So yesterday my ‘timehop’ app showed me a status i wrote 4 years ago which read “maybe a bit deep for this time of night, but how are you supposed to know if you’re following the right path in life?” I genuinely remember writing and posting the status. I remember being really nervous about posting it, because i was still super shy back then and it made me feel really vulnerable to ask something like that so publicly, letting people know i was struggling a bit. But i know i needed the advice. If i’d to guess how long ago i’d written it, i’d actually have said it was only 3 years ago – when i was withdrawing from uni. Turns out it was actually a whole year before that, 2 months after starting my business degree at Strathclyde Uni. I don’t remember what exactly made me question my ‘path’ at that time – i guess i already wasn’t keen on uni or on being a business graduate, and i hadn’t managed to make any friends either. Regardless of what made me write it that night, i was confused.
As most people i’d expect to read this should already i know, i took voluntary suspension from my course in 2012 because i just wasn’t enjoying it – it just wasn’t for me. At the time and in the months leading up to that decision, i was devastated. Relatively speaking, i’d sailed through school – never got in trouble, got 8 1’s at standard grade and a decent amount of A’s in my highers, and although there were some wobbles, i always had good friends. So i expected life post-school to go just as smoothly. So when it didn’t, it really hit me. Other than my driving test, i’d really never failed at anything in my life, not really. (and i cried for about 2 days after failing my driving test it was such a horrible, new feeling!) I’m not trying to brag that i never failed anything, but when i finally admitted to myself that what i was doing at Strathy just wasn’t working, i felt like i’d failed. I hadn’t – i’d passed first year so well i had exemptions from exams – but i felt that by giving up and dropping out, even if it was the right thing to do, that i’d failed. Even now i still often struggle to see it as anything other than a failed attempt, despite knowing it wasn’t like that.
I’ve never been one of those people who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up, as i’ve probably written before. Anyone who knows me even a little bit should know that i am terrible at making decisions. Big or small, i’m just not good at it and i don’t like it either. So i’ve never been able to decide what i want to do, what i want to become. I’m so envious of people who know from the age of 3 that they want to be a doctor, or an artist, or a fireman. In some ways having a set dream is maybe harder, as it’s more obvious if you don’t achieve it, but i’d love to at least have that set dream or goal. After dropping out of Strathclyde i applied to study psychology at various unis, on the basis that i found it interesting in 6th year, and because the only goal i could pin point is that i want to help people. It sounds hopelessly naive, but i love the feeling you get when you give someone advice and make them feel even a little bit better, and i just want to do something that makes a difference to people’s lives. Like i said, when you say it like that it sounds pretty naive and idealistic, but it’s my only clue. And i like studying psychology, at least some of the time. The course itself can be a bit too science-y and statistic-y for my brain to handle, but the other stuff makes up for it. I really do think psychology was the right choice.
But i don’t know what to do next. I’ve got a portfolio to write for uni and a lot of it needs to be based around my ‘hopes and dreams’ career-wise, and i’m getting to the stage where i need to narrow down what i’m going to do after uni, but i’m back to being clueless. I’ve spent countless hours over the past few weeks searching the internet, and my brain, trying to figure out what interests me. what excites me. what i’m even capable of. where to go next. With no luck, i might add. I don’t know how to make a decision like that, particularly when i just don’t have any idea of what i want to do.
I’m pretty sure the Christian response would be to trust in God’s plan for my life, and trust that he’s got everything under control. But again, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know this is something i find extremely hard to comprehend or accept. So basically, i’m back in that really horrible, confused place where i don’t know what to do. I know i made the right choice to leave Strathclyde and study psychology, but i don’t know how to move on from here. Don’t get me wrong – i’m immensely grateful for everything i have and my wonderfully loving family, fiancé and friends. I don’t need a full blown life plan, I know trying to do that just doesn’t work, but i’d really like some sort of clue as to where i’m going next.
Does this post have a point? I’m not really sure. I was looking for a quote to end with, but didn’t know how to sum it up. But i came across this:
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens..”
This makes me very anxious, but it’s the best i’ve got for now. Any guidance would be appreciated!