I told my dad I quit school and he said I needed to get a job. I phoned my mum back in Queensland and told her I quit school and I can’t remember what she said, but I come from a long line of school leavers and I don’t think it worried her too much. I wrote about that here.
Well, about a year later, it worried me. School is my jam, education is my currency. I thought about going back to school to finish when I moved to northern NSW a few months later and found it hard finding friends when I was home all day and anybody my age was at school. But I thought back over my track record of school friends and realised I hadn’t had much luck before.
I spent the next 10 years chasing what I’d lost – a high school certificate and a university degree. I had always wanted to go to uni (although in my small town growing up it seemed like a mathematical impossibility), and I keenly felt the absence of doing what I knew I needed to do. At 19 I went to TAFE on the Gold Coast and did a certificate of adult education, which would enable me to apply for university the next year. I graduated from that year of TAFE with the highest marks of anyone who had ever done that course.
I was accepted into a double degree of psychology and primary education, with an OP 3. I spent the first year liking my education subjects and loving my psych ones, so I then switched to straight psych. I did that for another two years before moving to the Sunshine Coast and thinking I would just wait until they offered a psychology degree at their university so I could finish. But they didn’t until about 10 years later and by that point I’d already gotten bored and finished a Certificate II in Hospitality, a Certificate III of Education Support, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Politics and International Relations. I graduated top of my class in Journalism, with a 6.25 GPA, only three-quarters of a mark off a perfect score. I was immediately hired to teach there as a tutor in media law and online journalism, and a year later enrolled in the honours program, intending to further study journalism and politics, with a thesis on the reciprocal relationship between Australian politics and the media. I deferred a month later when I found out I was pregnant with Pepper and thinking that level of study with a newborn and a toddler would be nigh on impossible. But I’ve worked at that university as a tutor ever since because APPARENTLY I LOVE LEARNING AND I CAN’T SEEM TO LEAVE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS.
So there you have it – the thing in high school that changed my life forever. Would I have spent most of my life after high school earning so many qualifications? Who can say. But there’s no doubt quitting school at 16 is probably going to have an impact on your life. Heh.