Exams Done, Now What?

My exams are over, I just got back from a press trip with KLM, my love life isn’t making my friends cringe in horror for once and the sun is high up in the sky. Life is good, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

As my life as a student draws to an inevitable end, I can feel panic crawling up my spine. What should I do with, you know, the rest of my life? How should I ensure my continued survival? I know, I know, I’m making it all sound way too dramatic in my head. But seriously, how should I pay my bills as a full-blown adult? As I walk around my university’s campus – which is where these photos were taken – these questions reverberate through my head, making it heavy with indecision.

My gut is telling me to pursue blogging full time. If not now, when? I’m not keen on the idea of working hard to build somebody else’s dreams and my twenties are the best time to pursue mine. But I don’t want to be too idealistic. What I’m making right now is enough as a part time income – not enough to live on, at the very least not in London which just so happens to be one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

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I could move to Thailand or some other place cheap and exotic – my income would probably suffice there. But what once felt like a wonderful, liberating idea gets less and less appealing with each passing day. Why? I would be lying to everyone including myself if I told you that one of the main reasons wasn’t my current relationship.

Yes, it’s true. I’ve been seeing someone and for the first time in years I am actually excited about the direction in which my love life is headed. Packing up my bags and moving to Thailand might not sabotage that relationship, but it would definitely make continuing it difficult. I’ve always said I wouldn’t give up on my plans for a boyfriend, but what used to feel like an incredible idea now just feels like an unnecessary escape. I’m not saying I never want to go, I just don’t really want to go right now…

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The bottom line is this: if I do stay in the UK (or anywhere in the West for that matter), I will need a job to support me and I’m not sure blogging can do that for me just yet. That is why I have set a deadline for myself – September 1. If I feel like I can make a decent enough living through blogging by then, that will be my green light. If I don’t… I’ll worry about that then. For now it’s balls to the wall, late nights and hundreds of emails.

But even if blogging does start to make me enough money, there’s another issue. It’s less practical but it matters just as much, if not more. It’s about the substance of what I’m doing. When I started my degree in political science, I dreamt of saving the world. I wanted to lend a voice to the voiceless, I wanted to see the world become a better place because of my hard work and effort. Is that what I’m achieving with this blog or am I just living out some deeply egocentric fantasy of feeling like a D-list internet celebrity?

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So yes, it’s safe to say I worry. There are a million questions cruising through my head at any given moment and I’m doing the best I can to keep myself on the right track. But nothing is more helpful than you – your comments, your retweets, your support… The fact that you spend a small part of your day reading my blog lends what I’m doing meaning and makes me hopeful that I am walking down the right path.

To keep myself positive, I’ve been surrounding myself with things that motivate me – and that extends to my sartorial choices. I realise this may sound shallow, but dressing up in beautiful clothes fills me with inspiration and energy. High heels give me confidence, bright colours make me smile, dresses with flattering silhouettes make me stand up a little taller and speak with a little more conviction.

We all need an occasional sign that what we are doing is worthwhile and that things will work out in the end. I’ve been wearing mine around my wrist in the form of a delicate rose gold bracelet. I’ve never been one for subtle jewellery – or any form of subtlety for that matter – but I’m trying to change that. My Tresor Paris bracelet is a constant reminder me that sometimes success and happiness can be hard to notice when they’re right in front of your eyes… they’re fleeting, slippery concepts and nearly impossible to grasp. But every now and then, as their gleam reflects in our eyes, we can feel them as if they were tangible statues made of gold.

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dress: vila; blazer: h&m; bracelet: c/o tresor paris; rings: swarovski; heels: guess; handbag: michael kors

Well, that’s it from me for today folks! I don’t normally write these “dear diary” style posts, but let’s see what you think. Is this the kind of thing you’d like to hear more about? I realise my online presence is a highly filtered version of my actual day-to-day existence, so it’s quite nice to give you an insight into some of the fears and challenges I am grappling with at the moment.

What would you do if you were in my position?
Do you think I should give blogging full time a whirl?

