Reader, I have a confession to make. I was a really, really rubbish student when I was at uni. No, not Drama School (I used to spend most evenings skipping home to do my homework and telling every one who would listen that I was at Drama School. Like in Fame. But without the singing and dancing and perms). No, I mean university.
See, I had this deal with my parents that if I went and did an academic degree before I trained in acting, they'd help me out, whereas if I went straight to Drama School I'd have to raise all the money myself. Given that my income source was babysitting, the former sounded far better. And dear god, I was CRAP. I didn't go to any lectures, all of my essays were written the night before they were due in and I was known by my lecturers as 'The Girl With The Great Shoes'. No, not 'the girl that wrote that scathing essay on Gawain and The Green Knight'. No. 'The Girl With The Great Shoes'. Which should explain in some way how much attention I paid in my classes. I somehow scraped a 2:1, mainly through my truly excellent bullshitting skills and the fact that I was in a couple of plays that very handily corresponded to my course, but most of my time at uni was spent acting in student productions, becoming the social secretary of the drama society, mooning over entirely unsuitable boys, getting so drunk that I'm actually very confused in hindsight how I fit so much liquid into my body (corky's cream shots anyone? Creme Egg flavour....eesh), smoking millions of rollies, getting tattoos, swimming in the sea at midnight and buying economy brie at Lidl.
The thing is, yes, I was an atrocious student, doing a subject I wasn't particularly interested in, and it meant that I only started acting professionally when I was 23, but you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. For the first time, I was free to be a childish, naughty weirdo, without parental control. I got to do some really stupid things and experience life in a different city, with different people and stay up outrageously late and write atrocious poetry.
Which is why I get cross with the government putting up tuition fees, and kids being told not to bother with uni because it might not guarantee them a job. University helped me become an adult. I learnt to pay bills, deal with heartbreak, not be a doormat and to be proud of my achievements. I had three years to work out who I was, and I ended up coming out, well, maybe not a fully fledged grown up, but something akin to it.
And I got to try Corky's Creme Egg shots. Which leads to a whole different blog entry on horribly cringeworthy things I've done whilst drunk...
Anyway Reader, go to uni, send your kids to uni, encourage living life to the full!