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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