Anne-Sophie at UEA

Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.

Quarter-Life Crisis


On my blog, I often say that university can be tough but always end up focusing on all the good aspects or focus on the work I’ve been doing or the books I’ve been reading… Today I wanted to be a bit more honest and open about my university experience. Quarter life crisis is a thing that’s hitting me very hard in the face. I am obviously talk about what I now refer to as THE DILEMMA, which can basically be summed up at the following question: what do I do with my life? However, it goes much deeper than this and even makes me question the purpose and relevance of doing an English Literature degree. Although to be fair, the main reason why I worry so much is uncertainty and the feeling of being torn apart.

Torn apart because I’d like to stay in England but at the same time I miss France. Uncertainty because of Brexit and what it will change for me in a very near future (will they kick me out?). Because I always worry about not being good enough in English to get “a real job” and to be taken seriously. Because I don’t know if I’ll be employable and if I’ve learnt any useful skills (after all, I’m just reading books all day). Uncertainty because I am torn apart between two countries – one where my boyfriend lives, the other where all my family live. And there is also a bit of sadness when I think that this summer might have been the last one like this, the last time I could be at home for such a long period of time, the last one with my little brother, the last one before I’m even more independent…

My third year of university (actually the fifth) starts in a month and I find all this very stressful and hard to deal with, added to the demands of university work. That’s not really how things work in France, students don’t spend their second and/or third year applying for jobs and internships. At least, I finally wrote my CV so that’s a start!

I’m not even sure what I want to do with my career anymore… I have several ideas, but nothing’s really clear. Honestly, I’m ready to just grab ANY opportunity, but at the same time a part of me reminds me of all the things I used to dream of, of my hopes to become a translator, of my wish to do something that helps people and changes lives… On the other hand, I’d probably be fine with a simple office job and know that I’ll never be as financially secure as my parents. 

I am aware of the fact that graduating is never easy for anybody, that finding a job or even an internship is tough and very competitive, but it still stresses me so much. Too much. I know it might take a while before I find a job and build a life I am truly happy with, but I want everything now and can’t deal with things not being planned.

On top of all this, I have no idea where I will be living in the new months and need to make a big decision in December: do I sign another contract for 2017/2018 in Norwich with the same housemates (but is there much going on in Norwich?), or do I take a big risk and try to go somewhere else, like London, where I don’t know anyone and where rent is muuuuuch more expensive? Is the risk worth taking? So many questions… I am honestly quite envious of all the British students who can just go back home until they have a clearer plan or a job.

I now realise how easy it was to be a teenager at school, and that “adulting” doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. It is actually the opposite! If I could borrow Marty McFly’s DeLorean, that’s what I’d go and tell young Anne-Sophie. One thing is certain however, it is that I need to stop saying that working in a supermarket or Starbucks is my backup plan, or to imagine the worst things. I am certainly not doing all this to end up with such low expectations for myself.

I just need to find motivation somewhere… SOMEWHERE. Maybe in a speech my friend improvised for me last year: “Currently you are in the mind-set of a loser, so change that around and make yourself a winner!”? Or perhaps at the Career Central on campus?

Wish me luck!

An evening at the beach, in Nice.

An evening at the beach, in Nice


2 comments on “Quarter-Life Crisis

  1. Geoff Griffiths
    26 August, 2016

    “Honestly, I’m ready to just grab ANY opportunity…”
    You said that. If you mean it, you’ll be fine. It doesn’t just have to be job opportunities either. Keep grabbing life opportunities… people, travel, food, charity, political activity. It will wear you out but it will leave you feeling a whole lot better about yourself than if you wait and see what comes.
    You don’t have to listen to a man in his 65th year who hasn’t followed that advice all the time in his own life. But I reckon it’s a good attitude… and it’s the best I have to offer!
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne-Sophie
      26 August, 2016

      You are right and I also believe it is the attitude I need to adopt with all aspects of life! I can’t sit here waiting for life to happen. Thanks 🙂


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