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50 Gone & 50 To Go: 3 Years On.

Updated: Dec 7, 2023


It's early November, 2021. It's a bitterly cold autumn afternoon in Wolverhampton, the sun sat low on the horizon - matching the colour of the leaves lining the roadside.

Inside my heated accommodation, I gaze out of the window and ponder...

"what's been the biggest difference between this year, and my first year of uni?" In that moment the idea for "50 Gone & 50 To Go" was born.

50 days had passed since the start of the academic year, and 50 were left to go until the Christmas break/holidays.

It was the perfect time to look back in reflection at the (academic) year gone by.





My last year of college ended prematurely with the first lockdown in March 2020.

In September that year, I started at the University of Wolverhampton - with only one course being in person (this being a lecture/s in a large theatre).

On top of this, I was battling an inner-war - a war of (self-diagnosed) imposter syndrome - I had been trying to pass my maths GCSE since Year 11 (2017) and by the 3rd year of college (2020), I still hadn't passed.

My forth (and final) attempt at my maths GCSE came during 2020.

The GCSE's were eventually scrapped that year and instead were marked on predicted grades.

I was predicted a 4 (C/Pass) - which was exactly what The University Of Wolverhampton required for me to start.

Had I sat that paper, had I answered the questions - would I have actually passed?

Did I deserve to go to university? Was I smart enough?


Throughout my time at university, I had to deal with an ever-evolving environment; mixed learning (virtual and in person lectures), my father's cancer diagnosis, my own Dyspraxia and moving house in September/December 2021.

This wasn't helped by a trip to Scotland in September 2021 in the weeks leading up to both my second year of university and simultaneously the date we had to move out/be out of the house.

On arriving back home from Scotland, I had about 14 hours to process 13 years of memories before I was headed for University. I wouldn't re-enter my house again.

Sept. 2021

On starting Uni, I felt like I didn't really belong anywhere.

We had just moved out, so my home of 13 years...wasn't my home.

The accommodation was rather temporary (only until December)

I had friends in Essex, but that was a short-term solution (and a stop-off point on the way home)

And the house my parents moved into was temporary too, until our actual house was ready - which hadn't become our house (yet) either.

It's difficult to say what a university course will entail at the best of times but throw in a course with mixed-learning and you've got a very quickly-adapting situation.

Yes. I failed my course.

What seems to be overlooked is that I DID pass my first year of University.

It's difficult because I didn't "just" drop out - I hadn't passed the year - this in turn being a basis of my decision

September 2022

On the 12th September, 2022, I was informed that I had failed my course and could either: 1) Re-take the courses I had failed 2) Re-take the entire year 3) "Drop out" I dropped out. It's a decision I will have to live with for the rest of my life, but I'm okay with that. I think the beauty of writing a (yearly) blog like this is that it shows the evolution of how I'm processing "certain events" (namely, dropping out of university)

Throughout school, I was following the natural order of the national education system - primary, secondary, college - and university followed after that - I wasn't looking for work, nor did I think I was ready for the work-place environment - nor did I consider it.

I did media at college, enjoyed it - so decided to do multimedia journalism to "cover all bases" and see if there was anything I was good at or particularly enjoyed.

I later discovered Coventry did an "Automotive Journalism" course and set that as my end goal.

It's very difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong - or if it was a culmination of things.


I had four (main) grounds for not continuing or trying again

1a) I didn't want to push me "graduating" back another year (Uni is £9,200 a year - 3 years is already nearing £30K)

1b) I didn't want to re-take the year I had failed and end up failing on the same grounds I did the year prior 1c) I really didn't find enjoyment out of talking/interrupting members of the public - and assuming I would have to be even more independent in Year 3 (film an entire program without a lecturer present) didn't fill me with much joy.

1d) I also failed my public affairs course - which was based on politics and the british political system - I try and stay as far away from politics as possible - so when it comes to public affairs and local issues and the political system - I come stuck.

1e) The difference between the course in 2020 and 2022 was incomparable - in 2020, it was very much theory based - attending lectures (inside), writing about movie theories and theorists - even without COVID, I think it would have been hard to quite see where the course would have gone.

I struggle with self-motivation - so 3 lockdowns (Nov. 2020, Jan '21, April '21) was probably the worst thing that could have happened to me. I learn by doing, watching others do.


With University out of the window, I had to bite the bullet and enter the world of work.

I joined Universal credit shortly after leaving Uni.

