Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

An interesting email popped up in my inbox today.

It was a link to a blog post on my university's careers centre website discussing the benefits of staying in Leeds after graduation.

There are some perks to this. Leeds is a thriving city and the number of opportunities available (especially in specific sectors such as media, finance and IT) is growing. Plus, it's so much cheaper to live there in comparison to London.

Everyone's experiences will be different and it is a personal choice. However, for myself, it was one of the worst decisions I ever made. Leeds is a great place to live but my time there after graduation was not a positive one. What a waste of time and money that was! I was so unhappy in my houseshare because I was treated like crap by an 18-year-old girl and a 23-year-old guy who were both living there. Plus, I was completely messed around in my job and I was treated appallingly. I didn't like the role anyway - I felt miserable and trapped and I wasn't thriving and progressing despite wanting to and despite being talented.

I didn't want to stay in Leeds in the first place. My heart was never in it. I actually wanted to move to Manchester after graduation because I like the city and it's the second best place for media opportunities after London. Plus, after my tumultuous time living in Leeds for study, I wanted to go somewhere else and start afresh.

Also, I admit, I was never going to stay in the North of England forever. I'm from London so I have a natural affinity to the city. With Leeds, I always felt as though I was 'popping up for a bit' and I could never see myself settling there for the future (and I hate the term/idea of settling down anywhere).

I just got to the point where I was so unhappy that I started spending more time in London, and this year in February I finally moved out. The final straw came was when my housemate (the 23-year-old) was quite nasty to me on a number of occasions and I'd had enough, so I packed up my things, moved out and since then I've not gone back. I moved out as 'quietly' as possible and didn't even say a proper goodbye: once my stuff had been collected, I took my bag and luggage, left the house and made my way to the train station. Over the years I'd suppressed my feelings and everything seemed to come to a head. I was treated like dirt in the majority of houseshares and flatshares I'd lived in since I moved to Leeds for study and I was sick and tired of it. Because of this, I plan on living on my own in the future, but that's another post for another day. It's kind of sad that I'd move out in that way, but enough was enough and I really didn't want to deal with anyone kicking up a fuss or interrogating me about how I choose to live my life.

Since I've come back to London, I have had some ups and downs. There are some radical changes I need to make within myself and in my life but those will come within time. Right now, as I am writing this post, I feel content: I live in my home city, I am saving on rent (yay!), I keep myself to myself, I network a lot more, I see my friends more (yay!) and I freelance and work from home (go figure!) If I could turn the clock back, I would have moved down to London straight after graduation and started temping while trying to build up my freelance copywriting career.

Also, since I came back to London, I've not been back up to Leeds. I have thought about visiting Leeds in the summer to see my friend who lives there - she is my only friend from university - but I am not sure yet. A part of my feels a little bit hesitant to go up to visit because while I remember the good memories, the bad memories dominate my mind even more. As I would like to go back into education at some point to study a Masters, I have considered applying to my university, but once again I'm not entirely sure. If I went back I'd live on my own, there's no way I could live with others again. But then again, I just don't know anymore. The past is in the past and I moved out of Leeds for a reason: because I wanted to leave the horrible stuff behind because I was so done and I wanted to cut ties with a lot of people. I might suggest to my friend that we visit another part of West Yorkshire, or go to another part of Leeds that we've never been to before. I don't know, but I'll go back if/when I'm ready.

If you are thinking about staying in Leeds (or your university location) after graduation, then I say do it. Don't let this post deter you and take on any opportunity that comes your way if it's the right one for you. But be prepared for the snakes in the grass who will try to sabotage the new chapter in your life.

Do what makes you happy, and never put up with anything that serves to make you miserable. Life is far too short.

Did you stay in your university's location after you graduated? Would you consider doing so if you are due to graduate this year?

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  1. Aww I'm so glad you figured it out. I stayed in the same city I graduated from because it's a fairly big city and I had a full time job and apartment while I school so it was a no brainer. Thanks for sharing and Here's to the new chapter! *clink clink clink*

    1. Thank you. I'm so glad I moved back to London, but I still want to live on my own, something that's extremely expensive to do in the capital city. I still have a lot to figure out but at least I am a better place now in comparison to several months ago, and I feel a bit more content.

      What city do you live in? And how did you manage a full-time job and studying?

      *Clink clink* here's to a new chapter!




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