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I’ve never been more ready for the next chapter – here’s why

Greg Devine

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Open book lying on a table in front of stacks of other literature

The last four years have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for me. Since finishing my GCSEs, I’ve not had a straightforward journey to university, unlike some of my friends.


I found sixth form laborious and childish. I hated that we still had to go through the whole ‘Good morning, sir’ routine; it felt belittling, given I was seventeen at the time.


I soon decided sixth form wasn’t for me. Some of my friends had taken on apprenticeships and the money that came with them certainly seemed attractive. My journey down this road began, and I found myself as an apprentice technician at a through school in Sheffield. I loved this job; working with children was incredibly rewarding, and each day brought a different challenge. Unfortunately, my real-life bubble popped, and I realised I wanted more from life than being stuck in a minimum wage job for years.


It was at this point that various family members told me I needed a trade. I enrolled in college and tried to get another apprenticeship as an electrician. Hindsight is brilliant, but why I ever thought this was going to be the career for me, I’ll never know. A manual labour job simply doesn’t suit my skills and attributes, and I was finally able to admit that. During this second apprenticeship the pandemic began; I ended up leaving, because there was nothing to do, as everything was locked down.


I actually consider the first lockdown as one of the best times of my life. It was a time I could work on myself mentally. I spent most of it on long walks with my dog. Spending so much time outdoors was great, and I was the most mentally sound I’ve ever been. That summer, which I will coin as the ‘rule of six summer’, I spent most days at the local pub, meeting new people who have become some of my closest friends.

group of men socialising and drinking in a pub

group of men socialising and drinking in a pub

Once things opened back up, it was time to pick up my career. I decided to go back to college and get a digital T-Level. I’d been interested in computing from a young age, so it seemed a no brainer. It was during this period, which was still being impacted by the pandemic, that I decided I wanted to become a teacher.


That’s where I find myself now. Whilst I should be excited to go to university (and I certainly am), I feel stuck in a kind of limbo. My new role at ITK has helped—it gives me purpose, but a part time job only fills up so much of the week. I’ve become desperate to go to university and long for this next chapter of my life to begin.


Moving away from home feels like it will be a brand-new start, a clean slate to really push into adulthood. I’m sure, after a few weeks of living alone, I’ll quickly miss my mother’s cooking and how much better she is at ironing than I am, but I need responsibility in my life. After taking two more years than the norm to go to university, I’ve never been more ready to start that next chapter.

university students group studying together in a library

university students group studying together in a library

I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, too. People from different backgrounds. People I can learn from. That’s not a dig at my current set of friends; some of them I’ve known since I was six, and I’ll still see them often. They’re content with where their lives are going, however, and this isn’t something I can relate to.


September, at the time of writing, is around six months away. This scares me, if I’m being truthful. Whilst I should be looking forward to the summer, I find myself wanting what comes after it more. My plans for the warmer months are very different to those I made just two months ago, for different reasons and because of lost relationships. What was going to be a busy farewell to my life in South Yorkshire has simply become a long wait. I feel like a singer who should have given their career up gracefully whilst they still had a voice, but who, instead, is yearning to release an unwanted album.


Maybe by 2023 I’ll be writing an article on how I miss my hometown, and that university wasn’t all I thought it would be, but I can’t see this. It doesn’t just feel like a new chapter I’m embarking on, more like a new book.

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