Rewind back to 2013 and I was a law student at Westminster University in London. Going to law school was never really part of my plan, in fact, I can remember when I was in year 10 and my secondary school held a careers day – I said I wanted to be a journalist. The reason I opted for a law degree was for a very pretentious reason; it sounded good.
Coming from a Filipino background, parents have two career options for their child: to become either a doctor or a lawyer. Everything else after that is mediocre. And I am one to want to please my parents as much as possible, even if I knew I was compromising my innate desire to be a writer.
What’s three years of law school anyway? That will fly by. That’s what I told myself at the first few weeks of living in London. Fast forward past the missed deadlines, untouched law books, dried up tears on my pillow and 2 stones lighter – I decided to drop out.
In total I studied law for ten months. During those months I learnt a lot about myself. I learnt that I do not like being away from my family. I also do not like messy kitchens. I can eat Subways for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I learnt that I’m willing to not eat for the whole day so I can afford a train ticket back home. I realized that I wasn’t going to stay in touch with a lot of people back at home because our friendship was based on convenience. I learnt how to deal with loneliness, anxiety and panic attacks. I learnt how to miss my mum. I finally knew about the importance of passion in career choices.
I moved back home to Kent. The first few months was particularly difficult. I felt the disappointment around me. People from the Filipino community in Maidstone would say things to me like, “that’s such a shame… Are you going back next year?” or “so you’re JUST going to get a job now?” – the sort of questions I couldn’t even bare to ask myself. I felt an overwhelming cloud of disappointment over my head. I felt like I’ve let everyone down. Including myself.
I worked at a recruitment agency for 2 years. Despite the mundane job role, I cannot deny that, that company has been the main vehicle for my growth. I was working in admin/compliance until I was moved to sales. I learned valuable skills such as professionalism, team-work, leadership, pitching, organisation skills, confidence, the the list goes on. If it wasn’t for this company I would not be the person I am today. As much as I was comfortable in that office, I knew I had a dream to chase.
So here I am, a first year student at 22 years old. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Without the mistakes there would be no knowledge, progression or growth. I appreciate the value of education much more now because I have actively chosen to go back to study despite a well paid job – so I have to make the most out of it.
Canterbury is beautiful city filled with interesting people. I’m excited to share more stories on here. Here is a video I shot on October 10th, 2016 – a typical Monday in Canterbury.