‘I bet your parents weren’t very pleased!’

‘What did your mum say when you told her?’

‘Did they really just… let you leave?’

I get these kind of comments all the time.

You see, I dropped out in November 2018 after only half a term at Exeter University, abandoning any sense of the traditional and conventional, to follow my own bizarre and exhilarating pathway.

Luckily for me, my parents survived such a deeply traumatic experience!

As a speaker at local schools, I am often asked by students, how they can tell their own parents that they don’t want to go to University, become a Doctor, or study physics. It can be understandably difficult for families to accept that their child does not want to go, especially tough if they themselves never got the chance.

Equally, when your child goes to University and realises it isn’t for them, I know how frustrating this can be. The response ‘I just don’t like it’, is tricky for parents to comprehend, yet your child may simply not be able to formulate exactly why they are struggling. My impassioned plea to parents would be to try to be as open and understanding as possible; young people need to feel supported in their choices, even if those choices aren’t necessarily what you might have envisaged for them.

Recently I wrote, directed and voiced my own audio piece, ‘The Making of An Education’ which was commissioned by BBC Arts. My piece is entitled ‘The Making of an Education’, and those five words couldn’t more aptly convey my life motto: an education does not need to be contained in the walls of a lecture hall or classroom. Indeed, when we measure our children by more than simply the sum of their materialistic achievements, we are far more likely to produce passionate, holistic individuals.

Growing up is hard enough already, but the pressure to be outwardly ‘successful’ adds a whole new burden. Everyone goes on their own wildly unique journeys, post-education: it’s a pivotal time for any young adult. And each journey is incomparable – you begin to live your own self-dictated life, perhaps for what feels like the first time. When University, which I had assumed would be my path for the next three years, didn’t work out for me I felt confused, lost and a bit of a failure.

Advertisement

Life cannot always be planned for. Telling your child this, is beyond important in a world where young people are being inadvertently lied to. They are promised jobs if they are the all-star head girl, hockey captain, straight A* student, charity leader, chief basket-weaver - you name it. Suddenly, after graduating with a first, as one in four of students now do, they are thrust into a world of pot luck and nepotism. Where is that wonderful job they were promised when they submitted a faultless UCAS application? Life is not just about materialistic success, even though this is what is prized online, in schools, by parents and on CVs. A fully-formed education is more than just the correct recollection of Pythagoras theorem. Certainly, everything I have done, has been part and parcel of a broader life experience.

Growing into myself as an independent adult away from the education system, whilst earning my own way and gaining financial independence changed my life. I can only ask that you accept your child might need to do the same.

I began simply by washing up pots and pans, getting shifts at cafés and then a job in retail, followed by a brief stint in a social media and digital marketing, work experience at ITV, improv and sketch-writing courses, I then wrote a play which toured Surrey and Sussex, teamed up with ‘HeadTalks’ to produce a video about mental health & embracing the unconventional, started a blog, won a place on ‘The Network’ – a TV initiative at the Edinburgh TV Festival, had a billion assessment days, interviews and trials – some accidental (yes, really) some successful, some not so much. I’ve worked as an Elf at Christmas time, babysat for Britain and also give talks at secondary schools about alternative routes post-secondary school education. And it has all been exciting and more educational than I could ever have hoped.

Don’t compare your child to Sam at Oxford or Ash studying biochemistry at Nottingham. Allow your child to deviate from the path. Give them permission to embrace the unconventional, you never know where it might lead.

Izzy Radford, Writer, Public Speaker and University Drop Out

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 9 minutes ago

#WomenEd England Launch 18th July 2020

Join us for our first @WomenEdEngland event, where we hear from new voices in our community who have agreed to be #10% Braver and share their...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 hours 9 minutes ago

RT @FENews: 21st Century Learning World Readiness with Joseph Olan, Educational Presenter/Author: As communities and educators around the w…
View Original Tweet

Fiona Chalk has a new avatar. 8 hours 32 minutes ago

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page