Confidence has been a scary rollercoaster in the past few years. Being fluctuating between zero self-confidence and self-esteem to practically skyrocketing to over-confident foolishness, it’s time to settle out of this dizzy routine and find the end of this ride. So far, it feels like a futile attempt to get the grips at the bottom of the ladder to start my ascension to what I hope to be a happy successful life. The worst years of my life, and arguably best because of that reason, were spent at university. Without this experience, I would not have met so many people who saw life as a game, drinking away the days, failing their work and not valuing anything dear to them. I also would not have met so many amazing people and had the pleasure to spend the last 2 years of my Uni life living with them.
University for me has been a confusing experience in terms of confidence building, with little to no help from the establishment to build me as a person. If you do not ask, you do not get anywhere. However, if you do ask, expect to not receive any assistance or reply for at least a week. There are the exception of three or four people who seemed to bend over backwards for me when I was at my illest, and for that, I am eternally grateful. This year for example, my last term of university turned out to be somewhat a Lemony Snicket novel, a series of unfortunate events. I won’t go to much into detail as that’s just a bit depressing, but being ill and friends being ill is the main jist. My personal tutor at the time seemed to be travelling a lot around the world and even with his many excursions and being away from the office, he managed my work life for me so I would not miss deadlines, fail exams and even made sure I was okay to continue my studies. Legend. Because of this, I managed my work to a timeframe that suited me and my unpredictable body best and I ended up achieving a grade higher than I expected. Shout out to my PT.
However the nature of my course was not wholly happy. I didn’t expect to be sensitive to the topics I enjoyed studying and by my repeated 3rd year, the harrowing depression of the topics illuminated themselves to the extent that I would crawl back to bed after reading a heavy topic or having a lecture that really got to me. How could I exude confidence when all this sh*t is happening around me, and my peers laugh at it as though it’s nothing? By now I am very desensitized to some of the topics to the extent that I just don’t care about them. I don’t know if that has affected me to be the cynical Brit I am, or if it’s just a way of passing into the “real world.”
The most soul crushing experience at uni for me was the waiting period between exams or deadlines and the results. Quick turnarounds did not lead to my pent-up anxiety worry regime, but things that I stayed up night after night, writing and rewriting have permanently scarred me. There is nothing worse than getting an essay back that you have worked your heart out for to be returned with an unacceptable mark and comments such as, “maybe look at your sentence structures?” or “I don’t like this argument.” So they don’t like the argument or your opinion so it drops marks – how is that fair? Anyway, it’s over now I got a good mark (I can move on.)
I feel all this essay writing, studying and aimlessness has led me to my point of confidence. Being in a very small university town, getting a job has two chances. Fat or Slim. Not being able to fill the vacant hours with a potential career has led me to a bit of a pit of despair, as there seems to be nothing for me now that I’ve completed my studies. I would love to continue my studies as a Master’s degree, but right now, I need a break for academia or I may actually lose my mind! With a degree like mine, being a bit specialist as International Politics and Military History, with little interest to going into the field of politics and little opportunity to pursue my affair with military history, it seems a bit pointless and mind numbing insane to go get a dead-end job in retail. I spent 4 years to better myself and my opportunities to be offered an easy access to a minimum wage job that I could have skipped uni to get. Confidence killer right there.
What about your creative side such as photography and this kinda writing thing you got going on? – I hear a few people say. Well over the last 2 years I have been shooting off emails left right and centre in hope to get some traction in a field that I haven’t studied in. So far I have had some amazing opportunities with photography and now the window is starting to crack open on my potential writing. I see this all over with creatives, pursuing something they are passionate about. Seeing them invest their time and little money into the thing they love and are far more talented than me to be faced with “that person.”
“That person” is the friend, the family member or the stranger that either wants something for nothing and/or is the wall to your self built confidence. Us creatives are building a rickety tower of Lego, carefully placed hopes and dreams, portfolio work and shaky confidence for “that person” (or in some cases Godzilla) to push it over, smash it down and leave you surrounded in the pain that is lego blocks on the floor. Left to rebuild it the same way over. Sometimes we have someone who smashes it down as it is weak and needs to be built better and gives you the experience and opportunity to do so, however soul crushing it may be.
University did not support my creativity. Not all the students were bad, but the establishment after asking for opportunities and spending my time taking pictures when I could have been studying (or lying in bed) brushed me aside. That’s rough. That’s very rough when other universities you contact about taking picks of their teams are like omg thanks so much, here can we give you money bc wow?! Thanks Aber….
Why is my confidence a killer?
I either possess it to the nth degree and take pride in my creative work, or I am an utter mess questioning everything I do and ending up hiding away disgusted about my invested time and money on camera equipment, that I know it’s mainly me being the f*ck up with it (it’s you not me canon 7dii). I feel like blaming uni is an easy option, but after thinking about it, it’s not just me that’s been let loose into this reality unprepared and unaware.
So, how am I going to fix it?
This wave of realisation hit me when I was visiting friends and now travelling on my own. So I’m going to work and save, travel and maybe even move country. More opportunity, more life and more happiness. It may not be the cure, but its a start to make me feel like me again and not some hopeless train wreck that sees sporks as a marvellous invention.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading, sorry for the sad read, let us move forward together and have an excellent summer!
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