Adulting In The Real World - A Year Since Graduation
On July 24th2018, I graduated from Birmingham City University with a 2:1 in Design for Theatre, Performance and Events. At the point of my graduation, I had already moved from Birmingham to London and started my new life as an adult – needless to say, it was a little daunting.
Everyone has these preconceptions about what they think life after university will be. That they’ll get a full-time, paid job in the industry they trained in, or maybe that they’ll take time out and travel the world. But whatever they do, there is this over looming arch that they are now an ‘adult.’
Well what makes someone an adult, because I sure as hell don’t feel like one half the time. Is it that, because I’m now 22, I’m legally allowed to do everything an adult can do? Is it because I’ve graduated, or left home or responsible for my own decisions? Adult’s, I feel, are associated with maturity, caring, responsibility, reliability and experience. Adults do not live for themselves alone, but for those who depend on them, whether this is children, partners, parents, friends or co-workers. These duties make life more stressful and demanding, however it is also what invests life with meaning and purpose - our relationships with other people. In this sense I am very much an adult and, in my opinion, a successful one at that. I’m self-sufficient, dependable, relied on at work and by friends, but I think it’s ok to not always feel like an adult.
There is this idea, that when you graduate university you should have your life mapped out, but so many people I know, or whom I graduated with, went home or followed different paths. You don’t need to know everything when you graduate, it’s ok to still be making up your mind. My uni degree was in Theatre, Performance and Event Design and I’ve spent the last year running children’s parties and writing blogs on interior design, looking for jobs in the social media sector. Now I’m thinking of quitting it all to move half-way around the world to work as an international nanny! Sometimes, the best thing for you to be lost in the right direction.
I left university with a plan – it was so clear to me that I could see my future all laid out. But not one of those things has come to happen like I wanted it to or expected it to. This is because, as much as we want to, we cannot predict the future. We don’t know what opportunities will be presented to us. We don’t know who we’ll meet along the way that might knock us of our course. Adulting in the real world is tough, because people expect you to know everything and sometimes you just don’t. You don’t know what you’ll be doing a year from now, or 5 years from now. You can plan and prepare, but in reality you just don’t know what’s going to happen along the way.
I think this is the biggest thing I’ve learnt in my year since graduation – that it is ok to not have everything figured out. Life changes so quickly and I think you should take every chance to jump on the opportunities presented to you. I can be as ‘adult’ as anyone, I work 2 jobs, live independently, cook, clean and do everything for myself. But I am still young enough to drop everything and follow my adventure heart to the other side of the world. I am not yet tied down by a lot of responsibilities that define being an adult, therefore I can adult in the real world as much as I like, but at the end of the day I am still me and can follow my wandering heart until I decide on the path that I’ll walk into true adulthood.
You’ll have bad days, good days, great days and truly terrible ones, but nothing lasts forever and you’re a grown up now – you’re strong enough to handle it. You need to do exactly what’s right for you at the time it’s right for you. Just because your path is different to somebody else’s doesn’t mean you’re lost. Recognising that, that you are unique, that some things are out of your control and that life changes at the drop of a hat, that is what being an adult in the real world really looks like.
Stay Perfect, Messy People