Summer Update: Life Post-University

Summer Update: Life Post-University

I’m feeling like giving myself a bit of a flick in the forehead, because I just performed this dramatic re-return to blogging and vowed to post more blog posts more often, and that it would all be fantastic – but I bloody disappeared again. I think it’s only appropriate that on this return (a proper one this time, I have heaps of content planned) I give you a bit of a life update. 

This Summer has been a little bit mad for me, but really exciting and interesting too. May (I’ve had a brain fart while writing this and I cannot remember whether May counts as Spring or Summer) arrived with a batch of unemployment for me. I finished university, and like most graduates, descended into a pit of simultaneous fear and hope which presented itself as mere overwhelm. I started working in WHSmith (literally the worst place I’ve ever worked in my life and I can finally say that without consequences) and had regular arguments with grown-ass men over not stocking the football stickers to make barely-a-living. My manager was also the manager from hell. We’ve all had one, we all know what’s like. But dealing with mine right after being in university, where everything was mostly happy and creative was particularly bad.

My rent was literally the same as my monthly pay so it basically felt like unemployment. I know every graduate feels the same way post-university, but I just wanted to be working in my field.

I don’t do well with being idle at all. I’m a naturally hardworking and motivated person so doing so much sitting around felt like I was being made to be someone else. I couldn’t even get extra hours (I hated not doing anything so much that I wanted to double my hours at a job I couldn’t stand) and I was struggling to find the motivation to pitch. 

At the beginning of June, I hit rock bottom. Rock bottom hurts. It’s literally like your bottom slamming on a rock – and then you spin over and your head hits it too and you cry forever. 

I failed university. 

You know when you open your phone and read the worst email you’ve ever received and you feel like someone just skinned you but you’re still alive to feel the aftermath of it? I got that email. Only, I was sat in Costa halfway through a fajita, on a 15-minute break from my job (which I had to get back to within two minutes). The email, to paraphrase for speed, said I’d failed one module, and was going to have to resubmit it. 

The module just happened to be the biggest one of third year; my final major project. A 19,000 word novella and commentary I’d written. I knew I hadn’t tried my best and a tiny part of me had been scared this email was coming, but nothing could have prepared me for news that I wouldn’t be graduating with my classmates. 

You’re probably reading this blog post and thinking ‘Jesus Christ, Beth. This isn’t a Summer update. It’s a pity party because you fucked up your degree’. 

It does seem to be going that way and I hear you loud and clear, but it’s actually a little bit more of a lesson. A reminder to my future self who will likely have many more bottom-meets-rock moments and anyone else who experiences a similar ‘oh shit, my life is over’ feeling, that it gets better. 

It’s a cliche, but it actually does get better. 

There’s nothing quite like being unemployed and also being told you ruined the only thing that made me remain hopeful while being unemployed to spark your motivation. Failing my most important module was the punch in the teeth I had to endure, and the kick up the arse I needed. 

After weighing out my options, I tirelessly worked every day to pitch my work to editors, and find a full-time job in my industry, all while resubmitting my project to nab my degree. I wanted nothing more than to piece my life back together so I could feel okay again, and start working further towards the things I wanted in life. 

I barely slept, and spent every day doing a shift at Smiths, then applying for jobs like a mad man. At one point in the month, I was working a shift then doing two job interviews afterward every day of the week. 

And now, I’m finally doing something I adore. My blog is back up and running with content that I actually love writing. Ideas fire out of me now that I’ve stopped trying to please everyone with my words and just focus on me. Writing feels so much easier when you do it for you – trust me. 

Just as importantly, I have a job I enjoy. In fact, I really love it. I secured myself a copywriting and blogging job at GoDaddy, a company I’ve loved for years and knew as soon as I saw the vacancy that I would do the job well. And I think I am? I feel like I’m doing well. My first day of the job was the day after I resubmitted a brand new project to my lecturer. 

A few weeks ago, I found out I passed it this time and I’ve been awarded a 2:1. An entire degree that I feel like I gave a limb for. 

I think it’s important to toot your own horn from time to time. This blog post is basically me doing just that. Next time I fuck up, I’ll come back and read this and remember that one of the scariest moments of my life transformed quickly into me being the happiest I’ve ever been. 


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