~ 9/5 ~

Today, as I write this, I felt in a reflective mood. At present, I'm working in an office, as you may know (I've mentioned this countless times before!) but soon this big girl job is coming to an end.. in around 5/6 months, I'm quitting my full time job and going to University. This being something I wouldn't have even thought about 2 years ago, but hey hoo, things change. And because my job is coming to an end and I'm throwing myself back into education; I wanted to write a little piece about how much I've benefited from working full time straight from school. Both the good things and the not-so-good realities of skipping the part that all your friends did - working 9 to 5, as Dolly Parton sings has been my life for a year and a half.. here's my view as a 20 year old on what it was like not going down the traditional university route straight away..

I'll start with the positive (its always the best way isn't it?!) I've literally learnt ALL THE LIFE SKILLS. In school, your subconsciously stuck under a comfort blanket, you know some things about life, but in reality, there is so much to learn. I've learnt how to make a phone call, to the point now were picking up the phone and calling a stranger is literally done without hesitation. Going back 2 years ago I would have actually cried at the thought. My confidence has literally grown to the point were, thinking back, I don't recognise how I was in sixth form - I was quiet, awkward and painfully shy about everything. Adding to this, I've learnt that TAX exists haha - Now I realise when my mum rants about it! More importantly, I've become such an independent person like I could literally live on my own, not needing anyone and that's no exaggeration. With weekly wages coming in and life things needing paying for like Petrol (literally the bane of my life) I've gain a clear understanding of how to Adult...

Although, talking of how to Adult - there are some down sides to this. Personally, in the last year and a half, I've started to feel left out. Working day in day out, having friends move far away and me not making new ones (because of the age gap with my colleagues as I mentioned) It has been a real big adjustment. Of course, I have friends still around me from school,  but the 9/5 when you are young, you realise people your age work the anti social hours. They work the weekend jobs, the late nights in bars and pubs.. all the hours I have off from work. Of course, full time is inevitable for us all... we all have to work eventually. But what I've noticed is, once you have actually grown up, people grow up with you.. so you and your peers are working at the same times and free at the same times. I feel personally, I grew up too fast a little bit, going straight to a 9/5 job and spending evenings watching my friend going out clubbing on a Wednesday.. living their lives.. yeah its been a little difficult.

On the whole, looking back there are positives and negatives to working straight away. Of course, it fully depends on what kind of person you are. I'm the kind of person who worries they aren't living their life, I want to see places and have a job I love. If you are a person who is quite content in a quiet job like the one I've described that is completely fine.. everyone is different. I personally felt, that I've grown up enough now in my job, if I were to carry on past my leaving date I may just go crazy. I crave now being around people my own age daily, it can be quite exhausting being around people way older than you every day, not being on the same wavelength.

BUT, I have to say, working the job I've done has done me the world of good. If you are currently in the middle of A Levels, not sure whether to go through Clearing or take a year out and work.. All I can say is, take that year and work, throw yourself into adult life for a little while. You'll gain a massive perspective on life and learn SO much.. You may even do what I did and completely do a 360 and want to go to university.. I cannot stress how much I hated the thought aged 17!


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