This time four years ago, I was receiving my final few offers from universities. I was in a relationship that was well into its third year at that point, and I was convinced I had my life mapped out. Myself and my boyfriend at the time had even discussed how we wanted to get engaged and settle down at a young age. Why am I acknowledging this (and making myself cringe in the process)? Because we’d arranged for that age to be “around” 21, when I graduated in 2018.
As in, now. And where am I now?
Well, I’m very much single, we broke up three years ago, and I had spring rolls for breakfast the other day.
This is a post I’ve deliberated about writing for quite some time, but I never really had a “right” time to do it. As much as I sometimes feel like I’m on a rollercoaster of misfortune and just sheer irony, my life is pretty uneventful. I’m one of those people who seems to just have everything fall into place, which I’m incredibly grateful for. But recent events and experiences have made me realise that actually, no matter how settled you may be, life will always be ready to throw you a curveball. This is getting pretty deep already for an advice post, so imma back things up here.
My little brother is now in the position I was in four years ago, albeit without the plans to elope in a graduation gown. The only difference between us is that while I knew from the start of school that I needed to get all the qualifications I could in an attempt to get away from island life, he’s only just recently started to think about that. He’s now looking into colleges, but he has no idea what he wants to do – other than move to the mainland. It’s frustrating for me because I went through the exact same thought process at his age, but there’s very little you can do when you have no idea what you want.
Except, is that the case? Obviously he shouldn’t waste his money on moving out to the city when he’s not entirely sure on what he’s going to do out there, but you can’t exactly expect a 17 year old to just rhyme off their entire life plan. I know that sounds a little bit dramatic for choosing a college course, but so many young people nowadays are led to believe that this choice will impact them for life and that is a ridiculous amount of pressure to put on anyone. The idea that the profession they choose – at an age where they still have to ask for their teacher’s permission to go to the toilet in school – will be what they are going to do until the day they retire. It still annoys me when I ask him what he’s thinking of studying and he replies with a shrug, but it hit me recently that in doing so, I’m being a total hypocrite.
I studied business in high school, and then I applied to universities for an International Business programme. I got accepted to them all, I picked one, off I went to the big city and I’m now three weeks away from completing my honours degree. But four years and £20,000 in debt to the government later, what am I doing with my degree?
… I’m using it to apply for a Masters degree in journalism. Sure, I wanted journalism before anything else – but in everyone else’s eyes, I was going to jet off around the world with briefcase in hand. Even I’d given up on the journalism dream by Christmas of my first year, but here we are.
My point is, even if you feel like you’ve got your whole life sorted and planned out, you’ll never know what’s around the corner. There is genuinely zero point in forcing yourself to make long-term expectations for the sake of it. If you don’t know what you want to do, then don’t worry about it – because neither do most of us. There IS a difference between ambition and expectation in this case, of course. Dream away, but don’t push yourself to depend on that exact plan happening in 2036. I should have dreamed of getting engaged at 21 rather than planning it, but hey, at least I don’t have to share my spring rolls.
<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19243207/?claim=y95pz46f3j2″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>