As 2019 draws to a close I wanted to talk about the ups and downs of the year, starting with some lessons I've learnt along the way. There are two lessons that have stuck with me and I continue to think about them, more or less daily.
1) 'Don't compare your chapter 1 to everyone else chapter 20.'
While it may feel like we are miles behind everyone else in life, you cannot compare your life to theirs. Trust me, this year has really tested me. Since leaving university last year I have felt lost and out of place. I feel like I'm not settled with my career and that can seriously disrupt your life. It's more than just disliking your job or where you're heading. This year I have felt like I'm failing compared to everyone else. I spent 3 years working my bum off at university, I graduated with a 2:1 and at that point everything looked so hopeful. A year on, Im still only working in retail. In a job I could've got before I even went to university. It's tough knowing that, it almost feels like you've either wasted your time or you're not living up to the expectations of a graduate.
I think the thing to take out of this is that things take different amounts of time for different people. Some people start university knowing exactly where they want to end up. I didn't, I barely even knew what I was going to study. I actually applied for 4 different university courses in total. During university I had so many different career thoughts. I thought about being a social worker, a probation officer, a teacher. Everything. I had no idea what I was
It was always going to take me longer to figure it out.
Social media is the worst for this. It makes it so much easier for everyone to compare themselves, and their lives with everyone else's. I will give social media it's credit, it can be amazing for promoting positivity, when it's used that way. I love using social media to voice what I am passionate about. However, the amount of comparisons I know I have made myself irritates me.
You can't compare your situation to someone else's. They're not you, you are not them. I like to believe that things will fall into place within life. Although I hate to say it, you have to experience what you are going through to get to where you want to be. You cannot be the best version of yourself without it. Whatever it is, is a part of you. Whether it helps you grow yourself or it just gets you through the next 2 months.
2) 'Things will never change if you stay silent.'
This is something I truly live by now. If you want something, go get it. If you're unhappy, speak up. Do whatever you feel to get you to where you want to be. You can transfer this onto any situation you're going through. Whether you love or hate something, express it.
No matter how big or small the issue is you can make a change. I hate when people take the stance that they're opinion doesn't matter because they're just one person. Everyone is one person. Some of the most influential of all time have changed the world from one idea. Martin Luther King Jr, Einstein, Da Vinci, Aristotle. Likewise, Hitler was one person. One person who's radical ideas took off. You can change the world, hopefully for the better.
Last year I managed to make a small change regarding the graduation service held at Canterbury Cathedral. In this situation, it was the case that no one else had raised the issue before. The service had never been questioned before I did. As a result the university and the cathedral took the issue and instantly changed their procedure for the following years.
This year there have been a few instances where I could've stayed quiet, but why would I? Nothing changes that way. This blog has acted as an outlet for me. I've found that being able to voice my opinions, concerns and solutions has led me to grow massively. I am not only more confident in myself and my beliefs, but I also feel like I am contributing to a bigger picture. When people read my writing I hope that it makes them feel. Whether you agree or disagree with it, I hope it makes you think. Think about the subject, create your own opinion and take that with you.
Overall, this year has been a year of personal growth. I have been able to develop myself to a point where I am assured of my ideas and opinions. Stop putting yourself down and comparing yourself. Start making yourself heard. Make 2020 yours. New year, new decade, new challenges!