Why my Degree is useless – Blogtober #12

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you may have come across me mentioning my education on a number of occasions. For those of you that do not know, I have both an undergraduate degree and a masters in law.

How to Relax of an Evening (2).png

From a young age I was interested in the law and had always envisioned myself having a career within the legal profession.

 

As you may be aware I do not work in the legal profession as I decided it was not for me.

 

I thought I would share my story with you and tell you that it’s okay if you change your mind about your degree. Just because you thought your life was heading in one direction, doesn’t mean you can’t change it.

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 16.58.00

My undergraduate degree in Law –

In short, I absolutely loved my undergraduate degree. I had an amazing three years learning about the academic aspect of the law. I was surrounded with like-minded people and I was excelling in all of my classes. If I’m completely honest I felt on top of the world and I had my entire future mapped out ahead of me.

I worked in a law firm on and off during my three years at University. It was a small firm and I really enjoyed the work. I was quickly made to feel like one of the team and I was thrilled to eventually be given the title of paralegal.

The degree was a lot of hard work and incredibly stressful, however I enjoyed it and so it made it all worthwhile. I found lectures fun, you couldn’t keep me quiet in classes and I had a thirst for more knowledge. I was in my element.

 

Eventually I graduated with  2.1

 

This is where I began to waiver a little bit as I contemplated doing my Legal Practice Course and Masters. All I had to do was complete one more year, find myself a training contract and then I could look in the mirror and see a trainee solicitor looking back at me. Doubt was starting to creep in, however I had no other plans for my future, I was already on a certain path and so I decided to follow it and enrolled to complete my LPC and LLM.

 

img_5678-2

LPC and LLM (Masters) –

I can quite honestly say that I hated this year.

This year was focused on the practical side of the law and something about it just didn’t click with me. I was studying in London and found the general environment and my fellow students to be incredibly corporate. The atmosphere was competitive and you knew that behind every smile was a snarl. I had a handful of genuine friends but other than that nobody else was worth wasting time on.

 

I still enjoyed some aspects of the law, however my attitude towards it was changing. I’m not a very corporate person, nor do I want to spend every evening out ‘networking’. I began realising that my hopes for the future were changing but I didn’t know what to do.

 

I carried on studying as I watched my mental health begin to deteriorate under the stress of living a lie. When people asked me what area of law I wanted to specialise in the usual spiel would tumble out of my mouth without me even having to try – at this point I was completely detached from the future I once had planned.

 

I kept telling myself that once I was in a job things would be better and I would enjoy it.

 

31306965_10155421712146272_6021135424923250607_n

I graduated with a commendation in both my LPC and my LLM. I had refrained from applying for training contracts thinking that I would paralegal for a while and my passion for the profession would return.

 

I began applying for jobs and was successful with two of my applications. However, it wasn’t until I began those jobs that I realised just how much my mental health had suffered over the previous year. I left both jobs quite quickly and took a month off to look after myself.

 

Once I felt a little better in myself I decided to apply for some temping paralegal roles, thinking this would help me get back on my feet.

 

I eventually landed a role that most people would have been incredibly envious of. I was working at a prestigious firm in Chelsea and the pay was amazing. Despite having such a lucky break I absolutely hated the job and as a temp I felt isolated from my colleagues. I would come home crying every night because I was so unhappy.

 

I stuck it out for about 6 months until my dad was invovled in a traumatic accident (you can read about that here – I discuss it in February and March). Dad’s accident left me with some post traumatic stress and also made me realise that life is too short and precious to be as unhappy as I was. I handed my notice in at work and at the end of the week I left. I can still remember how happy I felt as I left the building and walked down to the station – I truly had a spring in my step.

img_4202

After leaving that temping job I knew that the likelihood of me going back into the legal profession was very slim. Since then my mental health has deteriorated to such an extent that finding an employed job is currently impossible. Instead, I have been attempting to forge a career as a freelance writer, whilst I work on my mental health. I have come to realise that writing is where my heart lies.

 

I’ve always been a keen reader and I’ve loved writing stories since I was a child. Words are such an amazing tool to conjure up incredible images within our minds and I want to share my words with the world. I hope I can achieve this dream, I’m sure I’ll keep you updated.

 

I may not be making as much money as I was in my temping job, however I no longer get in bed and cry of a night at how unhappy I am.

 

It’s never too late to decide that you want to change your future!

 

Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience. 

 

Instagram 

Twitter 

Pinterest

img_2684-12

XOXO

 

 

21 thoughts on “Why my Degree is useless – Blogtober #12

  1. Great article Liz. Sorry to hear about your health issues. If I could offer any encouragement, the struggles you’re facing will eventually bring you to a better place in life. On the flip side, imagine if you were unhappy, stressed and miserable in your job and career 10 years later. It’s good that the realization has kicked in early after graduation and it will help you to get to a better place in life! Well crafted story so good work on that. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That’s a very good way of looking at the situation and I think it’s the view that I need to adopt. Thank you for reading and commenting ☺️

      Like

  2. Thanks for sharing this very personal post. Look after yourself. There’s no shame in taking time out to look after your mental health and I wish you the best of luck with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have city and guilds as a motor mechanic and an electrician. Neither of which I do. All qualifications show a level on intelligence. Your degree is useful for that. Go with what makes you happy, money cant buy happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have a similar story where the job and career that were supposed to make me happy on paper actually made me miserable. Unlike you, I held on for longer than I should have, and my mental health suffered. I wish I hadn’t because you can’t get those years back. Regardless, I’m better off now- still finding my path and I’ve definitely found a satisfying hobby in blogging. Good for you for following your passion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear it took you so long to walk away from that career. I hope you can find your new path and enjoy it! Thank you for reading and commenting ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article and I really relate! While I never got as far as a masters, I’ve rendered my undergraduate degree as useless. What they don’t teach you at university is that when it comes to applying for jobs, these days a degree is nothing if you don’t have experience. I applied for so many mental health jobs after graduating but the fact I had no proper experience (other than a voluntary placement I did during first year – my timetable in second year meant I couldn’t continue with it) meant I never got any responses. I worked my retail job with the aim of doing some more volunteering on my day off and hopefully using it to either get a foot in the door of a job or some further education, but my retail job ended up beating me down so much I just needed my days off to recover and I soon realised because of it my heart wasn’t in the volunteering. I’ve spent so many years feeling like a failure and genuinely think it’s contributed to my decline in mental health, and it’s only recently I’ve accepted that MH is not a field I want to work in anymore. I think part of me felt because I had a degree in psychology I had to do something relevant, and it took a look time to get out of that mindset! It’s only through starting my job in digital marketing that I’ve realised writing is what I want to do, hence the blogging of course! Thank you for sharing your story 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! There’s so much pressure put on young people to pursue an education without much thought towards their end career. The reality of a profession can often be very different to studying it. I’m glad you’ve managed to find your path and I wish you all the luck with it! ☺️xx

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s