Uni and Stress


This is not quite what I had planned to post on this blog, but sometimes life happens and you just have to roll with it. At 3 o clock this morning I woke up, nipped to the loo and climbed back into bed ready to sleep for at least another 5 hours. Rather than peacefully revisiting dreamworld, however, a feeling that has recently become all too familiar started to creep over me- my heart starting beating erratically, I was short of breath, having hot flashes and felt like I was going to die. I was having a panic attack. The cause of this? Stress. Anxiety. All the usual culprits. You see, I'm in my final year of uni so along with the usual stressors such as looming essay deadlines and exams, I have that constant niggling question in my head of "what the flip are you planning to do next?" (flip is a replacement for a much stronger word, but let's keep this PG). Every other year I have had the plan of working through the summer, then resuming studies in the autumn but this year isn't so neatly planned out, what exactly does one do after graduating? There's a recession on isn't there? How am I meant to find a decent job in this economic climate? When do I start applying? What skills do I actually possess?
I know I'm not the only one to feel like this, I look around most of my friends at uni and see the same worried expressions etched on to their faces because we're all under the same undue pressure. It begs the question, when did education become this stressful? I love learning new things, I study philosophy which comes from the Greek for 'love of wisdom' for crying out loud! The problem is that pressure is put on us from all angles- there's pressure to know what we want to do, to apply for jobs and attend interviews while doing coursework, revising for exams and keeping up with classes in general- the fun gets sucked out of it. We're told from a young age that we need to know what we want to do with our lives and that's scary- I'm 23, so older than a lot of my peers but still, that is no age for me to be lying awake at night wondering how I'm going to forge a career, afford a mortgage and support a family. It's stupid.

The bottom line is, your 20s are for having fun, for exploring and learning new things and then falling in to something that you love that hopefully pays the bills as well. Everyone is so consumed by this notion that they have to grow up NOW and get a great paying job in a city but the truth is that happiness is the most important. Then health, anything else is a bonus.

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