Why life gets so much harder after we graduate

Since my last piece of coursework was handed in those sunny nine months ago, I’ve been on what some would call a journey of self discovery. I’ve tried my hand at being an estate agent, I’ve rubbed noses with the Job Centre elite during a depressing period of unemployment and I’ve experienced my first ever long distance relationship.

But aside from that there’s been a lot going on. I’ve had to move back home into a teeny weeny room which is permanently filled with dust (a huge hassle for my ever-so allergic self) and had to leave a huge part of my life boxed up in self-storage. My Dad has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and severe diabetes, my Mother’s been trying to build a relationship with me, and I’ve been trying to find out, well, what life is all about (except just without all that getting drunk in Thailand and riding elephants and helping African children like the majority of people my age seem to do).

I’ve developed an uncanny knack for quitting jobs. Pretty moronic given the current employment climate. I’ve got friends with no idea in which direction they want their degrees to thrust them, friends who no longer have the energy to have ambition, let alone apply for the jobs which require them. In fact I have very few friends comfortable with the path in which they are heading; those that have impressive job titles get paid less than my supermarket bound friends, or simply don’t love their work as much as they’d once hoped.

It’s a tricky situation out there right now, when do we give up whatever it is that isn’t fulfilling us and try to find something that does? And when is it ok, to simply admit to ourselves (and our parents and our friends) that we don’t want this high-flying career anymore. I’m still certain I want to be a journalist, and somehow have been carried afloat team fashion, which surprisingly I’m enjoying much more than I thought. But is the dream still Glamour (as it was through my entire stint at university?) Maybe, but probably not. Is it to have my own company? (As I decided last month) Again, maybe, but do I really lack the motivation and the stamina? Quite possibly not. Or do I just want a job that pays the bills so that I can spend my days travelling the world surrounded by the people I love and eventually playing house with a husband and babies? Who knows.

My main goal right now is to focus. I’d quite like a job that pays more than minimum wage so that I can hit the next milestone that I’m certain I’d like to achieve (one of the only dead-certs in my ever chaotic brain) which is to move out. Then maybe I can take it from there. My heads been playing all sorts of doctors and teachers and goodness knows what else tricks on me of late, as it fights to the solution for an easy life. But we all know the answer to this one: there simply isn’t one.

So good luck to anyone else out there fighting their own battles between their ambitions and reality. I’ve spent a long time trying to work out what it’ll take to measure up to everyone’s expectations of me, and I’ve realised that as long as I’m happy (and working had at something) everyone around me is happy too.

The real key to success is having an amazing support network. Surround yourself with incredible people and the rest should come easily.


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