It's OK to give up on your dreams

Friday, May 27, 2016
Don't let the title of this post put you off - from personal experience, I've learned it's 100% OK to 'give up' on your dreams if it means to be happier and healthier.

The dream:
So, my dream was to go to university, get better at writing, meet loads of like-minded people, and hopefully leave with a degree and some experience that will help me in my dream career of being an author. It didn't take me long into my degree to realise that I don't need a piece of paper to become an author, I just needed to write and get myself out there. I didn't need to be in debt to do that. Yes, university does help in some cases, but it depends entirely on who you are and what career you want.

For me, it was a no-brainer - I wanted to leave, I didn't see myself getting anywhere with a Creative Writing degree (which was what I felt, these opinions are completely my own) so I left. Writing has always been a hobby for me, and pursuing it as a career kind of killed that love I had for it all those years. What I got from 5 months at university is that studying and analysing your hobby can really ruin it for you, so watch out for that. Sometimes hobbies do develop into careers, which is wonderful, but that doesn't work for everyone. I think to find out whether it's right for you or not you have to take that leap and give it a go. I would have kicked myself forever if I hadn't have gone to university and tried it out, but I'm also glad that I had that gut feeling telling me it wasn't right.

Why I gave up:
So there were a couple of reasons why I dropped out - one I have already mentioned above - but the main reason I left was because I was depressed. I don't want to say too much about this because it's difficult to explain and put into words, but I was at a really low point. I knew a couple of months in that carrying on would make me feel much worse and dropping out was certain. In a way this was good because I got a very clear answer (it took some time, but I got there eventually). I was able to leave and feel OK about it.

I did give up, yeah. I'm not sad about it and I don't regret it. I gave up completely. I don't think giving up should have such a negative connotation. Everyone will give up on something at least once in their life. Not everyone has the mindset or strength to push through everything life throws at them. Sometimes giving up on something will make you feel like a weight's been lifted from your shoulders. Other times you might feel hopeless and disheartened but you'll always recover from those feelings. In time everything feels OK again. You'll get on a new path and wonder why you spent so much time thinking about the old path.

If the reason for giving up is because of your health, never regret it. I am so happy I put my health first. Starting on antidepressants when I came home was a decision I should have made years ago, but it's better late than never, and I'm so glad I'm putting myself first instead of pushing through something that was making me incredibly miserable. What's the point in that?

Now I'm working, earning some cash, living at home, seeing friends, finding new hobbies, and trying to be happier. I am happier, definitely. I can't imagine how much worse I would have felt if I'd have stuck university out. In fact, I can't imagine myself there at all anymore. When I think back to it, it just seems like a weird dream. Thankfully I did make some great friends who I still keep in touch with, god knows they were the only people helping me get through it all (besides my family, of course).

I will always be able to write, whether it's in a month's time or twenty years' time, it's something I will always be able to return to. On social media I still refer to myself as a writer despite not writing for a fair few months now. Does that matter? Not really. I might not write again until I'm 90, but I'm still a writer. I might have given up on university and a Creative Writing degree, but I definitely had more important things to think about.

Giving up shouldn't be so bad. There's so much pressure on pursuing your dreams no matter what and that's not fair. Life doesn't always go smoothly and sometimes other things in your life will take priority, which is OK. On the other hand, if you give up something simply because you want to, that's OK too. There doesn't even have to be a reason! So long as it makes you happy, it should never matter why.


  1. Great post! Very insightful. There's a great episode of the Freakonomics podcast which you may be interested in called "The Upside To Quitting" which talks about how quitting something can actually provide more longterm happiness (when quitting for the right reasons).

    1. I've added that podcast to my bookmarks, sounds really interesting, I'll make sure to give that a listen! And I'm glad you liked the post :-)



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