Under a Bridge Pt. 2

I am going to end up under a bridge. I am going to end up under a bridge.

And there’s a part of me that hasn’t accepted that yet, that wants to argue; that wants to explain. And that part of me that is so hurt that it feels it has to. That part of me is in such pain that that could be thought of me. But it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it to avoid this pain, to stop this being thought of me because there really is only one way. This pain is okay, and I will come to embrace it and the rage that it generates in time.

And I don’t need to argue with anyone about this, I don’t need to explain, because I know I cannot win. Because to any logical person it is always better to be safe than sorry.

“But you get an ATAR so that you can go to university.”

“But I don’t want to go to university.”

“But you might.”

“And if I do, there are other means.”

“Don’t you want to make it easier?”

“For who? That person doesn’t even exist.”

There is no point that I can come up with that cannot be rebuffed; that cannot be counteracted. No argument is ever going to be good enough. And I’m still learning how to be okay with that, learning how to see the pros and cons list and knowing that it’s still not what I want. And I just have to keep thinking that.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

This is not what I want.

I don’t want to go to university, I don’t want an ATAR, and I don’t want to spend a year getting one. I don’t want this.


I let it slip that I didn’t want an ATAR this morning in front of my sister. She told me immediately not to make this decision at sixteen. But there is literally no other time that I can make it. Twenty-two year old me is not going to give a fuck. And so whether I like it or not, this is a decision that I have to make at sixteen, and a decision not to change is still a decision.


I have an image of myself swan diving off the figurative, invisible cliff I’ve been told about, a choir of angels singing “fuck it”, the school population watching me go.

But that’s not what’s happening here, and I’m trying really hard not to state my intentions like it is. Because “fuck it” is so much easier to explain than a complex, researched decision prompted by realization that this is not what I want and there is something I think I’ve always wanted instead.

And that’s already the assumption. I don’t need to back it up. I hate school, and I’ve been very open about that. I don’t need to describe the swan dive because whoever I am telling is already picturing it.

But I’m still not swan diving; I’m just taking the stairs.

And I think that my sister is right, a little bit. I am sixteen and given time, I won’t be anymore. I will change. But I’ll still be changing at thirty-six, and fifty-six and eighty-six. And we’re all just taking bets on the things that won’t change. And I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know where I’m going, I know who I want to be and I know what I want.

And I’ll take bets on that.

2 thoughts on “Under a Bridge Pt. 2

  1. It’s great that you know what you don’t want. Any idea what you do want ? Any plans? I hated school as well. I was bored rigid by school subjects.Going to uni was a very instrumental choice. I wanted to get onto a particular graduate training program for BBC journalism (as advised by my English teacher who was waiting to join it). I hated the way teachers said I was good at languages…so I should do languages. And I got to uni and was bored rigid again in French and German. But my subsidiary subject was Linguistics. I had no idea what it was, but I quite fancied the lecturer. But I found out I loved it. And suddenly everything changed.
    Wonder if you’ve seen this helpful website: http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/
    Bon courage. Liz


  2. Hi there. Your mother, Kate, pointed me here by way of Mastodon. She explained a little bit more about what the ATAR means, and some of her opinions on it, as well as yours.

    It does sound like a steaming load of manure in a lot of ways. But I can only speak semi-authoritatively as a failed student teacher (no, I never made it fully into schoolteaching). I have friends who are artists; I don’t know how many of them have needed higher education for certain. Only one I can think of *did* go to university AND grad school; but he’s got 8 kids (don’t be TOO shocked just yet- he’s the eldest of 11, maybe 12).


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