Something I get asked about on a daily basis (and that is no exaggeration) is “So when are you like going to get a job in mental health?” or “Why are you working as a Healthcare Assistant when you can just be a Psychologist?”
For people who don’t know, you need to do a Doctorate in Psychology to become a Psychologist. So for now, I cannot become one – unless I study further, which I have no plans to do.
I remember hitting the age of 18 and instead of thinking: “OMG YES I CAN BUY CIGARETTES AND DRINK LEGALLY” Sixth form was pushing and pushing for UCAS applications and going to University. I still don’t understand the pressure for young people to know what they want to do at such a young age! However, University was something I’d always want to do. I’d always wanted a degree and to experience lifestyle without any parents or rules – it was the best! But, instead of sitting down and actually brainstorming ideas of what interested me. I just picked the subject I enjoyed the most. I’d already been studying Psychology for 4 years and I loved it. So I applied and accepted my Unconditional offer at Kingston University. I was over the moon at the time to be accepted to my first choice. My mental health at the time was very bad and I thought I flunked my A Levels.
My experience at Kingston is something I’ll never forget. The place, people, Lecturers and City blew me away. I’ve made friends for life and learnt a lot about culture and myself over three years. And man, I grew up in a very short time after being away from home.
However, 2 years later and I’m still working as a Healthcare Assistant within the NHS. Doing very little around my degree. I sometimes touch upon people with mental health problems when working in the emergency department. But, I am limited in what service I can provide for them. BUT, I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO IN LIFE 2 YEARS AFTER FINISHING MY DEGREE.
I mean, I can’t be stupid if I have a degree, right? I must be good at something, right?
But once the anxiety settles, I realise I’m still only 23. I’m probably around a quarter into my life and I have a long time until I figure out what I really want to do. Many people try and influence my decisions. People tell me to do counselling, people tell me to become a Nurse. I definitely feel like when people try and push me to do something I don’t want to do, it makes the anxiety worse. Causing a vicious circle. I know deep down one day I’ll find my niche and find something inspiring and I’ll go for it. But there’s no harm in having a degree and not knowing what to do afterwards. Even if it takes someone 20 years – you’ll get there. And so will I.
To wrap up, it’s okay to not know where you are in life. It’s okay to question if your current job is okay for you. It’s ok to walk out of a job where you don’t feel valued (I did that and it was the best decision ever). There is such high pressure to have your life together quickly when your young and to compare yourself to those who seem like they already have it together. When in reality, we all need to bring it back a bit and just relax and let your life figure itself out on it’s own.
Just remember to slay the game everyday guys and don’t let anyone else tell you what you should do in life, it’s all down to you.
All my love,