Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been well 🙂
Today’s post is going to be a little different to what I usually write on here, but I’ve made it a goal to be more vulnerable and honest on this platform so thats what I’m going to be today!
I’m at one of those points in life where I start questioning a bunch of things – my career, my future, my habits, mindset, and lifestyle. Honestly, whatever you can think of, it’s probably been at the back of my mind. But today, I’ll be touching on what’s been contributing to my anxiety and mental health lately, and I choose to talk about them on here because I think these feelings are mutual to a lot of you as well.
I’ve had lots of people reach out to me to talk about their mental struggles and asking for help to overcome them (and please, if you ever need a friend to do so, I’m always here, and my DMs/emails are always opened to all of you), so this brief moment of vulnerability is my way of implying that you are not alone, and that we can all get through this together! 🙂
I also hope to relate better to all of you once I reveal some personal things about myself on here ❤ Thank you all so much for giving me the comfort and reassurance to be (more) myself here on social media 🙂 ❤ It means the whole world to me!
Let’s start with anxiety.
I can admit that I’m a very anxious person in general. Pretty much anything that spurs up anticipation gives me the jitters! It could be adapting to a new environment, making new changes, working, ordering at the counter, getting on the bus, arriving late, and so many other little things. I don’t talk about it often only because it has a lot to do with my personal life, but behind all the “aesthetic” pictures on my feed, I am an anxious person with overtly anxious thoughts. A lot of these thoughts stem from the uncertainty of everything in my day to day life. I also worry a ton, and there’s just so much going on in my mind that the overwhelming feeling has the power to glue me to one spot and prevent me from doing the things that could actually help eliminate these worries. The best way I can soothe my thoughts is mostly through journalling, or having an intimate heart-to-heart with a friend or family member.
The most prevalent anxiety-inducing thought to me at the moment has a lot to do with uni and my career. To give you guys some context, I have just finished my bachelors degree in science (engineering science) and am pursuing a postgraduate degree in professional engineering (specialising in environmental engineering). I am due to graduate at the end of 2022 but am thinking of extending my degree, and what this means is that instead of taking a full load of units in one semester (which is equivalent to 4 units), I would do, say, 1-3 units instead. Most people do this so they can allocate more of their time for a part-time job, internship, extracurriculars, or just take a breather in general. The main reason I’ve been thinking about extending my degree is so I can have more time for myself.
Here’s a bit more context on studying engineering in my university: The ‘traditional’ engineering career pathway is that you finish your masters and go straight into – if not an entry-level position) – a graduate program for 1.5 – 3 years before you get offered a full time job (granted you perform well enough in your graduate program). While it all sounds very prestigious and rewarding (because in a way your full load of study is being paid off by working straight after you graduate), it really does take a toll on your mental health (I mean, even the mere thought of it sounds daunting!). So after much debate and consultation with a few people, I am considering extending my degree. I know some of you guys are probably thinking; well, that should be an easy decision to make. I mean, taking a gap semester or gap year is super common. But ‘stalling’ to graduate and get a full time job to earn a full time income is still very much stigmatised (at least in my culture it is), so while it might seem like a no brainer to extend my degree, it’s still a very difficult decision to make personally.
Anyways, that’s the mini debate I’m currently having with myself. I am obviously very privileged to be able to even have these options to start with, but an obstacle is still an obstacle, and you have the right to feel stressed out when you come across one!
I’ll keep it at that for now, but if you guys are interested in reading more about my studies/career in general, let me know and I’ll make an update on this 🙂 And if you guys have any questions at all, feel free to let me know so I can explain a little further in a separate blog post!
Now let’s talk stress. To keep things short, I consider myself independent in my day to day life. I live away from my family and am currently supporting myself, which is fair to say that uni and grades aren’t the only things that I need to worry about. I have bills to pay, work to fulfil, loved ones to spend time with, and myself to take care of. While I am blessed and grateful to have this platform and do what I love doing as means of supporting myself, I do not think that my ultimate end goal is to blog and create content for a living (at least, not for now it isn’t)! I’d dip my toes into engineering as a full time career first before anything else 🙂 And as a student, I want to get as many work experiences as I can get to build my career. This can be quite difficult to achieve if I don’t prioritise my work well enough, which is why not having enough time for everything is the root of my accumulating stress.
In between uni and blogging/freelancing, I am also keen on taking up some extra part-time work in order to gain some new skills. On top of that, I’d like to also be more consistent in creating art and update my online shop once a month. All that being said, I’ve got a lot on my plate, which means some sacrifices would have to be made.. so again, things may change in the future for me, but for now, I’d just like to be frank and say that all that gold is not glitter, so whatever you see on social media – no matter how beautiful and glamorous an IG story/post/reel looks – you do not know the reality of the content creator’s life, so be mindful of your words and actions, and always keep an open mind (+ be kind to one another! ❤ ).
Now let’s talk privacy. This is probably the most obvious ‘issue’ on my platform, and funnily enough, I’ve never actually properly talked about it on here before!
By now, you would all know that I run my accounts with a faceless identity. This is due to several reasons:
- I am a relatively private person in general
- I want to remain as professional as possible. I do not want people and potential employers to judge me based on what I look like. Rather, I’d prefer to be judged based on the blog posts I’ve written and the people I’ve helped in the community, which brings me to my third reason:
- Not revealing my face would prove just how effective my content really is, and how much they really mean to people, because then you know that the people who are following me are engaging with me because of the content I create and NOT because of what I look like.
In short, I’d just like my content to stay as authentic as possible for myself and for everyone else who appreciates it. I do not want negative people in my life to tarnish this community that I’ve grown to love and cherish so much (I’m not saying that it’s bound to happen, but it is a possibility). So for now, I’d like to keep this community and my real life separated so I will always have a place to escape to when real life is just too much to handle. Plus, I do believe that I still have the power to help and inspire people even if I don’t reveal what I look like. I love talking to you guys about uni, careers, mental health, and life in general, and I’m very grateful that so many of you have trusted me with your personal stories even without knowing what I look like. This just goes to show that you can still empower people, thrive, spread positivity, and have a voice on a platform where a majority of your audience do not know what you look like 🙂
However, that does NOT mean that I will NEVER show my face online. I definitely do see myself revealing it to you all one day 🙂 It could be in a week’s time, a month, a year… I’ll never know, but I’ll do it when I’m ready to!
Aaaand that concludes my whole blog post! Wow, that was way longer than what I’d initially liked it to be, but I hope you guys enjoyed reading it! May this be the start of a long line of personal blog posts to come, and I hope you guys learned something new about me that you can relate to 🙂 As always, feel free to reach out to me when you need someone to talk to. I am always happy to lend an ear!
Thank you all for reading and being here with me.
Lots of love, Cath
cath, I enjoyed reading this heart to heart & I admire you for sharing it <333 i feel similar anxieties in the sense that, although i am preparing to pursue my master's and have plan in place, it's crazy to think how much can happen to change that, even within a few months. you just never can know, can you?! i'm very blessed that my faith is always a help in feeling anxious and worried about the future. aside from that, cathartic journalling, talking to friends and family, and realising that one day, this will all be behind me, and i do have the wonderful present right in front of me, helps a ton. i wish you the very best as you move forward with your plans!! you've got this xx
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Awww Cath, cheering you on! I admire you for keeping things as private as you can. I wish I had been more private, but I’m learning.. Wishing you nothing but the best in 2022!
wow I really enjoyed reading this especially the privacy part! I too want to start a blog without showing my face and ill show it whenever i feel ready to do it