“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”; this is a quote from a man who turned millions of peoples’ hopes, dreams and general morale around in one speech: Franklin Delano Roosavelt. Although I knew who Franklin. D Roosavelt (FDR) was, I was not aware that he was a sufferer of Polio. While learning about him, I concluded that one of the most fantastic things about him was that he did not, in any way, let this illness inhibit him from achieving many great things.

The reason why I start this blog post with a quote from Roosavelt is because we could all take a thing or two from him, especially realising a problem we all have: using excuses to not do what we want to do with our lives. It would be hypocritical for me to say that I do not do this, because I do… I think we all have done so or currently do. Yet it is striking that although we know how much these excuses stop us from progressing, we do not take that step or leap of faith.

Over the summer holidays and the October half term I have had time to reflect inwardly, as well as outwardly – ranging from what I want from my life and to those I associate with. The one thing I concluded was that I do not want to be complacent in life and to continue in surrounding myself with people who complain and do not do anything to improve their situations. It is sad for me to admit to this but I succumbed to being a chronic complainer, and what did it do? Absolutely nothing at all. I think it actually worsened my temperament and belief in myself. Here’s an example of how I ruined my own chances:

  • I could have applied to Oxford if I pushed myself to start and complete the application and properly asked to be predicted an A* in a subject I know that I am very capable in and kept one of my subjects I dropped last year,  which would have left me with predicted grades of A*A*A. This was not anyone else’s fault apart from my own. It is a GREAT shame that I let myself not chase or grab this opportunity, but I will not let it dominate my inner belief of what I can achieve in the prospective future.

I do not, in any way, dispute that one cannot or will not succeed at a Russel Group, Red Brick or an Open University, however, to reap the opportunities at an Oxbridge University – having attended a trip in Year 9 and an open day last year, would have been great. Perhaps it was not meant to be, but I hope this shows you that once you let go of an opportunity, you will more than likely never have access to it again.

Secondly, I would say to achieve inner peace you must accept one thing, your weaknesses; focus on what you can improve about yourself. It might seem boastful to say that I have always taken constructive criticism well, but when you learn to take it with a pinch of salt, the outcome is greater than what it was before.

…Let us divert for a moment. One thing I find weird is that I am in the midst of the transition from being classed as child (hopefully young adult in some peoples eyes) going into adulthood. With what it feels like, being lumbered with all of these adult decisions makes us question our identity and what we really want?

The feelings of trying to find our identity while being placed in the middle of crossroads with two signs directing us either right: the route to what we want, or left: trying to pair ourselves with familial or society’s expectations, we are left uncertain of what we want. Ironic, isn’t it?!  This reflection has enabled me to reach out and bypass both expectations, conclude what I want and how I will get there. People may achieve this in different ways, but I did this by shutting myself away for a week (I think I went out twice), using social media less, thinking more and talking less and lastly, cutting all forms of communication with practically everyone I know. Although this was hard at first, I really did feel a sense of accomplishment and peace – it was a time when I could just think and do nothing, or feel no obligations to make any decisions.

The last part of that sentence is probably the most important thing within this blog post: not feeling rushed or obligated to make decisions. My own experience, as well as my peers, tells me that the only thing we have been told to do, on top of all of these other expectations is to make rash and quick decisions. I think that today, while waiting to send off my UCAS application, I realised what a great mistake I was going to make, all because I have had this immense feeling of having to send off my application because people have already been getting offers. If I am not 100% sure of what I want to do, why should I give in to the pressure of someone else thinking they know what I should do, or want they want me to do? It may sound confusing but it does make sense…

Simply, do what you want to do, whether you are decided, undecided or do not know at all! Life is about learning new things and progressing as people (well, that’s my interpretation anyway). I hope this blog restored your faith in feeling alone in not knowing what to do, finding who you are, what you want to be and your actions… It is normal to be unsure, uncertain, confused or frankly, not bothered (although I wouldn’t encourage that with college because those “specialist” tutors will nag you forever).

It is going to be so  E A S Y  for people to say, “Oh Habibah knows what she wants, she’s always getting such and such grades and has blah blah blah”. Nope, I also go through chronic moments of doubt, being scared and surprisingly, not confident inside about my decisions. We all do… It’s a part of being human!

Anyway, I hope you liked this post, despite it sounding somewhat (if not all) crazy, nonsensical and ridiculous. I wanted to do something a little less formal, political and academic.

Hope you have had a wonderful half term and will have a more fantastic Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas! Most importantly, a very Happy New Year because 2016 was a whole load of _________ (insert bad word here).



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