For the majority of my years at school, I wanted to pursue music as a career. I began musical tuition when I was eight, took grade exams, joined choirs, played in concerts and went on tours. I studied Music GCSE, and went on to take both Music and Music Technology at A Level. After discovering that I had more of an interest in Music Tech, I applied to study Music Production at Leeds Beckett University. My love for music was so overwhelming that I never cared that it wasn’t my strongest subject. In my eyes, the passion was enough and I took English Literature at A Level as a safe subject in order to fill the spare slot. I loved my English lessons and did well in them but I was so absorbed in the world of music that I never even considered it as a alternative choice for university.
Upon arriving in Leeds, I soon became unhappy. For the first time in my life, music was all I had to worry about, and that scared me. Before, music had been my escape; an opportunity for expression and relief from reality. It was my happy place where I was comfortable and found refuge. As soon as it became the basis upon which my learning and potentially my career depended, I felt very afraid. I felt vulnerable. Music as a safe haven was being replaced with something that was no longer fun or enjoyable, but instead made me nervous. Every time I listened to a piece of music, I would be judging it against my own work and beating myself up for not being good enough.
Six months after starting uni, I dropped out. There were both financial and emotional costs, but I did it. I visited home in January and told my parents that I didn’t think music production was right for me. Straight away, my mum suggested I study English. Of course, she was right. That had been my subject all along, the subject I was good at and willing to work hard for, the place where I could truly push myself and take my learning further. I applied to several universities, received four unconditional offers and am now studying English Literature at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Studying English Literature allows me to experience life through the eyes of people who lived hundreds of years before I was born. Literature not only gives us an insight into how society functioned through history, but also stands as a creative device for expressing thoughts, feelings, emotions and desires. There is truly nothing that cannot be represented and discussed through literature.
My new course has changed the way I consider the world around me. It has given me a more analytical thought process and helps me to approach situations in every day life with greater delicacy. But most importantly, changing course has helped me to realise that sometimes the best path for you may not always be the first path you chose.