Royle Appointment (or University – My Arse!)

I recently spotted a familiar name in the credits of The Royle Family, one of my favourite sitcoms.  Sandra Coulson was a crew member on the last three Christmas specials, amongst numerous other TV shows.  It’s great to see her name appearing on telly with such frequency.  She and I were at school together, more years ago than I care to remember (Hi Sandra – on the off chance you’re reading this!).  This isn’t meant to sound name-droppy, by the way. 

Back in our sixth form days, Sandra Coulson and I had ambitions.  Mine lay in journalism; she always yearned to join the film industry.  To put it mildly, neither ambition was exactly nurtured by our teachers.  Sandra’s was dismissed as a pipe dream, while mine was deemed unachievable without a university degree. 

These ‘educators’ of ours ceaselessly hammered home the baseless, blinkered message that ‘uni’ was the only route available to us post-school and moreover that it was all we should desire in life.  Qualifications and examination grades, they would have us believe, were the sole qualities on which one would be judged in ‘the real world.’  They sneered at our ‘unrealistic’ goals and encouraged us to aim a little lower. 

In defiance of our ‘dear’ teachers, both Sandra and I followed our dreams and we achieved them, without the necessity for a degree. 

OK, after four years in the profession I realised that journalism was not for me and switched careers to become a legal secretary.  But the point is I did it in the first place!  I am proud of my accomplishments since then, such as having stories published.  And have never regretted not following the well-trodden (dare I say predictable) path of so many of my other classmates. 

Degrees are not the be all and end all.  Good luck in your profession, Sandra.  Up yours, teachers!

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