We all reach that point – that point where what you’re studying starts to really seem pointless and your future is looking like… Well… you don’t know – what is my future? Where will I be? How will I be employed? What exactly will I be able to do after this year or next year? All I know how to do is write assignments and maybe speak a little better in public. Oh lord. What will I do?! Should I just drop out now and settle for my current retail wage?
*cue a few sobs and reach for paper bag (old Maccas bag will do)*
This happened to me halfway through my second year of Interior Design. I decided that as much as I love design and art and the idea of creating awesome things for people to be awesome in, the actual prospect of being an interior designer (you need maths skills… which I do not possess) for the rest of my life, using computers rather than pens, and researching laws and regulations, which numbs my brain, wasn’t appealing to me. So I did something quite drastic for me – I dropped out of my course. And it was a massive step, I blindsided my parents and shocked all my friends who all thought I loved my course. And it was a good decision.
I took 6 months off to work and sort out my goals and really just get some time to settle down and figure out what my mind was doing. I even saw a careers counselor at QUT. I was over–worked, stressed and confused. It happens. So when 2014 rolled around I was enrolled in something totally different – Mass Communication majoring in PR and Journalism. Yep. No art, no design studios, no carrying huge portfolios and knocking people out with set squares – I was learning to speak and write. And loved it! Well… the first year of it….
And then there I was again – one and a half years through this three year course and I had the jitters about what my direction was. Half of me was yelling NOT THIS AGAIN, JUST GRADUATE!! And the other half was yelling CHANGE IS GREAT, TAKE NEW STEPS!! And I was sitting there with more paper-bag-hyperventilation and a couple of sobs. So I wrote a blog about it in hope of clearing my own mind and maybe connecting with like-messy-minded-confused-uni-souls… are you out there?
My mum asked me a while ago, “Amelia… what is your goal, what will you do after you finish uni?” My response was pretty reasonable… “Marry a prince.” I wish I was joking.
In truth my “life goal” is to start up/ own/ run/ manage/somehow create an art gallery to help up-and-coming artist and promote art-as-activism in the community. YAY! I say as the idea sounds grand and lovely and confetti falls about me dramatically… but…. Who buys art? Who makes art? I know a grand total of about 3 people who would be up for stocking a gallery, myself included. And economically speaking – the art trade only does well in healthy economic climates – when people have excess money to burn. Is Brisbane the right climate? Or should I move to Melbourne… I love Melbourne but I’d be lonely… and I have a terrible sense of direction… I’d get so lost. ETC ETC ETC.
Lots of worries.
I’m sure, (I hope I’m sure) that you will know the feeling of loss of direction, or even if you know your direction, you’ll know the feeling of the path being shaky under-foot. My advice to you, which I will probably take for myself now, is this:
- Slow down – sit down, a few times a week if possible – and think about what it is you really want and logically plan it out. Need money? Plan a saving schedule. Need connections? Start volunteering and mingling in the societies you need to mingle in (take a friend so you don’t get too scared and go hide in the toilets).
- Take your time – yes… you want to have your career sorted by the time you’re thirty which is in less time than the space of time you’ve been alive for…. *reaches for brown paper bag*…. But that’s cool. LOTS can happen in the space of a year. If you’re freaking out about starting uni, starting a new semester of uni, or graduating, take your time, work a little, travel a little, think a lot. You DO have time.
- Talk about it – people like helping people. It always surprises me how true this is. Talk to your friends, your family, your neighbour, your cat. They’ll listen and they’ll offer advice and it will help clear up messy thoughts and help you file your thoughts into Logic and Dream folders. Talk about it instead of internally combusting. OR write about it… in the 15 minutes I’ve been pondering things via Word Processor, I’ve stopped eating Nutella and feel moderately better. Yay for me!
Its now 2016 (nervous laugh). I successfully got over the midway crisis and can see the finish line at the end of this year. SO CLOSE. All I have to do is just… keep going. I’ve made it this far, so have you. You can always keep on keeping on.
Besides, why have a mid-uni crisis when your mid-life crisis is only like.. 25 years away…. Haha.. ha…