Careers and mental health.

10th December 2017

So the other day I started to write a post on career concerns but just didn’t feel up to it- it feels like I while since I’ve blogged. It consisted of a lot of my worries and concerns, and I have felt incredibly overwhelmed recently about my future and it has been getting me down.

Considering it is my final year at University I’ve been thinking more and more about my options once it all finishes. Knowing what is the best option is the hardest thing – do I do the easiest thing for my mental wellbeing and take things slow, or do I dive in and have faith that I can do it? What will I be most skilled at, and what am I most likely to maintain and stick out to the end?

I’ve established that my aim is to work and earn money to save up for a masters for a year and then apply for the following year. I’ve considered a full time volunteering programme and was fixated on it for a while, but now I’m realising that although it’s very accommodating and will look good on my CV, what about money? Finance is becoming an increasing focus for me – I have some money saved but not enough, and my parents aren’t wealthy and so I can’t easily ask them to help me out even though my mum has agreed. I do think it would be good to challenge myself for the year.

I’ve also established that what can trigger bad episodes of my anxiety and depression is under stimulation and over stimulation. Either not having enough to do, getting bored and thus low, or having a lot to do and things becoming too overwhelming and it sets off my anxiety and consequently my depression. So for me it’s about finding the balance, but it’s really hard to know where that balance will lie. I’ve told myself that I would like to be in my home city and do something that is paid and meaningful, but I’m beginning to realise that that severly limits my options. Most, if not, all internships and graduate programmes are all over the UK, which requires me to be flexible and willing to commute to work every day. My location of study has been around the corner from me for three years and everything has been in walking distance – the idea of commuting scares me but I know a lot of people do it. So maybe I just have to face it head on?

Other options to something fulfilling would be doing a dead end job for a year in my home city – which I’m not very enthusiastic about. That would be stimulating in some ways because it would challenge me but I would be bored and unfulfilled, especially straight after coming out of a degree.

There is a particular graduate programme that I discovered. You’d be placed in a charity organisation for a year and it’s paid. It isn’t much money compared to other graduate jobs, but it wouldn’t be impossible to commute and save. A lot of things are running through my mind.. it sounds like a great opportunity, but will I be ready for something so intense? It includes regular meetings with all the students, and you’d be doing research projects alongside the work. So every day I’d have to get up really early and commute, probably to London and back, doing a 9-5 job in an environment I’m not used to after 3 years of being in my room studying for long periods of time.

I started to fill out the application but decided to put it on hold for a bit to process things. Things tend to go wrong when I dive in to things too quickly, but it’s such a confusing time for me. I’d be so proud to achieve this and have a chance to do this and earn a living doing something worthwhile for a year and feel like a proper adult! I have volunteered and so do think I have things to talk about when applying and it doesn’t require submitting a CV which does relieve some pressure. I do think I have potential, but I’m just thinking about the massive lifestyle change and adjusting and coping with it, and managing my mental health. The deadline for applying is in February so atleast I haven’t missed it and I still have a bit of time to process it all.

It’s all a bit of a whirlwind at the moment and I just don’t know what the best option is. I get so anxious about these things and confronting them but at the same time I suppose it’s natural to be nervous.

I hope things turn out well.

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