In the past few weeks, I have completed my Masters Degree, which also saw the end of my academic life, moved back home after living for six months in a house share and I also quit my waitressing job. All these things happening at once have made me feel as though I am in a strange place in my life and a lot of chapters are closing.
While I’m trying to think as positively as possible about all the new beginning ahead, it’s so easy to let negative thoughts creep in and give in to worry. It suddenly feels like I have to do everything that I wasn’t doing because I was at uni, such as job hunting, maybe saving for a house, and thinking about what I really want to do with my future.
Finishing my MA dissertation wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. During the weeks leading up to it, I became very down and grew disheartened in my project. I didn’t even want to go to campus as worrying that I had made the wrong choice was making me feel so low and I just wanted all the work to be over. But even when it was done, I didn’t experience a massive moment of joy or relief, I just pressed submit and felt that it was a bit annoying to have to go to uni the next day and wait for it to get printed out. I didn’t even feel that proud of myself and it all seemed like a bit of a non-event in comparison to a year ago when I completed my undergrad. And this was because I had allowed negative thought and worries settle in my mind. Had I just wasted a year doing something that only made me stressed out and even further in debt, should I have spent this year getting work experience and then a job? All these worries and questions were completely fruitless as regardless of the answers, what could I do about them anyway, I can’t go back in time. I called one of my best friends and an hour later we were lying in my bed with our other best friend all feeling exactly the same. But we also reminded each other of what we had just completed and achieved, as well as why we aren’t in positions to buy houses and why we don’t have our dream jobs yet. We needed that reminder that we just finished our second degree, we are allowed some time to breathe!
I think I’m the kind of person who will think I’ve made the wrong decision whenever I finally make one. On my last shift at work, I wondered if it was a mistake. I have a lot of friends there and felt like I grew up there, starting when I was 19 and staying in between travelling, uni and general life. It suddenly seemed that sticking to something familiar and comfortable could see me through while I apply for other things. But, quite frankly, life is too short to be anxiety-ridden over a part time waitressing job and I was wasting too much time worrying about how the shift might be run before I even got there. At the end of the day, you have to put yourself first and make choices that suit you. Dwelling on things that have happened can’t change anything, and worrying about certain situations does nothing to alter the outcome.
It’s really easy to look at where others are in their life and think that you are behind, but everyone makes different choices and everyone is on a different path. Just because I’m not in a position to do or have certain things because I chose to do a degree doesn’t mean they won’t ever happen, and because they might take a little longer than other people my age it also doesn’t mean that the choices I have made have been a mistake. For now, I can also enjoy feeling incredibly free. Me and my other half don’t have anything to tie us down, we can book a flight and be on holiday with my family three days later, I can take time out to do work experience and apply for jobs and also give him the time that I didn’t have when I was glued to my laptop and reading in a state of constant panic. The negative thoughts I was giving in to serve my general wellbeing no purpose. So for now, I will enjoy the rest of my holiday, reading for fun, and letting life, as my Grandma always says, just work itself out.
I never want to sound ungrateful for any of these things that I’m talking about and I know I am in such a positive position in life, which I’ve really had to remind myself of and which worry really tries to take away. So yes this September does feel kind of strange, but I guess this time of year is all about change anyway. Whatever I do next, I’m looking forward to Autumn properly coming around, buying a cosy new coat, and having the time to enjoy the wintery evenings and post more regularly here!