Life after University

Hi,

It’s been a while since I last posted on here.

Since I posted a few excited things have happened. I graduated from University with a 2.1 in Geography. I am happy to admit that this was a pretty great personal achievement. Final year at University was a challenge for my health and I really pushed myself to hand in all my work on time. It was a relief to be done with Uni, and I felt the strain on my body over the summer.

I took most of summer to relax and forget about work, I felt this was beneficial for my physical and mental health and something most people should do. I was lucky enough to go on holiday, spend time with friends and family and celebrate my 21st birthday twice.

I was accepted onto a two week internship at the Guardian over the summer, due to ill health I only managed to complete three days, in which time I managed to write an article and have it published. I wrote about the prejudice that people with invisible illnesses often face, with the hope of raising awareness and encouraging people to be more understanding. The response was great, the article can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/09/disabilities-invisible-prove-stangers-disabled-services-illnesses

Sadly, I did receive some negative, ignorant comments and will be doing a follow up post on this blog about it soon.

The article was then picked by the Daily Express who featured me in their drug campaign for Cystic Fibrosis.

This opportunity at the Guardian led to me being commissioned a further piece about the ongoing dispute about the Cystic Fibrosis drugs  in the UK (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/14/cystic-fibrosis-drug-makers-nhs-price-lives).

Finally, and most recently I took part in my first international conference for Proteostatsis, where I talked about drug disparities in regards to CF, and what developments I would like to see in the future. To watch the conference register following this link: https://bit.ly/2WtmnAL and skip to 1 hour 40.

Although it sounds like I have been busy and life has been exciting for me, in reality I have found life after Uni quite challenging. Freelance writing isn’t as easy as I may have perceived with editors not replying to emails, and the constant effort to come up with relevant ideas hard as they become irrelevant as soon as news moves on. 

Rather than getting better, for some reason my physical and mental health has been more challenging than ever at the moment, with an admission and a number of trips to a&e meaning I’ve spent more time perfecting my knowledge of MIC than I have focusing on my future career. 

Not knowing what to do after school or uni is very common. I know many people struggle to find work, maybe too qualified for some jobs but lacking experience for others (I mean all jobs want experience but how can you gain that if no one is willing to give you a job). This can be very demotivating and leave you with a lack of direction.

Some lucky few find themselves in work straight after uni, this is also seen if people take a degree which leads to a specific job. Obviously this doesn’t mean they aren’t hard working, but it shouldn’t let others who don’t have a direction feel useless. It can be hard to decide what specific area you want to get into, the degree you took may no longer be of interest, or the jobs that typically lead on from the course may not fit what you want to do. This can be a daunting situation but its one far more common than we think. Social media often makes lives seem busier and more exciting, but it would never show what is realistically happening; hours of applying for jobs, rejection emails and a sense of failure.

For those people reading this who are struggling and feeling down about work, you are not alone, don’t worry about those people who seem to have it all together and focus on yourself, find hobbies to take up and make the most of other experiences (seeing family, relaxing, maybe travelling). Whether you have been to uni or not, finding work is challenging, don’t let those around you put additional stresses onto you. Just ignore the people who constantly ask you what you are doing and offer their suggestions without any prompting, that can almost be the most stressful part about it. 

For me now, the plan is to start writing more regularly on this blog, not just focusing on CF, but writing about my opinion on other issues too.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my articles and to those reading this blog.

Isabelle 

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