Feeling Pressured to Grow Up

We are all different. We do not all have the same goals, the same wishes, and the same outlook on life. This does not mean one is better than the other, this simply means we should try to see the world in others’ points of view.

That being said, have any of you felt pressured to grow up? Have you felt pressured to conform to what everyone else is doing in their lives? I know I have, and I know we aren’t the only ones.

Backstory: I am 22 years old, I have been in a relationship for 7 years, I still live at home with my mom, and I do not feel ready to leave the nest.

I always get bombarded with the questions about marriage, moving out, buying a car, when I want kids, and why my boyfriend hasn’t proposed yet. As a university student, I am just not ready for these things, and I have come to the realization that it is OK! We all grow at our own pace, we deal with things differently, and we all have our own paths laid out for ourselves. I want to continue with school, go on for my PhD, and slowly settle in to “adulthood”. Many friends of mine are starting to get into their careers, want to save to buy houses, want to get married, and want to have children in the next couple years. At times, it is discouraging seeing how my¬†friends are settling into their lives and I am still sitting here in school barely able to afford my coffees for the week with my part time job. I sometimes wonder if I am holding my boyfriend back because we won’t be able to purchase a house or really get our lives started together until I am finished my schooling. As down as I feel some days, I always remind myself that these are my goals. Just because my friends have different goals, does not mean I should look down on my own. I should embrace the process of growing at my own pace; never force yourself into situations or back out of your dreams just because your path deviates from everyone else’s. That is what makes you unique, what makes you you.

Moral of the story: Do not worry about what others think you should be doing. Pursue your hopes and dreams, and everything will come together at one point or another. Keep pushing – as winding and bumpy the path may be, just remember you chose it for a reason ūüôā


Fear for the Future

It’s a scary feeling not knowing what you’ll be doing this time next year. Will I be working a full-time job? Will I be completing my master’s degree? Where will I be living? These are the types of questions haunting me.¬†As of right now, I have no idea what my life will be like next year.

I am excited to move away for school, but am also scared that I might not even get into any of the programs I have applied to. If I do get in where will I live? Who will I live with? Which program will I choose? Will I even get to choose or will I only get accepted into one?

And even worse, what if I don’t get in anywhere… Will I be able to get a job in my field? What if I can’t get a job at all? How will it look to have a gap on my resume? Will I ever go back to school if I take some time off?

Waiting to hear if you got into any of the programs you’ve applied for is terrifying and stressful. So I’m trying my best not to think about it too much and I suggest the same for anyone in the same situation. Worry about it when you need to. Focus on the present, don’t stress about the future.


What’s the next step?

Graduation is creeping up and I have no idea what will be next.

We all come to University with different plans. Mine was just to get my undergrad and figure the rest out when the time came. That time is here and it’s terrifying.

Since second year I have known that I want to go for my masters once I’m done my undergrad here at UOIT. At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go straight out of my BA or take a year off to work and gain some experience. During third year I decided I didn’t want to take a year off and would rather just continue my academic career without taking a break. Part of the reason I felt this way, was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to get a job related to my field and would be stuck working a minimum wage job for the year, ultimately doing nothing for my resume. I also worried about not wanting to come back to school once I’ve been off for a year. School comes with endless amounts of work and stress, and who wants that? Not me. Through talking with people who have master’s degrees I heard arguments for both taking a year off and not. I firmly decided I wasn’t going to take a year off. By the time I made this decision it was the middle of August 2016. I started looking into various programs at different school across Ontario. There were a few that I was really interested.

My mom convinced me that I should take advantage of the career centre at school, so I made an appointment for mid September. I showed up to my appointment knowing the programs I was going to apply to and just had a few questions… or so I thought.

After looking the programs I was interested in over with my counsellor, I realized I needed to take another look at available programs for a few reasons:
1) I missed the date for the psychology GREs and the next date to write is in April, long after applications are due.
2) I was looking at very theory based programs, when clinical is more appropriate for where I want to go with my career.
3) The careers I am interested will require a Phd, something I had not planned on getting (some schools prefer you complete both your masters and Phd at their school for they link together).

This is when the tears started. To this day I’m not entirely sure why I was crying. Maybe it was the fact that the programs I had decided I was interested weren’t the best fit for me. Maybe it was the fact that I realized I might have to take a year off. Maybe it was that I realized all this is coming up so fast and I’m not ready. Or maybe it was all these things combined. I think I was just overwhelmed with information and decisions, unsure of what to do.

Its been almost two months since I went to speak with career counselling, and I’m still not entirely sure which programs I’m going to apply to, but I do feel more confident in my choices now than I did sitting in that office.

I wanted to share this story because I think there are a lot of students in the same place as me, unsure about what comes after graduation. It’s a difficult decision to make – whether to continue your education after completing your undergrad or not. It’s important to consider what you want in the long run, and where you would like to end up. Taking advantage of the services on campus such as the career centre is extremely helpful, and I highly recommend looking into these services for anyone who is struggling with what they should do next.