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Life After Uni + An Inferiority Complex

When you sit in a room with a group of people who are a) very talented writers, and b) extremely creative, and you're not feeling particularly imaginative, it can be difficult. Especially if, like me, your ideas take a while to brew. Just last week we were given a choice from two opening lines (both from short stories by Angela Carter) and instructed to carry on, and I sat there for twenty minutes, staring at the page, thinking of nothing, while everyone around me sat scribbling away. And I felt lost.


Eleanor Roosevelt quote



I shouldn't be complaining really; I'm very lucky to be included. But for as long as I can remember, I've had this ever-present, underlying feeling that I'm just not good enough. I know it's not rational — I can stay organised and motivated, I can write, I'm developing my editing skills all the time. I'm doing just fine, but I still feel paralysed. I want to look for some kind of work experience or even an internship I can take on once I've finished my second year (I finish in April. April) but I'm so nervous about the whole thing that I don't know where to start.

When I was looking for work experience last year it took me weeks after my self-set deadline before I plucked up the courage to finally send off all the emails I'd written. And guess what? Everything was fine. I had an incredibly productive summer, learned a tonne, and got a killer reference for my CV to boot. So why am I digging my heels in again this year? What is it that stops me?


I suppose it's one thing to hide behind my blog, but it's quite another to meet people face to face. I love to write because I feel like I can express myself in a way that's much clearer and more eloquent than it would be if I was to talk about the same topic in person. And I think when you're able to express yourself clearly, you feel more in control. Dealing with people does not come naturally to me, to the point where I actually suffered from Selective Mutism as a child. Seriously, it's a thing. I never spoke to any of the teachers at pre-school until the last day (apparently, I said "Thank you, goodbye," and they nearly fainted in shock). So there's the whole 'people make me uncomfortable' issue to deal with.

And then there's this: I know I want to have a career that involves writing in some way, but I don't have a specific job title in mind, and I think it's the feeling of not knowing exactly what I'm doing that I dislike the most (I like plan everything). But does anyone really have an idea of what they're doing? The people in my classes produce really interesting work, but speak to them and there's a high chance they were stressing about something, be it the plot, the dialogue, or just getting it finished by the deadline. And all of us are worried that we'll get our degrees and then end up working in jobs that we could have got without them for the rest of our lives.


This week is my reading week. I've got eleven days where my time is all my own, and I'm going to use one of them to sit down and start sorting something out for the summer, no matter how scary it might be. Because deep down, my biggest fear is that I'll end up not doing anything at all, both this year and once I leave university. I want to write, and I want to do something worthwhile with my life, and it's not going to happen if I keep shrinking away from it. I've got to push myself.


Have you ever felt like you're not good enough? How did you handle life after graduation? And if you're in the same situation as me, how are you feeling about life after university? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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