Ever since I wrote a post on Third Year Fear a few months ago, I’ve come to realise that third year is just the most stressful, unpredictable, confusing time for everyone. And, right now, something that I am very confused, stressed and unable to predict is what I’m going to do next.

See, everything’s been so crazy. Everything has been so busy and hectic and stressy and full on and fast paced, that I haven’t had time to think about it. But, now that I am a week and a half from finishing my degree, I have all of a sudden started panicking about it. The less rational and panicky part of my brain is shouting at me saying ‘everyone else has it figured out, why can’t you?!’. I have friends doing masters, doing conversions, going straight into amazing jobs, you name it; there are some people going on to do some incredible things.

But me?

Well, I feel a little lost in it all.

I literally saw someone celebrating getting a grad job this week and cried. Not because I’m jealous or begrudge them getting a job, but just because I feel so lost.

I know that in exactly 12 months time, I am planning to go travelling. So, I also know that any job I get I am likely to be leaving in 12 months time. This also means that I cannot apply for traditional grad jobs as they have contracts that are 18-24 months and I cannot commit to that.

And, all along I have been so flippant about the future because I haven’t had the mental capacity to stress about it. My stress section of the brain has been filled to the brim with a dissertation, exams, books, essays, and everything else that comes with being a stressy third year. So my solution to it all has just been ignoring it. That’s a job for future Hayley, right?

Well, future Hayley is here and she’s pretty much as stressed as can be about it all right now.

But, the rational part of my brain tells me that it’s not just me. We all read the stats from our university that 95% of students or whatever are employed 6 months after graduation, and we all want to be a part of that figure. We wanna be 0.000075% of that 95, we want to be successful too. The reality, though, is that not everyone is lucky enough to land an amazing graduate job.

Not everyone has the privilege, the grades, the opportunity, the physical location, or even just the sheer luck.

Is that to diminish the work ethic of those who have got the amazing grad jobs? Not at all, they deserve them. But that doesn’t mean that we should beat ourselves up for not being in that position either.

If you feel like this, trust me, you are really not alone. I suspect it is much more common than you are actually led to believe. In fact, I bet that those people with those amazing grad jobs have felt this way too, and look where they are now.

We have all of the right qualities and skills to get a job, we just haven’t yet. And do I need to get applying ASAP before my student loan runs out? Absolutely.

But telling myself that I am rubbish for not already having a job, or that I’m not worthy, or not as good as everyone else who has a plan, is not going to get me anywhere. That is not going to help, that is not going to get me a job.

So here’s to believing that we can do it, we have got this, and that we will all get there. And, until we do, we deserve a bit of a rest after this stressful year and we deserve to cut ourselves some slack. We are doing just fine.

Like this post? Why not try Honesty hour; I almost dropped out of university (more than once).