The Ideal Graduate Doesn’t Exist

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Do you remember what made you decide to go to university? Maybe it was because you really loved a subject and wasn’t quite done with it yet. Maybe it was because your family members or friends had gone and you decided that it was probably a good idea. Maybe it was because you were told that going to university was going to give you a boost, it was going to get you a job.

I’ll bet that most of us link to one of the three reasons, for me it was making me employable. I wanted to work hard, get the best grades and get a great job. I learnt from my parents that working hard and having your own money was important. I’d had a job since I was 16 and after a teacher insisted I look, my eyes widened with how much more you could earn just by getting a degree, it was a no-brainer, right?

So, here I am almost a year after graduating with a 2:1 degree and I’m not a top notch career woman yet, who knew? I’m currently temping in an office while friends of mine are working in retail, restaurants or anywhere they can get a job. All of us are asked what we’re going to do with our degrees or about career plans. The thing is just because you have a degree doesn’t mean that you’re failing because you’re not a hot shot at 22, something which can be a harsh reality.

There’s an illusion of the ‘perfect graduate’, something that isn’t real, usually, this person would have their own flat, a decent paying job that they love, flawless references, society activist. Overall, they are meant to have their shit together. Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve never met that person, I’ve never met them, so why was I striving to be that? No one in my family or loved ones had ever put that on me so where did it come from?

I could blame advertising, I could blame media or Social Media but I’m not going to waste time on that. We need to be kind to each other but more than anything we need, to be honest. Am I guilty of trying to make my Instagram feed look better my life picture perfect? Of course, I am. Am I guilty of comparing myself to others and wondering what I should be doing with my life? 100%.

I hope that if you’re reading this and have been feeling overwhelmed like me that this has helped.

What have you realised after graduating? Let me know in the comments below.

Ups and Downs

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How I entertain myself and Ali on my bus journeys (that’s my tongue not my bottom lip)

 

Today the inevitable happened, tired, full of cold and stressed out I finally hit a low. I know it’s been coming it’s like a storm you can feel coming and I was silly enough to have thought it had gone away. I had a dip the other night with Ali but I put that down to drinking too much (never.again.) today was different. I was up and ready (after my hot water wasn’t working, that was strike one), today was freshers fair! I’d heard so much about it and honestly, it didn’t live up to the hype. Many of my other freshers have said the same thing too many people in one small place. I couldn’t breath and I could hardly move at all which made me feel awful as well as some slightly pushy 2nd and 3rd years being around. I signed up for a few of the societies that I really wanted to Music, Rock and Journalism, I’m planning to pop back early tomorrow to try and see if there is anything else I want to join in with. The thing is I don’t want to sign up for to much and regret it later so I’m just sticking with my 3 and may spend some time with the student’s union. With all the chaos I just felt lost and alone and needed to cry. I panicked and I felt like I wanted to go home (perfectly normal freshers feelings) then started to go on a low. As with many other times I tried to relax and ended up falling asleep during a visit to Ali’s this afternoon and I woke up feeling much better.

After a low I try and think about it and work out why but do you know what? Sometimes there isn’t a reason, it’s just part of a really crappy illness that I have. No one knows if I’ll get rid of it for good, it could go away for years and come back but I try not to think about that. The anxiety is the same thing but in my heart I think I’ll always be a little bit anxious. I am accepting it and I want to leave university after changing people’s perceptions on mental health issues that we’re not all ‘nutters’. Unfortunately due to my low mood I couldn’t face the disability meeting which really upset me  because normally I try and work around it and I do but I suppose I have to accept that a lot is changing and moving. Things will be worse at the moment and I hoping I can move on but I do hate it and I can’t always be positive, it’s just the way things are. I did get around it though with a trip to Kingston Hill, a nice shower, some home cooked food (thanks for the frozen meals mum!) and a lovely night in with Becky. Overall tonight has been a good end to a particularly rough day. Here’s hoping tomorrow is ok!