A year ago I left education and entered the big, scary world of adulthood and full time work. I’m not blogging that much anymore, as I am really lacking inspiration but I felt like it was really important for me to write this post and finish the story. I wrote about the day in the life of a fashion student, my decision to not go to university and my hopes for the future, so here I am, a whole year later, to give you all an update. And what a year it’s been! In a way it feels like it was yesterday I was at college and it flew by, but on the other hand it feels so much longer than a year because of all that has happened, but we’ll get on to that.
So let’s start with not going to university and answer the question most people want to know: has it held me back? And my answer is no, I really don’t think so. Obviously it’s hard to say that 100% because I haven’t got anyone to compare that against who has tried to get the same jobs as me at the same time, but honestly I don’t feel like a degree would have made any difference. I’ve found that every job is so different and involves so many new skills that you can only really learn whilst doing the role, if you have a degree or not. I’ve had my fair share of comments about not going to uni or that I’m not earning that much because of it, or even that I’m only an intern because I didn’t go to uni but I honestly can’t be bothered to answer back because once they’ve left university, they’ll see. And if they are making £30K in their first job out of uni, well then they can prove me wrong! I have had points, more out of loneliness, where I thought maybe I should have gone to university for the social side of it, but I can honestly say my year at the Fashion Retail Academy taught me such a wide range of topics that set me up to go into the industry. I didn’t have to pay for it, I started my career at 19 years old and I never have to pay back a penny to anyone. So not going to uni has left me with no regrets and honestly I can’t think of anything worse than going back into education now. University is not the only way and has never been raised as an issue when applying or interviewing for jobs. I’m just always now the youngest person in the office!
Although not going to university hasn’t held me back, this year has not been as smooth sailing as maybe I hoped it would be, but has taught me what I don’t want from my career and life, as much as what I do want. I went to college in London, so my natural next step was to apply for a job in London so that’s what I did. I’ve written a blog post all about this which you can read here, in much more detail but London soon sucked all the life from me and I was miserable. 5am alarms, delayed trains, no life and exhaustion. The life I dreamt about in London wasn’t for me and I took a step back, and within weeks I felt like a completely different person. I felt like my black and white had turned into colour because I not only loved work but I also loved the life and time I had outside of it, and at this point in time, no part of me wants to go back to the commuting life anytime soon! I think I learnt a life lesson this year much earlier than most people do, which I came from the sad place I was in this year; work to live, don’t live to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job now and I work hard whilst I am there but there’s much, much more to life than your 9 to 5 job. And I hope if you take anything from reading this it is that, and this year has really made me understand that statement more than ever before. Although leaving my job in London was petrifying at the time and I was so anxious that it was the wrong decision, I am so glad that I realised I had control of my own life and now I couldn’t be happier. No job, no city, no lifestyle is ever worth your happiness, that should always come first because life is short and I’m so glad that at 20 I realised this. (Oh’ and make sure you find a job where the people you work with are fabulous and make you laugh everyday. It makes going to work pretty great.)
Okay, so let’s do a quick rundown of my year, and if you don’t read my blog posts regularly, sum up everything I’ve previously written about. So I graduation from the FRA (with a distinction and an outstanding student award! Go me!), I got accepted onto the Women @ Dior mentoring programme, I attended so many interviews and managed to get myself my first job in PR & social media for a great brand and celebrated with a week in Cornwall! After 6 months, I decided to leave the city and got myself a job in digital marketing much closer to home with a company I adore, I headed to Paris with Dior to conclude the most insane year on the Women @ Dior programme, then the week after I went to Basel in Switzerland to attend Basel World and felt like a jet setting business woman! I had a wonderful week in Florence with my boyfriend and finally, I have recently been given a promotion and I couldn’t be happier. This year hasn’t been easy at all but to finish it off with my first proper big girl job makes it all seem worth it; if only I could go back a few months and tell my past self how the year would end, because I don’t think she would have believed it!
And that’s it really. This year I’ve learnt a lot in my career and about myself, done a lot, and grown up a lot and right now I can honestly say I’m really proud of myself. I often find myself not wanting to talk about me, or play down what I have achieved but do you know what? Sod it. I’m bloody proud of myself and I’m excited for what the next year has in store for me.
My hopes for the next year is that I continue to grow and learn in a job I love, I treat myself kindly (and maybe to a new handbag…), I get to see the world some more and I continue to feel as content as I feel now.
Until next time,