Adam Dark - UCAS Undergraduate (mature)

'This world, that world' – Adam Dark's runner up essay from the 2013 UCAS/Times writing competition.

43, from Ramsgate, Kent

Studying Law at Canterbury Christ Church University

This world, that world

This is my other world, a world where I didn’t go back to university. In this world I am sitting on my bed looking at the television. The screen shows the endless squabbles of day time television: it's his baby, it's not his baby, it's the other guy’s baby. The cars whoosh past outside and the clock ticks. I sit watching the screen hoping something would happen but it never does. In this world I didn’t fill in the form that applied to study law. I didn’t screw up my courage and walk out of the door into a strange world of books and courts, of gowns and wigs. I didn’t step through that lecture hall door and find a seat, waiting expectantly to learn about justice and truth. I sat here on this bed and changed the channel on the TV. I didn’t find a new world full of happy people exploring, desperate to seize everything that the opportunities presented. Their faces shining in the candle light of a dinner at Lincoln’s Inn surrounded by barristers and judges. Their wide eyes open at the sight of a judge giving a reason for his sentence. In this world I didn’t do anything, I just waited my life away hoping life would come and knock on my door but it never did. In this world I decided I wouldn’t join the law society at university, I wouldn’t enter debating competitions and win. I wouldn’t travel to LSE and try my hardest against their smartest people and lose but thrill in the competition and revel in all I learned. I decided that I would sit here and watch the inane ramblings of trapped housemates performing like monkeys at the zoo. I decided I wasn’t worth the effort, life wasn’t worth the effort and I would smoke my days away. I didn’t go to university and try to make my life important. I just sat here on this tired bed in these dirty clothes. In this world I am sad and endlessly wait for something to happen, I make each tiny event into a big drama as that is all I can do. I didn’t take the chance, I didn’t dare to make it happen. In this world I can measure the value of a day in the time less noticed. In that other world I cherished every moment. Each day was special and would never come again. So many things happened in that other world, I grew, I expanded, my options and possibilities multiplied like bacteria on a petri dish. The world of law welcomed me and gave me hope and worth. I don’t like this world. I like that other world, with its hope and life. Its wide open reveling in what could be. I like university and all it offers. I can be anything I want to be and I have stopped waiting.

UCAS/Times writing competition article