Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some thoughts on finishing uni

I'm currently in my last few weeks of university EVER and it is really quite terrifying. This is a time of such uncertainty and big change, and it can all become rather stressful to deal with. Personally, I have no clue how to navigate what is happening in my life, or rather what isn't happening in my life and I know the same goes for so many people, but not many people talk about it.

I remember a conversation I had with my sister last year; I was sat feeling sorry for myself, as per usual, because it seemed like everyone around me was having so much success, getting amazing internships/jobs, getting boyfriends, meeting amazing industry people, getting famous etc. etc. and I just felt like I wasn't getting anything despite trying really hard. My sister then said to me "Of course you feel like this. People only talk about the good things and announce their successes, there  are probably loads of people you know who feel exactly the same as you but you simply don't know because they're not announcing their rejections and struggles."

There is so much pressure on graduates to find a job, get a flat, be financially secure, and work their life away. But what if I don't want to do that? What if I want to travel the world, be creative, make my own money, work for myself? I'm 21. I have my whole life ahead of me. I can go wherever I want, do whatever I want and the only person who can hold me back is myself. Why do I have to do things the 'conventional way'? Well, I don't. No one has to, but society has drummed it into our brains that we do.

I read an article the other day about a guy who threw his life away because he chose financial security and traditional stability over pursuing his dreams and ambitions, and now 25 years later he's dead inside. He was a banker, worked 6 days a week, his wife had been cheating on him for 10 years, his son felt nothing for him, and he was left having achieved nothing he had ever wanted to achieve. He wanted to be a writer and travel the world but all that stopped as soon as he hit 21. Well, being 21, this story hit home and freaked me out. Like him, I have some wild creative ambitions and a wanderlust spirit. I don't want to reach 45 and realise I never did spend those two months in Bali I always dreamed of, or I never did use my creative talents to build a career for myself on my own terms. I don't want to wake up in a few years and find myself sat at a desk working 9-5 in a career I don't like.

I've just spent the last three years studying something I realised I don't want to do,  so naturally I'm feeling quite lost right now. Marketing is not for me. Marketing fills me with no joy, excitement, passion or desire. But taking my own photos, making videos, writing, these tickle my fancy.

However, these ambitions and dreams are often deemed 'unrealistic' and 'not practical' or 'a good way to be poor forever' by peers, parents and the world. My dream for after university right now is to save a bit of money, go to Bali for a couple months and just film, write, and record my experiences. The only thing stopping me from doing it is my fear of judgement and disappointment from others, and that is no way to live.

It's so easy to slip into an all consuming sense of failure and doom when you see people close to you getting amazing jobs in amazing locations, while you're sat still trying to figure out what it is you want. But comparing myself/yourself to others at this point in life is just dangerous and not good for anyone. Comparing my own happiness and success to others and basing it on how others are doing is a sure fire way to drive myself into doing something I don't want to do just so I can pay the bills and bulk up my CV. My idea of a nightmare is living my life 'just for the sake of it', and I know that's how a lot of people in my position feel too.

You have one life to live, so why not make the most of it. Maybe I am being realistic but I'd rather be poor and happy than making money but hating what I do.

I'm 95% of the way there in terms of booking a ticket to Bali for a couple of months at the end of the summer. The 5% stopping me is this fear of judgement from other people, this knowledge that a lot of eyes are on me and people wanting to see what job I get, where I end up etc.  I don't want to be that person who lets that 5% stop them pursuing a dream and doing something great. My hope is that in a few months time this blog will be alive with my Bali adventures and style. It's time for my generation to stop succumbing to the pressures and traditions that have been set in place for us by generations gone by and live our lives how we want and stop basing our success on whether we have a mortgage, or are earning a certain salary, or a in a long term relationship by the age of 25. Some of us just don't work that way.

1 comment

  1. Everything in society is so constructed. your life is basically already chosen for you once you're born because everybody already has this perception of what you're going to do in life. i recently read Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums and it helped me kind of define what i want to do, which is literally what i want to do. they say "comparisons are odious" and it's true. what kind of life would we live if we just compared ourselves to others and follow everyone's path and not our own? horrible life, unfulfilled life! do whatever you think is best for you because only you know!! good luck :-)


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