September 09, 2014

LIFE AFTER UNI.

There is a time in your twenties or maybe earlier for some, when you have to realise what the hell you are going to do with your life. For me this is a question that I still can't answer. It's that time of year where the new undergraduates are setting off to their chosen uni and it got me thinking, how do I feel about my life after uni? Even years after fleeing the student life, it's hard to know what you want to do with yourself or even what makes you happy and believe it or not, I still ask myself everyday if this is the life for me. 

I have been fortunate to have been in education the whole of my life. With GCSE's, A levels and a wee foundation course back in 2009, I was never sure if university was for me. I'm a home bird at heart and the thought of leaving my family and living alone was something that I never thought I'd be able to do. After going through a tough time back at my art foundation year, uni wasn't even on the cards as I had fallen out of love with creating. However after working in the Summer with my family, I knew I wasn't ready for full time work so I plucked up the courage and found love for learning again. This time for history of art, allowing me to still keep my passion alive for art but in a different way.

Unfortunately I lost my grandma just before the start of my first year at Goldsmiths university, so to say it was a young time is an understatement. However after three long but memorable years I graduated with a fabulous and bloody well deserved 2.1. So what happens after uni? For me I had no choice but to throw myself into the workplace. As many of you will know, I have worked with my family forever, growing up as a baby in our old shop on Fulham Palace Road, floristry is something that comes naturally too me. However I am now two years into working full time at our studio in Wandsworth and I have to say, I am at a crossroads.

When you grow up there are stepping stones. Things that you need to do in order to gain a better future, or so they say, things that keep you thinking ahead into the future. But what happens when you don't have those things i.e education, to keep your mind thinking forward? Do I have to now start thinking about kids, getting married, is that all that my future holds? I think if your a creative person like me, it's the after uni stage that is the hardest. I find it so hard to accept that this is my life, I am in it and it's up to me to feel happy. The thought of mapping out my life terrifies me. I think it's so easy to just waste away years and years of life planning, thinking of the future or even not doing anything with your time that you tend to miss out on the amazing things all around you and the moments that we all live for.  As much as I love my job and at times it is far too stressful than it should be, there is a part of me that feels like I could do more. I never did the whole travelling thing after Uni or my A levels, I don't think I was ready but now I feel like that is all I want to do. See the world, get out of London, experience things that are out there just waiting to be explored. 

I met up with an old uni friend a month or so ago now and both her and I shared what had happened to us over the two years since leaving the student life. It was strange how our stories were very similar. She too had lost key members of her family since the last time I saw her. They had been pivotal points that changed her as a person and also what she wanted to do with her life. When it comes down to it, life is too short. We had both had spouts of anxiety and definitely felt the pressure to better ourselves now we were graduates. Whatever that all means I have no idea, who says that you have to be anything really. Happiness is what I want but is happiness working everyday, feeling stressed, having no money, being tired of the mundane crap that goes on every single day?? It's these things that are totally normal to think about at 24 years old if you still haven't found your path. 

I must say I haven't always felt like this, I'm a home bird and I always dreamt of finally being able to work and make my own money. I guess you do slightly dream of that when you are younger forgetting how bloody boring it is! 

I don't think I had realised how my anxiety has been detrimental in every decision I have made for myself over the last few years and it's not until now that I am taking control of my own thoughts and body that I have realised I am missing something. I have everything I could ever want but I feel like it's not enough for me. I have so much more to give and there must be more out there for me. I am dying to travel and live in Italy, it's always been a dream of mine, is it now that I make it a reality? All these questions I think are total normal at my age to think about if your not one of those who want to settle down get married have kids blah blah blah as still I feel so young and I know I can barely look after myself. I think it certainly doesn't help having to move back home as I've taken a step back in my eyes and having to make so many big decisions over the last few months that has definitely contributed to me feeling like I just need more in my life.

I think what I wanted to say in this post more than anything is that after uni don't expect everything to fall into place (and damn you guys who it does happen to!!!). Give yourself time to become who you want to be and take time to find your path, a career, the life you want. I am still trying to find mine. Not everyone can be organised in working out their life before it's even happened. Don't panic. You just need to do what makes you happy. Life is too short to be wasting it away with unhappiness. With my anxiety I already feel like I wasted a year of my life and I'm not going to let it happen now. I can't. I have to take control and decide what makes me happy. I know I am so happy to have blogging in my life that's one thing I am sure of and travelling needs to happen!

Keep on smiling folks and whatever life throws at us, we can take it! Please do let me know your stories as I don't want to feel like the only lone solider out here!

Hugs & Kisses
Becki xox



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3 comments

  1. I'm in my third year now so this is all everyone is talking about. Thank you for posting this, I'm so clueless at what I want to do next it's nice to know it's okay to figure it out as you go. I definitely have the travelling bug too and I'm hoping to squeeze in interrailing at some point :)

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  2. This post really resonated with me. It's comforting to realize that I'm not the only one feeling a little mixed up after college! I think you capture it perfectly here: I find it so hard to accept that this is my life, I am in it and it's up to me to feel happy. The thought of mapping out my life terrifies me.

    I recently got a full-time job and although I generally like what I do, it's hard to feel spontaneous and creative when so much of my time is dedicated to something so structured and routine. I try really hard not to compare myself to others and make the most of little (and sometimes big) adventures. When it comes down to it I'm a home bird too, and that's always okay.

    Melissa xx

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  3. Loved this post! It's awful when you leave uni and one or two people (though it seems like the world!) get a fabuolous job instantly and live the high life in London, without any issues. However, it's liek a sudden epiphany when you realise that 99.9% of graduates all suddenly land with a bump and start panicking, feeling inadequate and realising that at 21 or 22 you don't fee as mature as you thought you would! It's a minefield and it's scary and sometimes it's lovely to have a reminder that it's not easy, but it can be a great experience once you let yourself enjoy the little things and stop worrying (I am similar to you with my anxiety!)

    By now I thought I'd be moved in with another half, on the way to being engaged and having seen most of the world. That was when I was 16. Right now, life is far from that...but that's ok, because I still feel too young for that anyway!

    You sound like you're doing well, and be proud of what you've achieved so far in life - even the little things!

    Jo xx

    She Wears Burgundy

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