Our parents and teachers convinced us that without higher education in the modern world, nowhere. But is it really so? A girl under the pseudonym Barbara Morrigan shared her experience of how she managed to break the system and become a cool foreign specialist, having only one document on education – a school certificate.
Happy Worthy Life, with the permission of the author, publishes her story on how to overcome stereotypes and quit university without losing anything, but only winning.
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I was a very versatile child: I wanted to be a car mechanic, and a system administrator, and a director, and I also loved drawing, writing, playing in the theater and musical instruments. But once I had to choose. And not even at 16, but at 14, when you are in the 9th grade and your thoughts are mainly occupied with computer games, anime, high sneakers, Kish songs and existential suffering on the topic “Why does boy Zhora not love me?” . But no, go to the special class, get ready for the exam!
In addition to the fact that you yourself still do not really know what you want from life, they take away the opportunity to choose for real . Actor? Haha, do you want to go hungry and thirst all your life? Choose a real profession. Artist? Are you going to college, how redneck? My family was just obsessed with prestigious education at the university. To be a pethouse would mean to become a family disgrace for the next thousand years. After all, only garbage learns in colleges (no).
When it came time to choose, my mother decided that I was going to the philology department. And then they made me believe in this decision. No, this was not open pressure, they just convinced me that with a classical education all doors would be open for me. Since I was young and suggestible, I had nothing to oppose. Well, I will not consider my hobbies as a future profession. This is so stupid! And my aunt works at the philological faculty, I respect her. I’ll learn and then I’ll figure it out. I also write poems.
In the 2nd year of Russian philology, the horror of what was happening began to reach me. Only a small percentage of us will become linguistic scientists or teachers. But under the feet of the others, the earth seemed to crumble. Where shall we go then? A huge part of the graduates went to spend the same amount of time and money on courses in order to master at least some profession. I wanted to keep my finger on the pulse of modern life, live in a beautiful apartment, move to America. But in fact, she cried in the toilet after a couple of Old Slavonic and sorted through dusty museum archives.
I barely passed the session, writing down and listening to all the audio books for the program in a week, playing Sims in parallel so as not to go crazy, turning into zombies from the fatigue and senselessness of what is happening. And finally she confessed to herself: this is not mine. This was the beginning of hell.
I came to an empty apartment, lay on the sofa and looked at the ceiling for an hour in total darkness. I couldn’t stop crying – I just didn’t understand what to do with my life. I honestly tried to convince myself: everyone can, but you can’t? so much time has already been spent, would not it be a pity to lose it? But I understood that the time that I could lose if I didn’t leave was much more valuable than what was already spent.
Through sweat, blood, tears and dead nerves, I was still able to expel. And, of course, she immediately ran to enter another place. Think about your life? Give yourself a break? To work? No, some nonsense. And I ran to the Samara Academy of Culture as a director. Acting was very exciting, and for a while I even felt in place. I sang “Friday” with a guitar, read Voznesensky and did not believe my happiness: am I really able to do all this and they won’t blame me?But with the theater, my love story ended even faster: a couple of months was enough. The most important reason that I did not become a director was that the theater had to live. My classmates stayed at the academy until the evening, rehearsed, invented something. And I wanted to have a profession, but also manage to play, spend time with my family, and get involved in something.
At the academy, they did not press me and persuade me to stay. They came up with a better option: to humiliate. I dared to select a budget place from someone who needed it.
Departing from the director’s, I began to look for work. I was interviewed at MegaFon, a basketball store, and a print shop. It became clear to me that it doesn’t work out with studies and I can’t find myself. As a hobby, I drew and photographed a lot, and I was lucky to get into a photo studio as a retoucher. They threw me there for money, but the story is not about that. Mom did not stop trying to persuade me to get an education. And you will not believe what compromise we have come to. I chose the extramural … philological faculty! True, already on a paid basis – for the third time they did not take me to the budget.
Why did I go for it? I was scared. I could not come to terms with the fact that I would have to survive without a “crust” . In addition, the specialty was called “applied philology”, and at least we began to be taught more useful things related to publishing and a little advertising.
By that time, I was already fired up by the design and tried to find something that at least a little help to move in this direction. In the end, I got a job printing diplomas. I wanted to believe that at least once a month they would ask me to make a card or flyer. I walked home from the interview and didn’t understand why the tears were returning to my eyes again. After all, I found a job, now I can rent my apartment, combine all this with my studies and it seems I don’t even completely step over myself … And then something clicked in my head for the first time.
And I made a knight’s move: I opened a list of all the design studios in my city and started sending out letters with the idea: “I’m so sorry that I’m ready to work for a penny, just teach me”. And you know what? They answered me. There was a company that was looking for these burning eyes. So began my first year as a web designer. I continued to study in absentia at the faculty, until I clicked in my head a second time. One person came to our city. A manager from our studio and I collected the last pennies and rushed to his course “Typography and Layout.” And this was one of the most important moments in my career. For 2 days in a row I sat for 8 hours and listened with my mouth open. I always did not succeed in studying, but there I suddenly realized that I just never really loved what I was studying. And then I caught every second, examined every serif on the font. She did her homework until night, returning from a lecture deadly tired. And I was happy
And then I thought: why am I not spending my life on what is really important? Why does my mother’s time and money go unclear what, if there are things in the world that really cause so much response in me? And then I left my third university.
Now I work in a top Polish design studio. Which, by the way, mainly consists of awesome Ukrainians and Belarusians, many of whom have never learned the same way anywhere and mastered the profession of designer or illustrator themselves. And the punishing skies did not open above us.
Is it difficult to work without a diploma? Not. In our area, you can at least live under a bridge all your life if you have talent, knowledge and a good portfolio. And this is not the only area where this is possible. But, unfortunately, this will not happen everywhere.
Do I regret that I didn’t finish anything? Little. This would hardly affect my professional level, but I really really would like to spend my youth knowing that I am preparing to become what I really want. And do it surrounded by like-minded people.
I do not want to slip into parting words, but I would very much like my experience to be useful to someone and people understand one simple thing: you do not need to deceive yourself and you do not need to bend to the opinions of others. Your life is very short.
Even now, I doubt what I am doing: at some point, my interest in design, which I considered a matter of my whole life, has cooled. But thanks to him, the last few years have been very bright and happy, and yet I could have spent them depressed in an unloved job.