2 July 2013


People often seem surprised I don't have a degree.  That's because they don't know how old I really am. It wasn't so de riguer to have them in my school leaving days, even though childrens' chimney sweeping days were well behind us.

I went to Grammar school, did well and didn't really understand what 'University' was.  It was assumed the clever ones in our class would go, but it escaped my presence of mind as a child to ask what it was - it seemed something so out of reach and alien.

I knew it meant more studying and when I talked about leaving to go and work in a Bank like almost everyone else seemed to be doing at the time, the Headmistress sat me down and said it would suit me to go to University.

That chat was wasted on a 16 year old without a clue.  My mum and step-dad would have made more sense of it, but weren't there.
They said I could go anyhow, but it still meant so little I shrugged it off.  It would be years later that I discovered that just being at a Grammar School automatically meant being one of the clever ones anyway.

Banking exams included a Business Diploma, which is something that's still useful because it covered a bit of Economics and Law and there certainly never used to be any shame in not being further educated than that.  I used to wonder about more Finance training but those days are behind me now.  

Kate Sutton Graduating 2010. 
It's not something that has to be ruled out for ever though. Many people I know have undergone life-changing studies and altered their careers entirely in their thirties and forties and not always with a supportive partner in tow to pick up the inevitable slack that will occur in other areas of an already established life with a family and home to run.  University is so much more attractive where no other ties are restrictive.

Nowadays, there seems to be a stigma around never having been, generating feelings of insecurity previously unfamiliar to me and when you know people like Kate (Wit Wit Woo) Sutton - who wrote her Single Mum's Story for me here and mentioned in it how she graduated as a mature student a few years ago, the cogs and wheels are inevitably inspired to turn.  

I quite fancy a degree now and as you get older, less and less seems out of the question.  One day it might just be me in one of those funny hats and gowns! 

What do you think? If you don't have a degree do you have an 'issue' with it or do you find it relevant or helpful if you do?