Why I’m ok with not having it all together

Hey, it’s ok

Alongside running this blog, I work part-time in a local pub. The one thing everyone asks me in that pub is ‘what are you going to do now you’ve got your degree?’ And minus a few people, most people don’t understand why a) I’m working in a pub in the first place b) I haven’t got a full-time fancy job in London yet, my own flat and my own independence… three months after receiving my degree. Most of the time, this chat doesn’t bother me, I’m well aware that they are simply making small talk with someone they know nothing about apart from going to university. But recently, I’ve had more people tell me the ‘horrors’ of getting degrees and you may not believe the number of times I’ve been told ‘it’s so hard getting a job with a degree now’ ‘my sisters cousins friend got a degree years ago and still hasn’t got a job’, ‘oooh, bet your in loads of debt now!’, they say with a grin on their face. I can’t quite fight the niggling thought in my mind of… ‘these people don’t think I have together’. Do these people think I’m wasting my time? Wasting my degree?

It’s a tricky area of discussion. Everyone has their opinion and I am always mindful of being respectful of that but it made me wonder if anyone else is in the same boat. With picture-perfect Instagram feeds, the option to add milestones to Facebook alongside everything else, we don’t get to see everything involved in peoples lives. We get to see the tip of the iceberg online, we only hear what they are willing to share over coffee or dinner. And that’s fine. It is just good to remember that not every twenty-something has their life together. Being in your early twenties is hard, it’s your first stage away from being a teenager. But you are still learning who you are. Where you are meant to be. What you’re meant to be doing. That is why my degree is not a waste of time. And why, at twenty-two, I’m ok with not having it all together.

Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided
Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided
Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided

It is something I’ve thought about a lot because all I seem to do at the moment is talk about my degree with strangers, friends and family. There’s a lot of ‘now what?’ ‘what’s next?’ ‘whats the five-year plan?’ and people then don’t understand when I tell them ‘I’m not really a planner’. It all just goes along with the intense pressure and graduation anxiety you get when you leave university. Everyone is well aware you are now unemployed without university to fall back on. Everyone is well aware you are now job hunting and probably doing something completely unrelated to your degree on the side for a bit of cash. Some people even think that the past few years have been a waste of time because university is ‘easy’. But most of all, everyone is kind of aware that you don’t have it together and watching your next steps.

Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided
Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided

So no, I don’t have a full-time job. Yes, I’m working part-time pulling pints. Yes, I’m struggling with moving back home and losing all the independence I gained back in Brighton and yes my social life has taken a nose-dive because I’m no longer living 5 minutes down the road from my best friends. I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere, miles away from everyone and everything, just trying to make it through the week. It doesn’t mean I haven’t worked hard, or not working hard and it doesn’t mean I’ve wasted four years of bloody hard work. Because let me tell ya, getting a degree is not pointless and/or easy!

Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided

Hard work means different things to different hearts. For me, that degree, the flimsy bit of paper that I have mainly used to fan myself during my graduation ceremony is what proves to me that I am capable of hard work. I put blood, sweat and tears into that thing and I am going to let myself enjoy that moment even if no one else cares for it, thank you very much!

That degree showed me that when I put my mind to things, even things I don’t want to do, I can do it. I can write a 3,000 word essay on a subject that I have little to no interest in. I can have a tutor look me in the eye, tell me my work wasn’t up to scratch and walk out of that meeting knowing I have the ability to make it better, I can then receive that piece of work and see a dramatic improvement. I can sit and read countless academic journals full of words and knowledge I do not understand and learn them so I can write my own take on a subject. I can find a subject that most find boring and put my little heart into it and come out with 10,000 words that someone felt was worthy of a first.

Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided
Why I'm ok with not having it all together  Barbie X Missguided

The Statement Tee

So why am I letting strangers tell me it’s not good enough? No, not everyone has a degree ‘now’, and no they do not mean ‘nothing’. Yes, it’s bloody hard to get yourself a job once you graduate but who said it was any easier just walking out of school and getting one? If that is your passion and your calling it doesn’t matter the time it takes.

I need to stop comparing my walk to someone elses flight. My journey to someone else’s finished story. I need to stop myself believing that my mind isn’t good enough. Because this is the same mind that got itself into university, the same mind that worked relentlessly hard to get a degree, the same mind that single-handedly ran a blog, Twitter and Instagram account whilst writing a dissertation and working towards that degree. This is the mind that is constantly swirling with ideas and creativity and that is sometimes plagued with voices that tell me I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I don’t work hard enough, I’m. Just. Not. Good. Enough. And I know my mind is better than that because all the things I think I wasn’t good enough at, I did. And I did to the best that my ability allowed me too.

