I don’t know if turning 21 somehow made things get real, really quick or maybe I just hadn’t been paying much attention. All of a sudden it feels like I have been hit with this wave of realization.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the type of productive or valuable realization I would have hoped for. Instead, I am left at the moment with a lot of question marks. Guaranteed if I was a cartoon character (and it sometimes feels like it) I would have the pulsing question marks floating above my head at every moment, especially when faced with the big decisions I will have to try to weigh up and make in the next few months.
#firstworldproblems. What will I do when I graduate? I want to stay in London, but I am too poor to stay in London, maybe I should try a Masters but I can’t afford one, maybe I should travel, maybe I should go back home, will I even get a training contract, do I still want to be a lawyer, should I try and apply for other fields? etc etc and so the running internal monodebate continues.
It feels like so far my life had been muted, like I had been living in the embryo of youth and all of a sudden I’ve been birthed out into the adult world without warning. If I could put it into one word, it felt like so far I had been coasting through.
But when did the transition from that even begin? One moment I was doing my GCSEs and praying I got into college and then that turned into hoping that my UCAS application was coherent enough to convince admissions I’d wanted to do law since I was in the womb.
And now it is seeming more and more like life is just one application after another. Yet another milestone determined by how well I can describe myself in 100 words or even less at times. Another point where despite being confident in yourself, you know the odds are ever stacked against you regardless of the numerous work experience and uniqueness you have to offer. Because let’s face it, in an ever competitive market, we all look the same on an application form.
In the last few weeks I have been slowly hit more and more with the sensory overload that is the impending adulthood I am now certainly entering into once I graduate. The G word. I am going to be a graduate.
My problem is I had never wanted to be just another graduate, or thought of myself one. Oh how naive the young can be in their dreaming. In fact, I didn’t really think about it because in my head it was all one seamless transaction. High School. College. Law school. Lawyer. Happily ever after.
I had my plan mapped out and how I was going to go after university finished… except I am not even sure anymore.
Let me tell you, there are only so many numerical and verbal reasoning tests one can fail before you seriously start doubting yourself and wonder how you even came this far.
As cheesy as it sounds, my failures in the recent months have forced me out of my perfectionism bubble. I am the kind of person who can adapt easily to new environments and situations blah blah blah etc. But I am also the kind of person who when it doesn’t go to plan, I end up feeling a little lost. Especially when you had convinced yourself that a certain path was how you would go.
However, like I said, I am upset in some ways that my plans have been… upset, my perfect plan of graduating with a 1st then going straight into a training contract may be on hold for now. (Read my earlier post on disappointment) But it has forced me to actually think.
It has forced me to actually confront who I have become, and not the person I thought I wanted to be or the person formed from my projections as 16 year old Lorraine who had ideas on who I would be.
Because if I am honest I have changed a lot since then, everyone does. I had set my heart on this one path and forgot that I could change. And in some ways I didn’t want to be seen as a failure in 16 year old me’s eyes and in the eyes of those around me or my perception of what I thought they thought of me.
But let’s be honest 21 year old Lorraine is a bit wiser to life, sometimes life just flips things and launches a curveball at you and you have to re-evaluate or allow yourself to remain knocked down. Sometimes, that’s not always the end of the world.