Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The pressure to succeed

From the age of fourteen when you have to sit down and choose your GCSE options, you are expected to have an idea of what you want to do when you 'grow up'. Then, when you leave school and have to pick your subject(s) at college, you have to narrow your choices down even more!

Most people have a dream of what path they want to go down when they are very young, for example, I wanted to be a pop star, just like a lot of girls aged five. Some people do follow that path their whole life, and I think it's amazing when people can do what they dreamed of when they were younger. In a way, they are really lucky because they've known exactly what options they needed to take and what choices to make, in order to get there.

When I was eight, my dad worked for a building company and he would always talk to me about building structures and how it would be great if I were an architect! Of course, I completely admired my dad and wanted to do everything just like him, so for a while, that's what I wanted to be. I knew that architects got to draw lots, which I enjoyed, and I also knew they were paid a good amount, so in my eight year old head it seemed like a pretty good job. This was until I realised I would have to go to university for five to severn years to qualify!

At the age of around twelve, I wanted to be a lawyer. I don't really know where this one came from and in all honesty, I think the main reason was that I knew lawyers were paid well! I had also watched my older cousin do a law degree and I thought she was pretty cool. I did my year 10 work experience in a law department and although I am so grateful for the opportunity, it was one of the most boring weeks of my life so far. I was much more interested in picking my work outfit each morning, than I was in the law department.

I soon realised that I was only following these career paths because I wanted to be "successful", I wanted to make my parents proud and yes, I wanted to earn a good amount of money.

"Success" is one of those words that is defined by every individual. One person's idea of success will be completely different to another. To me, success is being happy with your life and feeling like you have put your all in to everything you've done.

I now realise that my parents will always be proud of what I do, and will support me no matter what. Money isn't my main measure of success anymore either, happiness is. It's more important to me, to enjoy what I do, rather than making lot's of money.

"If you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life"

I decided to start listening to myself, not being influenced by anyone else and just doing what I wanted to do. When I chose my GCSEs, I chose what I enjoyed. I still didn't really know what sort of career I wanted but I knew that Art and Textiles were my favourite subjects, so I carried on doing them.

When I went to sixth form, again, I chose subjects I wanted to do and enjoyed doing. I took Textiles, Graphics and Sociology.

Now, I finally feel like i'm doing what I want to do. I'm at university studying Fashion, and I love it! I still don't know the exact job I want when I leave but I do know i'm on the right path and I am going to continue to do what I enjoy.

What i'm trying to get at here, is don't worry if you don't know what you want to do or where you want to be. Don't feel bad if you don't want to do a degree or if you want to do something different to what your parents want. Listen to yourself and trust that you will get to where you want to be. Obviously, there is hard work involved to get there, but just do your best at all times, and you can never ask more from yourself.

My advice to anyone who doesn't know what path they want to go down is that, it's so normal and okay to feel that way! I can guarantee the majority of people feel exactly the same. Don't let your main focus be money, that comes and goes, your wellbeing and happiness is way more important.

And remember, my favourite saying..

"Stay Focused, and Extra Sparkly"

Becci x


  1. I wish I'd read this post before I went to uni Becci! I was fairly good academically at school so felt pressured into doing a really academic subject at uni even though I wanted to do something more creative and absolutely HATED it and was miserable. Such great and honest advice, thanks for sharing, Jess xx

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Jess. I'm so glad you found this helpful! I hope you find something you enjoy! xxx

  2. Honestly I still have no idea what I'm doing! I'm studying a course I love and enjoy but not sure if it's right for me career wise! Loved this post filled with great advice!


    1. SO glad you found it helpful lovely. It's never too late to change your mind, i've just changed my uni course! xxx

  3. Success is so different depending on the person! I think everyone wants to make their family proud, but the most important thing is definitely putting your happiness first, and I'm glad to see you doing that :)

  4. I love this post. I'm doing subjects I enjoy at sixth form right now, like you, one of the subjects I'm doing is sociology! x

    1. Thank you! Good on you, I hope they are going well! xx

  5. I can totally agree that there is so much pressure to succeed these days! I'm doing art at uni and I love it x