Sunday, 14 February 2016

Its Decision Time - Work, University and General Balance


Its coming around to that time of year when, if you're in college or sixth form or even lower down in your education decisions are having to be made. Decisions you never thought you'd have to make, and the feeling that adulthood is looming has never felt so prominent. In the world of bloggers, it seems I'm one of the babies of the bunch, when I am lucky enough to attend events and network with other bloggers, I am usually one of the youngest in the room. I entered the bloggersphere when I was 14, amateurly of course, but thats when it all began. So I have been having to juggle blogging and full time education for the past 4 year, granted it has only really become something I would consider 'full time' the past year or so, recently it has become very hard for me to balance work and education. 
Many of you may have this problem too, with trying to balance your study with a part time job, and its not easy at all. These next few months are coming up to exams whatever year of your education you're in, and reminding yourself how important they are is invaluable. I am struggling a lot at the moment, torn between giving my all into what I love doing and giving you all the content and quality you deserve, and my studies for my A2 exams and AS resits in May and June. I have work, school and life decisions looming at the moment and I am sure that many of you are in the same boat. Now, I am by no means a fount of wisdom, but if my babbling will give any of you some more peace of mind or advice, then this will be worth it. 

Take the time to think about what you want to do. 

I wanted to start with a point I deem very important. I have changed my mind countless time within the past 2 years about what I want to do with my life and what choices I am going to make to get me there. When I started at sixth form in 2014, I wanted to be a motorsports engineer and to go and work for McLaren. (I really loved/still love F1). I started the year taking Physics, Maths, History and Economics and ended it having swapped Physics for English Language as I just couldn't grasp the concepts being taught in Physics and the jump from GCSE to AS was just too hard. So that was the engineering hopes down the drain. This was my limbo phase it really was. At this point, it was at the end of Year 12 (UK school years) and this is when, if you're in the UK you get the dreaded University and general life pressures suddenly put on you. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. No idea at all. I now know, that was completely okay and not worth worrying over, however at the time it felt like I was destined for failure. I have always had high expectations of myself, probably from having such successful parents all I have wanted to do was be as proud of myself as I am of what they have done with their lives. (Hey Mum, I know you read my blog, I am so proud of everything you do and everything you've achieved, you're my inspiration more than you know.)
At this point, my Instagram and Blog were turning into a much more full time thing for me as I was beginning to put much more time and effort into my Instagram and Blog content. Also at this time, about 8/9 months ago it became my job. Now this won't apply to everyone but the foundations of the idea will. I knew I loved blogging, and as I was becoming to understand that this could potentially be something I could do full time, excited me. The idea of University or another job had yet to excite me, so alarm bells began to ring. I realised I was really loving what I was doing now, and I knew if I didn't give myself the opportunity to thrive in something I love doing, I would regret it forever. 

Once I realised something I was genuinely interested in, I looked around at courses that may go hand in hand with what I want to do. Now, Fashion isn't exactly taught as an A Level subject at my sixth form, so I was apprehensive in believing this could be a creditable course (which it completely is). Anything you want to do is creditable purely for the fact it is something you enjoy. I think my greatest feeling then and still now as I am still making my decisions, was making the wrong choice for me and being stuck with it for the rest of my life, or at least feeling that was going to happen. I was, and still am scared of being stuck in a job I don't enjoy, which is why I am wanting to pursue what I enjoy doing in an attempt to make a living from it. This is something you need to try and do, it is your life, please make sure you are going down a path you believe in yourself, no matter how obscure it may be. (Its okay, I am wanting to make a living out of posting pictures on the internet, or at least thats what everyone else thinks.)

Do not worry about what your parents or other people in your life might feel about your choices. 

I feel like I am going to keep repeating to you that each of these points is the most important, but this was a huge factor for me. Making my parents proud is one of most important things for me to do with myself. The likelihood is, your parents or friends are going to say they are proud of me no matter what I do etc etc, but the feeling of worry is still there no matter how many time they tell you. I made the choice, a daunting one indeed, to do what I loved doing instead of following a path I thought they would be happy with, or my sixth form would be happy putting on their testimonials, or just what other people might approve of. I went from wanting to be an engineer, to then considering history, then economics, then english, and then realising nothing excited me. And this is where I ended up, stuck trying to please other people in a decision where the main influence of the decision was on my life, no one else. Stopping myself from basing my opinion on a life choice off how I thought it would make people in my life think was one of the best things I did to help myself. I ensured that I knew the way I thought people were going to feel about my decisions, were most likely not how they actually felt. If they did feel the way I feared, or had a negative view on what I wanted to look into doing, I cut their opinion out and ignored it. Sometimes, you're your own worst enemy thinking up things that aren't happening, or aren't going to happen. So stop worrying, as they really won't be thinking that you think they are. 

Tell yourself you're going to succeed and everything is going to be alright. 

This is something I need to teach myself, and I can't begin to explain how much I admire people who are able to fully believe in their decisions and support themselves emotionally through life choices. I am always a sucker for belittling myself constantly, and not allowing myself to admire my achievements so far, and this will always be something I struggle with as I am sure many of you do as well but being able to try and realise the things you've been able to accomplish and give yourself the credit you deserve.
Believing in your decisions is the key to it all, and unfortunately is one of the hardest things to do. If you love the idea of doing something enough then you WILL have the drive to make it work for you, and if is doesn't work out, then you will find something else to be just as devoted to. Thats how it works. 

Don't let other peoples misunderstandings put you down. 

Not everyone will always understand your choices or thought processes, thats just how it goes. Some people may try to put down the area of work you want to go in to, but you must not let it affect your goals or desires. I get this ALL the time with wanting to do my blogging and then potentially get a career in the fashion industry. The number of times people have laughed in my face at what I do for a living now or have said 'do you really think thats a good idea?'. Yes, I do. This is what I love. I can't speak for every job, but in my experience these comments come from people who really have no idea at all what your job or dream job even entails, so their opinions mean absolutely nothing. People sometimes feel that when they don't understand something they need to put it down to their own low level, and this is all that happens. Just because a few people don't think highly of what you want to do, doesn't mean you're not going to go so much further in life than they are. You need to instead try and surround yourself with people who will support your ideas and choices, even when they don't fully understand them. Also. if you are in education currently and are worrying about making any big decisions, please make sure you don't confine your ideas to the subjects available to you in school. At my sixth form, we are very much limited to traditional subjects and very very few creative ones, meaning I first felt I could only look into subjects I was already taking for A Levels. I looked into English degrees and History degrees without even considering one of the biggest influences on my life, fashion. You need to make sure you don't force yourself down a route you feel you need to be going down, you've got to make your own way in life so don't be afraid to stray from the traditional path, especially in this day and age. 

Take time out to yourself.

I am an only child, and I have always enjoyed my own company. Simply myself, not really doing much. So I find that when it all gets a little too much, I like to just take time out and have a moment to myself and my thoughts. I used to walk a lot when this came on, and I think I need to get into it more. Walking works really well for me, just getting away from everything and focusing on something else for an hour or so, and with walking, it also is helping to keep you fit. Just get your headphones, but your favourite music on and go for a little wander, wherever that may be. Take the time to find out what works for you, a hobby, sport, or sitting and reading. Something that you can find that takes your mind off things for a little bit. Not stressing yourself out over decisions is what makes you able to make these decisions well!

I hope this may have helped some of you, I am not the fount of all wisdom, but I try. 

Love, 

H x

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