A couple of nights ago, I was driving to pick up Xavvy from work, and I saw loads of this year’s graduating Sixth Former’s walking home from their pub crawl. They were celebrating their last day in compulsory education, possibly their last ever day in education. Some have dreams of university, or apprenticeships, or travel, or full time work. Others might possibly feel quite lost. I finished Sixth Form last year, and although I decided not to involve myself with the celebrations like everyone else, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt so happy for all of the people leaving the pub.
As I was driving past them all, I got quite emotional. I thought, ‘yes Katie, you managed it’. I thought about how awesome it felt to walk out of those gates for the last time and put it all behind, to leave my last exam and never look back. I thought about how much excitement they must all be feeling now, the possibilities that lie ahead. I’m plodding along in my little content life, trying to make some things better, trying to live simpler. I remember the days of stress and worry about getting an assignment in on time, the mounting coursework I faced each day, the teachers telling me I couldn’t do it. It all changed since I left. I have the freedom to make my own decisions. I work hard, and I reap the rewards. I can take Lola out for a walk whenever and wherever I want. I can jump in my car and drive as far as I can go on a single tank because why not? I have no coursework to worry about, no revision, nothing to feel guilty about like I did when I wasn’t doing schoolwork.
It all sounds very unimportant to some people, the people with big dreams, big goals, big ambition. The ability to leave the house, sit in the sun, browse the book shop without feeling the looming worry of uncompleted work sitting on my desk, is an insignificance to them. But to me, it’s everything. It’s everything I ever wanted. And watching those young people leaving the pub, ready to start their next chapter made me so happy. I couldn’t stop smiling. Little do they realise, but it’s now time for them to find their own happiness, to finally begin living the life they have always wanted. And boy, am I excited for them.