And this is all why I am ok with not having it all together at the surface. Because I know that the people on the outside only really see the very tip of the iceberg and I know that it runs so much deeper than that. And hey, I always say it… happiness comes first. And I am pretty happy with my degree, thanks! (Oh, and my ability to pull a damn good pint!)


What do you think about the stigma that when you leave school or finish university, you have to have it all together?


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  • Loved reading this Abbi! (And your outfit is SO perfect!) I was lucky enough to land my dream job in the industry I’d studied in just a week after finishing lectures, but let me tell you, 5/6 years on and I’m still answering people’s questions of ‘so what will you do next?’ And honestly, it’s so true to say none of your business. The sheer pressure to follow the masses from the generation above us and get a bog-standard job, have 2.5 kids, etc. is actually pretty unrealistic for us now. I work for myself and found myself constantly feeling the need to impress others or fulfill a certain standard when, really, all I want to do is survive, run my business and try to carve my own path in a world where we’re all as clueless as each other, haha. xx

    • Thank you SO much Michelle! I loved this comment, thank you so much for sharing! The pressure is insane and I definitely need to get better at not trying to justify myself about it! Xx

  • Cutest outfit ever! Really related to this post, I just wrote about something similar on the blog as well (but definitely came across more as a breakdown lol) and it’s the feeling of always needing to be better that’s making us feel so apprehensive about our futures. I went to law school and everyone was mega competitive and had a job lined up TWO years before graduation and I didn’t, and to be honest that made me felt truly underachieved and it’s something I deal with on a daily basis even though I’ve been working for a couple of years now… it’s like I haven’t got my shit together or something you know?

    But everyone tells me it’s not true, I’m still young etc. personally I do still find it incredibly hard to find something I’m truly interested in / want to pursue and it gets so overwhelming! On another level, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one feeling like this…

    Cherie ✿ decliately.xyz

    • Thank you SO much Cherie! Yes I was the same! So many people had jobs lined up after university and it definitely made me feel completely inadequate that I didn’t have anything close! You’re definitely not alone! Xx

  • This is such a good post and one I’m sure most people can relate to! There seems to be such a strange kind of pressure put on those in their 20s (funnily enough, often by other people in their 20s?!) to hurry up and get everything sorted asap or else you’ve failed, but it’s just not true. How can it be? We have decades and decades of life ahead of us yet, haha! Honestly, I believe the best is always yet to come – and taking time to figure sh*t out now and not rush into something that’s wrong for you, will serve you really, really well in the long-run. Keeping doing you! 🙂

    ps. love the dreamy rose-tinted photography in this post!!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Thank you so much Gabrielle! I bloody loved this comment – so much positivity, thank you! Xx

  • This is such a reassuring post – I graduate in the summer and feel so worried about the fact I have no plan for what’s next. I know I’ll find myself in the right place at some point, but it’s worrying when your friends are landing grad jobs and you don’t even know what you want to apply for!xx

    Lucy | http://www.lucy-cole.co.uk

    • Thank you Lucy! I was also definitely that person who had no plans after I graduated, some did, but if I’m honest, most didn’t! It’s so hard knowing where to start but I definitely believe that timing shouldn’t be a factor. Xx

  • I graduate in July, and right now it seems like the only option is either a Masters or move back home and find a full time job completely unrelated to my degree. While I have started my Masters application, and I would love to do it, a lot hangs in the balance in order for me to do so…particularly financially. I’ve spent nearly 3 years doing a dance degree that I don’t even want to pursue anymore, the lack of jobs and opportunities has put me off entirely and it’s currently got my head in a total spin.
    Alicia x

    • I considered a masters too but the financial side of things is terrifying haha! It’s a scary world but I’m positive that it will all work out eventually, just the pressure from other people does not help at all! Xx

  • I love this post! I honestly think it’s nobody business what you do with your degree or not – be it, taking your time to figure things our or jumping into a fancy full time job asap. I graduated last year and it took me 6 months to find something that was somewhat related to my field, but not completely… and what’s funny is that I don’t even know if I enjoy my field at all. There are days when I’m sitting at my desk and missing my old casual fun job at the gym. I also hate it when my parents compare me to my cousin – graduated, got a nice accountant job, has her own place, etc. and it’s just like – I don’t want to be tied down to a mortgage at 24 years old. I still want to travel and maybe find another field to work in and then potentially look for a job. My path is so different from my cousin’s but I hate how people in my family thinks that’s the path I should strive to be on.

    It’s funny how when you’re still in university, everyone treats you like you’re this insanely talented person going to school and getting a nice degree and all, but the moment you graduate, they treat you like you’re wasting your time and not having anything put together.

  • Thena Reading-Franssen

    Love this. Stop walking someone else’s flight! 🙂 Great line. Be you, and do you. You are the best and only version of you! <3