When I saw that today’s Blog Every Day in May prompt was about the worst advice you’ve ever received, I instantly knew what I wanted to talk about.
When I was seventeen and leaving home my mother’s parting words of wisdom were ‘Don’t bother going to Uni, it’s not worth it’. This may seem completely insane coming from a parent… but when she went away to Uni she came back with, well, me so it could be argued that she was just worried about her darling innocent daughter. Or she was doing what she always did, and worrying about appearances. The thing about my mother is that she wanted me to be better than everyone else’s kids, but not so good that I would be better than her; I was expected to have a better tan and blonder hair than everyone I went to school with, but I couldn’t have a smaller dress size than mummy.
I’m not going to hide the dysfunction, but I’m getting distracted.
What I wanted to say is that I’m so glad, and so proud that I ignored that terrible, terrible advice. Doing my degree has made me feel so much more confident about having a career, rather than just a job. I’ve learnt a lot more about my own strengths by engaging in distance learning – I now know I have the determination and ambition to succeed in whatever I set my mind to. I know that sounds a bit lame, but now I just have a lot more faith in myself (maybe it has something to do with living far, far away from somebody obsessed with my weight?)
I admit, I haven’t gone about the whole higher education thing in a conventional way, but that tends to be my style. I won’t go over the Pro’s and Con’s of the Open University (again) because I don’t want to bore you… but the most valuable thing it has enabled me to do is hold down a full-time job. Not only have a gained valuable work experience, I’ve managed to save. A lot. When I finish my degree I won’t be swimming in student loans, I’ll be in a position to buy my own home.
Plus, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I did it all on my own. (Ok, mostly I mean I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I WAS RIGHT)
So is it just me, or have your parents laid some crap advice on you too?