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The Honest Truth About Education & Self-Definition.

Bit of a self-indulgent, privileged middle-class kind of whine today. Sorry about that. But it's something that has been plaguing me ever since I left university and I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. So deal with it. 

I'm lost without education. For eighteen years of my life I'd been in education. I was good at education. Quick learner. Good grades. I sailed through academic stages with relative ease. Academia was good for me. It defined who I was as a person. I felt secure in it. I felt safe. 

I don't feel safe anymore. I feel lost. 

When I graduated six months ago, I was ecstatic. After so long at university I was glad to say goodbye to the education system forever. The stress, the worry, the sleepless nights - it would finally be over. I'd done my time and I was finally free. A new working life was about to begin and I was excited, I was ready and I was willing. 

Six months later and that willingness has whittled down to a wisp. I no longer feel ready, I feel broken and I feel lost. The dream jobs didn't come knocking. The interesting jobs never even bothered to respond. I wake each day in an old bedroom that no longer fits me. I work in a job that doesn't fulfil me. I spend any savings on temporary happiness. I sob because I just don't know what to do. 

I miss the rigid structure of the education system. If you excel in this, you'll achieve this. Get good GCSEs, get into sixth form. Get good A-levels, get into university. Do university and get a degree. I thrived on that structure. It fulfilled me. Everything I did had a reason and a purpose. I was aiming for something. I was working towards a goal. 

Now, I'm just...working.

I wasn't always happy in education. Some of my darkest times were at university. But even in the midst of depression, at least when I was at university, the worthlessness was placated by the final goal. The degree. These days, my life feels worthless but also without point. I don't think I am achieving anything of substance and it's destroying me.

I don't know exactly what I want in my life. I don't know what I'm aiming for. I'm just plodding along, fairly miserable in a job that doesn't challenge me and with nothing to tell anyone if they ask "what have you done since graduation?" Because really, the only things I've done are doubt myself and continue to exist. 

I miss education because I miss the sense of purpose it gave to my life. Now it feels directionless. I need to find the career, or the outlet, to fill he void that education has left. But I don't know where to begin.


  1. Replies
    1. So glad you could relate gal. Hope it gets better for you xxx

  2. Oh my god. This describes what I'm going through perfectly and I both feel relieved I'm not the only one but also heartbroken that you're going through this too. It's horrible feeling directionless and working in a job that doesn't fulfill me at all. People keep saying 'something will come up' but after so long I just don't know anymore. My friends who are still at uni keep saying how 'lucky' I am to not have to deal with uni anymore but I think I would swap positions in a heartbeat.

    Let's hope everything does get better for us. The torture of not knowing where I will be this time next year is palatable. But I'm sure it will be better than things are now.

    xx Carina

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