I left school at 18, after two years of sixth form I thought I knew what I wanted to do with myself; College for another year, nice and simple yet leading me to a better degree at university. It all seemed perfect when I was accepted into the Batley School of Art
, I couldn’t have dreamed for more. The first day came quickly, I was overly shy and found it hard to speak to people as I didn’t know them, but by the time we were enrolled and went to work I knew a few faces and was talking to people. The work was alright, I didn’t really understand why we were doing it or what it was for but I got on with it. What was it you ask? Cutting cardboard shapes out and creating 3D forms to get you “thinking outside the box”… funny that, it actually worked. Me and my scalpel sat there for a week, cutting shapes, connecting them, generally thinking outside of the box.
I’m a good student, I always have been, I do what I’m told without question and follow the rules. I’m a background character of sorts who likes to be praised, but not too much.
On the Friday of the first week I was at home getting ready to set off to college, paper, cardboard, glue, everything being put in my bag. Pencil case… where was it? Oh yes, I picked it up and that’s when it happened. The best mistake of my life. Bizarre how these things seem to be irrelevant at the time; the cap had falled off the scalpet and it jutted out the side of the pencil case, as I picked it up a long deep cut stretched a line of blood along my arm. I didn’t realise at first, just wondering where the red stuff was coming from I stopped what I was doing to suddenly feel the pain of what I had done.
Looking back on it I should have had stitches, I avoided hospital and took the day off college. It sounds silly but I was shocked by how easily I had cut, and how easily it could have hit a vein. It’s funny how life can creep up on you, reminding you that it doesn’t last forever. I watched tv half-heartedly, wondering about college and what I was doing. It was the first time I’d really ever questioned how well my eductation was going and if I was doing the right thing.
That Monday I quit college. Now I am about to enter my second year at the University of Derby, my course? Illustration. One hundred miles away from the college I would have only just been finishing, one hundred miles away from the course that wouldn’t have made an ounze of different.
The best mistake of my life? It sounds strange thinking about it now, how it’s the “best”, why it’s the “best”… It’s funny how things add up, how life can be so expected from day to day and how your plans can change in a day. But I’m glad they do, the scar will always remind me of that one mistake I made and how greatful I am now. That scalpel, gosh, i’m thanking a scalpel!