Worrying About Being Worried

by Sophi Barber 2 years ago in goals

The Crushing Anxiety of Being 21

Worrying About Being Worried

At the age of 21, I ask my peers if they also worry about being worried—they confirm that they are worriers too. Upon this advice I thought to myself, why is this the case? so I broke it down.


At the age of 21, you find most are finishing their uni courses and starting their walk into adult life. I am a slightly different kettle of fish in this aspect in that I opted out of uni and straight into work. You see the thing is, the mental state I have is near enough identical to that of a student who has just obtained a degree. What I conclude in this fact is that we all torture ourselves on whether we have chosen the right course, not uni course, but course in life, in work, in career.

Was it a "good" idea to plunge yourself into thousands of pounds of debt for a degree which in more cases than not is not utilised? Of course, it may transpire that you'll get into the trainee post graduate job and work your ass of for pennies until you eventually reach your goal at 35 in your dream job. You see though, the thing is, the "dream job," be it script writing, leading a business, or being a geologist is as far-fetched as becoming a recognised actor these days. I know more Uni graduates working behind bars trawling job sites than I do graduates who are actually working in their realm of qualification. What is disappointing about this is that this is by no fault of the student, it is by fault of the employer. No employer wants to stick their neck out for a person with brains, they want a person with experience.

With the above in mind you would assume I was about to write about how the entire premise of our higher education at Universities is borderline pointless. In some ways yes, I do think this is true, but I would much rather describe it as misused, rather than pointless. As such when you think of it, I suppose working straight out of school is the answer?

Going straight into the world of work: this was the way I opted to go. I'll let you into a little bit of my personal life in a timeline of events:

  • Grew up with a paintbrush in my hand
  • Studied Art & Fashion at School, secured A* GCSES
  • Did the same in College, secured A A Levels
  • And again, at degree level obtaining an Art foundation diploma
  • Secured a place at the Fashion Retail Academy
  • **Funding stopped as I reached the age of 18**
  • Found course funding/bursaries were not available
  • Went into the world of insurance and dropped aspirations to work in fashion
  • Maintained illustrating and fashion drawing as a hobby
  • Worry if this was the right course of action every day

In ways I do enjoy my job in insurance as this utilises my brain and keeps it active. In other ways, I despise it because it as it is the fruits of a failed plan. You see however, I sit and I go on about this matter "was it a good idea, was it not" with my family and friends and I’ll have the same conversation with a Uni Graduate and they'll say to me, "at least you're not in thousands of pounds of debt" and I’ll say to them "at least you can eventually get into the career you worked for" and we go round in circles like this until we learn to love or lump our choices.

What I want to convey is that yes, every single one of us will have some regrets in the ways our decisions have altered our lives. I pay particular emphasis on those of us the age of 21 because this an age where everything is happening all at once. Crucial relationships are being formed and you (whether you like it or not), are an adult all of a sudden! This is the age where you realise that you are now in control of your own life as if by magic. You can either make the right decision or make the wrong one, the important thing to note is that it is your decision none the less. Whilst we worry about how much we worry we are doing so on our own two feet.

You see, you never make a wrong or a right choice; you make a choice alone. What is wrong is worrying about it because you will never know what would have happened "if" and you'll never know where you would have been "if." What you do know, however, is where you are now. Are you happy with your life, your job, your love, now as you read this? Yes—Fantastic. No—go and make a change. Another note to take is that you never know until you try, something I always say is you don't know until you know.

Sophi Barber
Sophi Barber
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Sophi Barber
See all posts by Sophi Barber