Step One – By @Aaron_Furman1

By Aaron Furman


Step One



I feel like I’ve been an academic failure my whole life, making it this far on technicalities and special circumstances. I felt like my life has always had a map laid out for me by others. I’ve had expected expectations since I was born. This comes down to the household I grew up in. 


Step 1 – Pass your GCSE. 

Step 2 – Pass your A-Levels 

Step 3 – Go to university 

Step 4 – Get a well-paid job in London

Step 5 – Find a nice Jewish Girl

Step 6 – Marry her

Step 7 – Have kids 

Step 8 – Retire and play golf 


I have now made it to step 4 and couldn’t be more unhappy. I want more. I want to take back control of my life. I’m putting the middle finger up, setting this map on fire and walking away with a new sense of purpose. Going to SCA is my new step 1. My new direction and I know the right one. 


Creativity was never rewarded in my household. Painting a picture or writing a poem was nice, but it was never going to pay your bills. Freedom of expression was second to picking academic A-Levels. At that juncture, I wanted to pick media studies as an option – I was told no. My parents wouldn’t have their son participate in what they didn’t classify as a ‘proper subject’. This mentality carried over to all walks in my life and eventually led me to do Business Management at University. I didn’t care for this subject, but I was led to believe it was the right thing to do. It was not. 


If university taught me anything, it is that we need to follow our passions in life. We need to unbind the shackles of others’ expectations and become the person we are meant to be. I looked in envy at the people who followed their paths, not caring about the judgement of peers or parents. They didn’t care for the rat race, they didn’t compete at anything but being the best version of themselves. They put their happiness first.


I’m not envious anymore. I’ve stopped living my life for others and started to follow my dreams. I am creative and I need to utilise this in my career. Tapping into this side of myself has always given me so much joy. We shouldn’t be wasting our time on fruitless endeavours.


So, I’m taking back control. All my planned steps have gone and I’m taking a leap of faith. For the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to all the hard work ahead of me. I’m looking forward to waking up each day, going to school and giving it my all. I know that sounds as cheesy as it gets, but it’s the absolute truth. For a long time, I’ve had no real direction of my own. Free falling at the beget of others.


Now, at last, I’m on my own step 1. 




To my fellow cohort, 


I hope you like dogs. 


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