Through all of my school years — elementary and high — I never had any doubt that I’d go to university. I performed well academically; I was a bookworm and all about learning and I saw no better future for myself than learning more for as long as I possibly could. My career goals changed and faded, with being a writer always staying put as the foundation, but my academic goals only did in terms of what I would study at university.
(Creative Writing either isn’t or wasn’t a college degree in Spain, and I was never that drawn to studying creative subjects, anyway. It seemed far too subjective a field to be graded on.)
Growing up, my family were a bit more financially stable than we are now; my father usually had a job and we had my grandfather living with us, helping out and funding the whims of his grandbaby, aka me. Even when times were tight, college was still in the horizon for a simple reason: scholarships.
In Spain, scholarships are given based on your level of income, and most non-medicine-related degrees have a passing grade fence, so you don’t have to try very hard to get in. Even after my mental health issues extended to physical symptoms and my average went from A to B, I wasn’t worried about getting into college. I didn’t have to write essays or pay to apply.
I like this system. I support this system. Everyone should have access to education, and scholarships are much better than loans, in my opinion. It’s great not owing tens of thousands of insert-currency-here to the government. You just had to meet certain criteria to get the money, and achieve certain low-pressure goals to keep it.
I dropped out of college three months in, bought a MacBook and a Canon camera, went back to sit two exams in September and didn’t have to give any money back. I couldn’t get another scholarship for my first year doing English in my hometown the year after that and my parents couldn’t afford one, so it’s one chance and you blow it, but that’s much better than many, many people get, and my laptop lasted me quite long and my camera — I still use it on the regular. I’m building a blog and a business with that camera.
But here’s the thing.