Trying Something New

Trying Something New

Many men and women from lower income families have been the first to go to college and university and have had to put off a lot of things for a long time. What things have you felt a need to do? Could you make time to do them?

Like many men and women from lower income families who have been the first to go to college and university, I had been putting off a lot of things for a long time. We’re the people who worked as teens, whilst helping our families and going to school, the ones who worked during college and during university – worked long hours at that – and who volunteered at every opportunity because we had no fall-back; come graduation if we had no job we had nowhere to go. Then work like mad when that job comes along, because every penny is needed and vital.

So, having graduated in 2010 as one of these people, and working full time whilst doing a full time postgraduate programme this academic year, I have been putting off a hell of a lot of things.

The appearance has been the easiest overhaul – see previous article. My hair is now teal, by the way, and I’ve had my nose re-pierced and my medusa done (the medusa is one hell of a finicky piercing and you really need free time to look after it because it swells like crazy). But what else have I been putting off? I can’t afford to go anywhere, but I can change what I do where I am (in the UK’s bestest city, Newcastle, of course).

I’ve got a BMX. It was half price in Argos and is my Valentine’s Day present. I’m bruised to buggery and I love it. I’m finally reading all those stacked-up copies of Mslexia and Cooler and Huck magazine. I’m taking long, luxurious showers, and – get this – using face masks for the alloted length of time. I’m reading anything and everything; usually not finishing any of it but at least having a look, which is nice. I’ve discovered how good Tumblr can be, in amongst all the dreadful teen blogs where they pose with next to no clothes on. I’ve begun my own Tumblr, writing vignettes. Oh, and I’ve begun stretching my ears. I love how slow and patient you have to be, I am finding it useful as a person who always tells people “patience is a virtue, and it’s one I don’t possess”.

I know there are so many people out there like me – young people who have never really had chance to develop their interests fully because life has always got in the way. To those people I plead – please, find the time; sod everyone else and do at least a few of the things you always wished you could. It’s horrid feeling like you’ve lost out on that part of growing up, or just ‘being’, and you deserve it, you really do. My being signed-off work was unavoidable, but I could have been a much happier person all round if I’d had time to do what I wanted. Now I can, to an extent, and I finally feel – to a degree – free.


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