  • How about you pack your beloved one into a suitcase and smuggle him into Thailand? just an idea…

  • AdventureHan

    I felt like this when I graduated a couple of years ago. My boyfriend came travelling with me – turns out all I had to do was ask (although we were same age/similar situation).

    I’d suggest taking the boy if it’s an option, and if not then go for it with the full time blogging and work in a cafe/restaurant to make up the rest of the money while you’re building up blogging contacts. I’d love to do full time blogging too – but I’m not quite there yet, untill then it’s a full time 9-6 for me! 🙁

  • Mel

    Don’t worry Sabina, everyone freaks out a little when they leave uni, just try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You’ve managed to finish 3rd year and run Girl vs Globe which is a huge achievement! You could always have the best of both worlds, work part-time doing admin/office/receptionist work and spend the rest of the time working on the blog and freelance writing. Take some time to think about it, it sounds like you have a great deal of support in your other half so I’m sure he’ll help you figure out, whatever you want to do 🙂 x

  • I know this dilemma all too well, but it always works out! My travel plans are also being thwarted by a guy – but it’s worth it. I say go for it and focus on blogging for now. Giving yourself a deadline is a great idea. And you could always do freelance or temp work for additional financial support. Even though I had a few years to explore before I settled into the 9 to 5 life, I wish I had taken more advantage of it before jumping into a full-time career. Make the most of it while you can!

  • When I left uni, I worked for a year saving up to do my post-grad journalism course in London. I did a series of internships which led to becoming a freelance staff member at a magazine’s website and the blog started soon after.

    It might not be the most fun opinion, but working for a company with colleagues is really worthwhile when you’re just out of uni, as you learn so much from other people that you can apply to your own work. It doesn’t have to be forever, as many people leave their jobs to do blogging full-time, but maybe give a political career a shot since you’ve worked so hard for it? Tough decision when you’ve got a fantastic blog to maintain, but I’m sure you’ll know what feels right.

  • What an exciting time of life. I hope things go well for you. Remember that once you start moving in a direction, you can always change it up again if you don’t feel peace and fulfillment. Right now is the time of life to just dive head long into crazy adventures.

  • I understand your dilemma, Sabina. I finished uni this spring too, but my enormous panic attack made me apply for masters degrees instead of jobs. Not ready to be a grown up just yet 🙂 But I really hope you will succeed in full-time blogging, you are an amazing blogger and I really enjoy following your adventures! Best of luck to you! Kisses from Norway

  • I can completely relate, it’s only been a couple years since I completed my studies and I felt the same way. Truth to be said, it’s probably not the last time you’ll be re-evaluating the rest of your life – so I’d say just go with your gut now, there’s always time to reconsider if things don’t work out! You’re completely right, slaving your life away to fulfill someone else’s dream and put yours on the backburner is no way to live, just function.

  • Angelica Wilk

    Congrats on finishing your exams Sabina!! Excited to see what you decide. It is a tough decision and being friends with many full-time bloggers who have been doing it for years – blogging is never the only thing they do full-time. There is so much competition out there and newbies on the block. The long time bloggers have several sources of income even if they “blog full time”. I write part-time because same as you, I could never sustain myself on it alone but it’s great as a supplement! NYC and London expenses are so similar, we should both move lol. I agree you’re right in seeing how you do by September 1st and go for it now if you can, even if it lasts however long it lasts. I do believe, from live accounts of others, that eventually you will need (and more so, you will want) to add other jobs/gigs/things into your work life. It’s more fun anyway than being on a computer all day! I work as a flight attendant and see social work clients per diem. Yoga instructor or any athletic class is huge to get into, teaching English, web-designing,library, assistant, whatever your other hobbies are, turn them into future job opportunities to also do part-time. I love scuba for example so I’d totally go for Divemaster and teach if I were to move to Asia. I know you’ll figure it all out and there’s never a deadline. Good luck! I’m always following and hope my feedback is helpful 🙂