Student Journeys

My Journey to Higher Education – What now?

24 years old, I had what I would half-jokingly describe as a quarter-life crisis; it was without a doubt the most stressful time in my life. However, my life was comfortable; I developed a career that I was happy and had close friends and family around me. In addition, I was about to complete buying a flat and getting myself on the property ladder (something that felt quite important to me at the time).

Internally, however, I quickly realised that I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with aspects of my life. My thoughts would come back to a question that repeated in my mind- ‘What shall I do now?’  

My career kept me busy and challenged me in ways that I knew would be useful in the future, but once I reached a certain point, my thoughts quickly turned to the same old question- what now? What do I want to achieve in life?

I was beginning to realise that I was moving through these accomplishments on some pre-determined auto-pilot; these weren’t my own goals, nor were they something that I truly wanted, yet I was still working towards them.

I think this is something that many of us start to wonder about when we reach a goal we’ve been working towards. Then, suddenly, your attention is brought inwards rather than ahead; at this point in my life, these questions became a central theme to my day and the realisation that the track I was on wasn’t for me.

That’s why I describe this time as my quarter-life crisis, but whilst the word ‘crisis’ sounds traumatic, I think of the experience as a positive one. You can’t reach internal calm waters without traversing the troubled seas. 

So, I decided to quit my job and not buy the flat. I decided to take six months out from work and instead do something more enjoyable, travel. It felt somewhat abrupt for people around me, but for myself, it was something that I had been contemplating for a while. My purpose was to reflect on what is truly important to me and understand my most profound and personal goals. I wanted the room to breathe outside of daily life’s usual confines and distractions, and that is what I got.

This decision eventually led me to apply to university, joining at 27 years old and now living a completely different life with a new schedule, new surroundings, and ready to explore. Studying at Westminster has already been a fun experience, and the topics we plan to cover promise to be invigorating and will undoubtedly help me that will help me work towards my future goals. We only have one life, and I want to make sure that I continue to find ways to push myself out of my comfort zone and expand my horizon.

 Jake Beasley, Year 1, BA (Hons), International Relations and Development.

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