Read This If You're Feeling Lost

A year ago, I finished both A levels and sixth form and so began the next chapter of my life. Only, this chapter was the definition of untitled.

Cue a very scary time in my life. I finished school with no plan whatsoever, just a determination to finish. Those I went to school with were either off to University, starting an Apprenticeship or at least had some sort of a plan for the next year.

There I was, not going to University, completely lost and jobless. It was safe to say I felt like worlds biggest failure.

In school, friends and teachers would ask of my plans going forward, unsurprisingly my cheeks would redden and my heart felt as though I’d just run a 100m sprint.

The thought of a full time job completely terrified me, I didn’t feel ready for it in the slightest. My confidence was at a very low point, nevertheless, my only option was getting a job.

Cut long story short, I ended up working as a Teaching Assistant for just under a year. Initially, as I enjoyed the job, I considered going in to teaching and even started an online course. Despite not going through with that initial idea, I’m glad I worked as a TA as it really helped me figure things out and grow generally as a person.

I can’t remember why or how, but one day, I decided to create my own blog. I never planned on making it public as I had created many before during many of my teenage phases. On the twenty something of December 2017, terrified little me made my blog public and 9 months down the line here I am, still writing it but without the fear I felt for months.

It’s okay to feel a bit lost, to not know where you’re heading or what your plan is. You don’t have to have it all figured out at 18, 30 or 55. When the time is right, you’ll know and you’ll make it happen.

During a time like this, I’ve found social media can be (not to be dramatic) dangerous. I’m sure you know yourself, people can pick and choose what they post and don’t post on social media. They can choose to portray their lives however they want which is mostly, happy, social and successful.

One minute, you’re having a scroll through Instagram and the next you’re feeling down about your life. Suddenly everything just feels negative and lonely.

Of course, when you’re feeling lost and alone, you want to be on social media keeping up to date on the lives of others – friends, idols etc – and in that sense it’s crucial not to isolate yourself. However, learn to recognise when your time spent on social media is beginning to have a negative effect.

One piece of advice I would give is to find what you love doing and do lots and lots of it. It doesn’t have to become a career but whilst in the pursuit of finding yourself shall we say, it’s important to practise what makes you smile.

You are NOT a failure of any sort for not having it sussed out. It may take you a week, a month, a year maybe four, it really does not matter. As long as you set goals and keep yourself motivated and make sure that you’re generally happy, nothing else matters. Focus on yourself.

Most importantly, it’s okay to take time out to figure out what you want in life. If a job or situation is making you unhappy, move. You weren’t made to stay stuck in one place for the rest of your life. Try new things, meet new people, challenge yourself. You’ll look back and laugh gladly at this phase of your life one day, I promise.

Keep believing that something better will happen than what is going on right now, because it really will. It just takes hard work and determination. Work on yourself. Work on what makes you happy. Work on what you feel strongly about. Work on it all and stay motivated.

You’ve got this. Always.

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.