20/06/2014

Graduating From Uni: One Year On

I don't think the fact I have a degree will ever sink in; I just find it absolutely mental. I don't feel intelligent enough (I asked James last night if Argentina is the capital of Brazil or if it's a country, 'nuff said right?!) I don't feel old enough and I still can't believe that I actually survived the crazy experience that was University. 

This time last year I had been finished for about a month and I was about to start the hardest year of my life. It's difficult for me to admit that the last year has been the hardest because I didn't have a very good time at Uni and I always imagined that life would be so much better once I'd finished, so it's pretty hard to put my hands up with my tail between my legs and admit that I finished Uni, left my part time job which I loved because I put so much pressure on myself financially and was consumed with the idea of working full time, took a full time job in a call centre which was literally hell on earth, became unemployed, lived on no money for four months, couldn't find a job for four months and then ended up back at the job I left last summer (thank goodness they took me back!). Yeah, it's been quite a year.

For the first time since I was about sixteen I can honestly say that I am content and happy in my life. It’s been a long journey to get here and I’ve only felt this way for the past three months so that terrifying feeling of ‘ahhh what the fuck am I gonna do with my life’ is still very raw and fresh to me. I know a lot of people are finishing Uni at the moment and are probably going through/about to go through a similar experience to this, so today I thought I'd share a few vital things I’ve learnt since graduating Uni in the hopes of helping with that scary first year just a little bit...

(1) Money isn’t everything; you have your whole life to reach your dream salary. In your early twenties you are just starting out and earning a decent amount of money is something you have years to work towards.  Finding a job that makes you happy & is a step in the right direction to the career you want is the most important thing you can do. I took a 40 hour contract at a call centre, completely obsessed with the idea of earning a reasonable salary each month and being able to start my savings, move into a nicer flat, learn to drive etc etc etc, and I never gave one thought to what doing a job that I absolutely hated would be like. After a horrendous couple of months at that place I reached a stage where I realised I'd rather have absolutely no money than spend another day in that terrible place. Now living on no money for four months is obviously easier said than done and it nearly cost me my relationship, but throughout that whole period of unemployment where I had no idea if I was ever going to find a job (when you even get rejected from Primark you do start to doubt yourself) the one thing that I never regretted was leaving that call centre because I knew I could never feel as miserable as I had done there. I was very lucky that I had loving people around me who I knew weren't going to let me starve/be homeless and I've promised myself that I will find a way to repay them one day for looking after me during that time, but that's what happens sometimes when you finish University; you have to lean on your loved ones when you're trying to get yourself sorted because you are literally starting out in a world where every job either wants you to have previous experience or thinks you're over qualified. It's all about luck and someone taking a chance on giving you an opportunity to prove yourself,so sometimes you have to just sit tight and wait for that. And believe me once it comes and you get that first pay cheque (no matter how small it is) will be the best, most incredible feeling in the world. I only work part time due to illness so I am in no way financially secure but I'm managing and the little bit of money I do have is so incredibly precious to me and I always feel so proud every month knowing that I've earned that money doing something I'm passionate about.

(2) Nobody can (or should) tell you what to do with your life. You know deep down what you want to do and whatever that is you have to do it, no matter what anyone says or how hard it seems to get there. All I wanted was to work as a personal shopper and all everyone around me kept telling me was I should use my degree and become a teacher or go into PR. What you have to remember is you only have one life; your job takes up such a massive amount of your time and influences who you are as person massively so you really don't want to look back when you're older and realise you didn't do what you wanted to do. No one else is gonna do it for you and these are the years when you have the opportunity to plan what you want from life. I was told by so many people that my dream was unattainable, but here I am just three months later and I'm working in a clothes shop where I'm advertised as a personal shopper, I'm a stylist for the shopping centre I work in and have made two blog style videos for them on spring and summer trends and have also written fashion blog posts for their website. Don't get me wrong I still have a long way to go in achieving my dreams (my own personal shopping business and a style column on a successful website or in a magazine, maybe even a style book) but I'm going a step in the right direction, and that is the most incredible feeling ever :)





(3) You have your whole life ahead of you for grown up things; don't get bogged down worrying about savings/getting a mortgage/learning to drive/visiting the world/getting married/having children – it doesn’t happen overnight and you are only in your early twenties! All of those things come with money which comes through success and the only way you're going to get successful is by doing something you really love and enjoy. This has been the hardest one for me as my boyfriend is 30 so he's at a slightly different stage in life to me, but we've found a way to make it work and I feel like I've finally found a way to enjoy just being 22. I'm saving just a little bit each month because that's all I can afford at the moment, but a little bit is better than nothing and none of the other things matter right now. You have to know when the right time is for things and 22/23 (or however old you are when you graduate) is so young in the grand scheme of things.

(4) There isn’t a perfect time frame for life. It’s your journey and things will happen when they’re supposed to happen. I've always been one of those people that's had a plan and have wanted things to happen by a certain age. I made the mistake of putting so much pressure on myself last year to find a full time job by August that I ended up completely fucking up and that has massively taught me that things don't always have to happen to a certain time frame. So what if you end up living with your parents until your late twenties? So what if you only work part time for the first couple of years after Uni? So what if you don't learn to drive until you're 30? As long as you're happy and you're working towards your dream nothing else matters and you will find a way to make it happen eventually when you know it's the right time. I've been reading the 'I Heart' series by Lindsey Kelk over the past couple of weeks (if you haven't read it you seriously need to, she's my favourite author) and I don't want to give anything away but the story of the main character and Lindsey's own story as well gives me hope that you can get to your thirties and decide to completely start over. Don't feel like you have to follow this traditional 'get a proper job after Uni, get your own place, get married, have kids all before you're thirty' life structure that so many people conform to because life isn't perfect so it might not always work out like that. 






Love Holly xo

8 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this, I think so many can benefit from reading about your journey since graduation. There are so many things we think will happen straight after uni and it is the most difficult time, all we can hope is that we grow :) I did a very similar post this time last year, so I can definitely relate to this. xo http://goldilocksnotebook.blogspot.com/2013/07/class-of-2012-one-year-on-two-credit.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so so much for your lovely comment, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it and could relate to what I was saying. I found your post really good too and I love your blog really pleased to have found you :) Going to be having a commenting spree on your blog in a second :D
      xxx

      Delete
  2. I LOVE this post. I really needed to read it. Thank you! :)

    http://www.bee-on-a-budget.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased to hear that lovely :) Makes me feel so much better when people can relate to what I'm experiencing.
      xxx

      Delete
  3. I really enjoyed reading this post, sometimes its good to share your journey and tell people how you've been feeling so other people can relate to you and so you know your not the only one!x

    Jess x
    Momentsofbeautywars

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased that you found the post useful lovely, really means a lot to me thank you for your lovely comment :)
      xxx

      Delete
  4. Oh wow, I'm sorry you had such a bad time after you finished uni. And that you had a bad time AT uni! University was one of the best experiences of my life and I'm sorry to say you didn't have the chance to experience the things I did.

    On a plus note, seems like you've learnt loads of stuff about life and yourself!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I feel sad when I think about what I hoped Uni would be like, but I'm a firm believer everything happens for a reason :) It's always lovely to hear when people had a great time though, that's how I feel about the rest of my education and it always makes me really happy :D and I definitely have learnt loads :)
      xxx

      Delete