Even with Universal Credit, it would take 9 months before I would land my first job at Tesco - despite being only a temporary contract (Jul - Sept.) it was my first proper job - and I had an absolute blast - the days just flew by.

As with all good things - all great things must come to an end. Before I knew it, September was upon me - and Tesco let me know that I wouldn't be continuing on (it was only a temporary position).

Despite this, they let me know that they would be hiring Festive Colleagues, and I should apply when the jobs go up.

Tesco's website said "9th October" - and whilst they (Tesco) did hire Festive Colleagues, it was everywhere but the Isle Of Wight (or locally).

It would take almost a month for there to be a Festive Colleague position near me, but the moment it went up, I screamed in excitement and applied immediately.

Over two weeks on and it's been complete radio silence.


I won't lie, upon moving house in September 2021, it hasn't been a smooth ride.

a ferry-crossing and a 2-hour drive up to Surrey/the M25 now stands between myself and my friends (fuel cost, time cost, ferry cost) and jobs on the Island are...scarce to say the least.

On the 21st September, I passed my (manual) driving test - with a new goal of being a Highway Traffic Officer - all I needed now was to live within one hour of an outstation... which Woking was.

Late 2023 has been very much a box-ticking exercise. 1st Sept. - Finish contract at Tesco (16th Sept. - 100 Days Until Christmas) 21st Sept. - Pass (manual) driving Test

1st Oct. - 2.5 Week Spanish Holiday (not so much box-ticking, I did thoroughly enjoy it) (this happened in the week following my driving test)

9th Oct. - Apply for Festive Colleague at Tesco (9th Oct --> 1st Nov.)

20th Oct. - Land back in the UK

22nd Oct. - Back home

(23rd Oct - 64 Days Until Christmas)

31st Oct - Xmas Countdown, 2020 (A virtual Road-Trip/Google Maps Road-Trip) 1st Nov. - Tesco has vacancies in my local area (2 Weeks after the first job)

2nd - 5th Nov - Work on my car & seeing fireworks on the mainland

(2nd Nov. - 54 Days To Xmas)

12th Nov. - They likely have lots of applications, let's give them 10 days to respond/accept/reject my application

(They didn't)

15th Nov. The aim is to move out some time in 2024 (the end of 2023 looks a little hectic) - and once out, contact National Highways.

Even if I don't work as a Highway Traffic Officer, the jobs on the mainland are plentiful.

(1 Week later) 22 Nov - 33 days to Xmas

How do you look back on your time at University?

Earlier this month, I went to the Race Of Remembrance with my dad and on driving to Wales (where the race was), we passed the "Wolverhampton" junction of the M6.

It sent me back. Back to when I took the exit to head to Uni.

The previous month (October) a close friend of mine graduated University.

I think "that could have been me."

"I could have had the mortarboard, the pride, the congratulations". But it wasn't.

I wasn't him and he wasn't me. I wrote my story, he wrote his.

Jealousy is a bloody powerful thing - I just know that my moment is coming.

The moment I move out, get that Highway Traffic Officer job (if it happens).

That "Got The Dream Job" feeling. the earning £29,000 a year feeling.

But this isn't about him. Or my feelings towards him. Jealousy aside, I'm chuffed for him - he worked his arse off and got where he wanted to be.

It's just tough seeing someone graduate and me...well, quit.

It's like when someone spins onto the grass - you have an off, you rejoin and have to rebuild speed again.

It had to happen.

If you never make mistakes, you'll never know where you went wrong.

Same as with the spin - okay, you've spun - you've made yourself look like a tit - but you now know where the limit is and how not to take that corner.

Maybe all along I wasn't able to talk/interview the public? But I needed to find my limit - and find that out. Sure it costed £18,000, but it was absolutely giving it ago - at least I tried.

I suppose, I don't regret leaving. I didn't want to interview the public countless times for a year or more.

And since I've been home, I've found Tesco, thoroughly enjoyed it.

And I enjoy driving more than anything else in this world - and to earn money driving, helping people and rubberneck at incidents by the roadside - as weird as it sounds, sounds like my cup of tea. And who knows - had I continued on with Uni, I wouldn't have experienced Tesco for the next few years - or had to hold off on the manual driving test (ticking off one of the requirements for the Highway Traffic Officer role)'s almost as if... It had to happen.

Whilst it didn't go quite to plan - it was well worth trying and I've learnt more about myself (and that I CAN live independently), where my limits are - the fact I HAD potential in the theory part and ultimately... It led me to where I am and WHO I am today.



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