my law degree. One of the biggest decisions so please don’t judge me because this is what I currently feel like..
Cue long post…
It seems that now, four years post finishing high school, my Facebook news feed is beginning to enter that phase of life where the BIG things happen. There are engagements, first homes being bought, and people graduating from uni and going into their dream careers. Now, that is so amazing (and all credit goes to the people I have on Facebook being blessed with such amazing lives!). But then, on the other side of it, low and behold, there is me. Lost and confused Amelia.
When I started thinking about university back in Year 12 I was also very undecided. I knew I loved art and being creative. I loved researching things like religion, psychology, literature, society, and culture. I loved to analyse and read. I loved to draw and paint and make things. So from this, I looked into, quite seriously, interior architecture. I thought it would be a good combination of my love for design and creativity, whilst still leading to a job at the end. However, after visiting UNSW and UTS Open Days, the reality of moving to Sydney after school wasn’t really a financial option for my family so I started looking at degrees in Newcastle. This was what lead me to looking into doing Law. I guess I was partly swayed by my teachers, parents and my marks. I think, in all honesty, I liked the idea of doing a law degree more than the actual content/career prospects from it. I wanted to get into a degree people thought I wasn’t capable or smart enough to do. So I put it down as my first preference. It was the ~sensible~ option.
Shortly after finishing my HSC exams, on Boxing Day 2013, the ~big, life altering, awful, crippling thing~ happened. My Mum, 49 years old at the time, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, and was only given another three months to live. I was 18 years old at the time, and it changed everything in my pretty picture perfect world (as cliché as that is). But I kept going (because what else are you meant to do?). I had a job at a local primary school, and I’d work a bit, and go to uni a bit, and look after Mum in between. Honestly, that whole year to me now is so blurry, I wasn’t really functioning a lot of the time and I think I’ve blocked out a lot of the trauma because it was such a painful year in my life. I wasn’t really enjoying uni during this time, but I put that down to the shit storm that was my life, and not wanting to make any other big changes, I kept on going with it. At the end of this first year of university Mum passed away, and that was the biggest thing to ever happen to me.
Second year of uni I knew I wasn’t enjoying law or even my Bachelor of Arts, I had to drop courses because I simply was so down from Mum passing away I couldn’t bring myself to even do uni work. The fact I passed criminal law was incredible, it was such a massive struggle to get through. The only things that got me through were planning my exchange to the UK the following year, and knowing that I was having a year off from my law subjects to focus on my Arts degree majoring in Sociology and English Literature. Despite this, barely anyone knew how I was barely passing, how I failed so many assessments, how bad the grief made everything. I didn’t want to seem like a failure. I wanted to keep up the appearances that I was doing well and enjoying my degree. Sorry to anyone who I was in a group assessment with that year, I was that shitty member of the group.
Well, this year was a dream. I was so bloody happy. Doing JUST Arts subjects that fulfilled me was incredible. I was in this spot in my life with the grief fading into a gentle lull in the background, rather than the overbearing white noise of the previous year. I was in a happy relationship, and then to top it off going to the University of Leeds for a semester was so so great. I met so many amazing people during my time away, people that I’m still friends with now and am travelling with again this year. It was so wonderful. And it was all without.. law. During this time I spent a lot of time questioning to myself whether I wanted to go back to do Contract Law. In the end I decided I may as well give it one last go, and finish off my Arts degree in the process.
This brought me to last year, this was the bit where I came back from all these amazing travels to the brutal reality of contract law cases and finishing my Arts degree. With this year came with it a weird relapse into grief, depression and anxiety for Mum (and just in general) after coming back from the UK (which I was not expecting at all), complicated family issues, a break up, feeling super alone not knowing anyone in my degree, and not enjoying my degree (at all). From this Amelia went into ~I’m not coping with life~ mode. A few mental break downs later I was on the University Admissions website applying for Interior Architecture, this time as my first preference. I didn’t care if I couldn’t afford it, it was going to work out. I even tried to get involved in the student society and all these things, none of which eventuated and I came to the thought that if law were meant to work out, it would be. I wouldn’t be constantly feeling like this. I wouldn’t have terrible mental health all the time.
A week before Christmas came my acceptance into UTS, and that leads me to here, having a year off uni to travel and save for next year. This all freaks me out a LOT. But I’m also really excited for change. I’m excited that I’ve finally made the decision I should’ve always made. And hey, it took me a while, but I have a degree in English to prove for my efforts, so it wasn’t all a waste of time. I learnt a lot about myself, I got to travel, I got to live in another country, I got to meet amazing people. But now’s my time to be creative and to choose the ~scarier, less sensible~ option. SCARY. I QUIT LAW AHHHHHH. Help. Big big changes. I’ve taken a different route to the usual stock standard, and I’m starting a new degree later in life, but I’m really excited for the new adventure ahead. So yeah! Here’s to making big scary life changes and a tonne more HECS debt! Hooray!