Some people fear change, others thrive on it. I think most of us take the middle ground: it fully depends upon what is changing, when it’s changing and the scale of impact it has upon your life. Some changes are pretty significant, like brand new chapters and education is full of these. Each stage of schooling brings new challenges, new people, new spaces and new opportunities. For me, I loved these changes, especially towards the end. Moving from school to uni allowed a bit of a self-reinvention. And actually all the way through uni I learned more about myself and noticed my mindset, confidence, passions and priorities changing… and all of this was exciting. ‘Finding yourself’ is what people call it I guess, cliche indeed, but I think a lot of us do have this period of self-discovery at university, or equivalent. So the changes that the past 3 years have brought me have been invigorating, and I’ve loved it.
So, what happens, when the real chapter change occurs. In fact maybe it’s a book. Those leaving uni, or indeed any level of learning for the last time, face a whole new world of adult-ing. Education has actually been our whole life, it’s all we’ve ever known. And now, suddenly, we face a lifestyle without teachers (of course our elders and betters will continue to teach us, but that’s not their sole responsibility). This is a change which really can induce fear, intimidation, meltdown.
And I’ve found myself dealing with this by not dealing with it… by ignoring the depth of this change. To be honest, I think thats the only way to avoid meltdown- to live in the moment (something I touched on recently), enjoy the transition, look forward to the possibilities and not even allow the potential stresses and concerns to enter your mind. As a result, I’ve been mega excited for this new book- to take on sole responsibility of myself, and to discover the freedom I have to find my place in this adult world of work and life.
So, my coursework is now finished, my graduation ball has been and gone, I’ve moved out of my student house, I’ve received results I’m absolutely chuffed with… and suddenly I’ve found myself in London. This has been the plan for months now, I had an internship sorted and my gorgeous best friend’s family home to move into, and yet it still feels like a surprise. Like, I knew this was happening, and yet I’m still taken aback that I’m here. Why is this?
I’m sure this is probably something other people have found, right? That you move onto the new (metaphoric) book that you had (metaphorically) waiting on the bedside table ready for months, and yet when you find yourself at (metaphoric) page one, it just seems a bit unlikely and you just can’t quite remember opening the (metaphoric) book? Am I talking a load of tosh? Probably.
But to be honest, the past week or so has been a bit of a wobbly one. I made a conscious effort to see all my home and uni friends before I left, with a few emotional goodbyes to some important people that I realistically may not really see again. I had a last dinner with my family, which was both lovely and a little surreal. I hit sky high levels of happiness when opening my results, and then, suddenly, a bit of a shaky point on hearing that my internship may potentially not be happening after all. (Though that’s another story). Time for another cliche: its been something of an emotional rollercoaster.
I imagine this emotional fluctuation has been exaggerated by the disruption of a complete lifestyle transition. So I guess I’m writing this post in the hope that others also undergoing mega change are experiencing the same thing? And if so, hopefully knowing I and others are also unsettled (if super excited), can be something of a comfort. And that even though we may no longer have teachers, and we’re supposed to be self-sufficient adults now, it’s actually okay to tell someone you’re struggling a little. It’s absolutely okay to be both super happy and enthusiastic, and also daunted all at once. Sooner or later, we’ll be settled in to the new rhythms and the change will be forgotten. But for now, lets just ride the chaos and the buzz, and let others help us to do so.
Explanation for the choice of illustrating photos: I bought this dress for a shoot… figuring it was prom time of year, so a ball gown might be relevant for my Instagram. When I put it on, I instantly felt like a princess, and sometimes a little distraction from reality can help ease the anxiety of transition, so there we go- I’ll pretend I’m a princess.