Thursday, December 1, 2016

Life After An Undergraduate Degree | To Postgrad or Not to Postgrad

Perth WA 6000, Australia
As I wrote in a past post, your twenties can be a real mixed bag of emotions, changes and general what-do-I-do-with-my-life and who-am-I moments. For those of you who, like me, have spent pretty much your whole life in education, life after University may be part and parcel of the general sensation of feeling lost. For as long as I can remember, a large portion of my identity has been the fact that I was a student. So what happens when this is no longer the case?

I have struggled over the past couple of months and feelings of hopelessness were inflated because of unemployment woes (which I wrote about here). Thankfully, I at least have a solid idea of what I don't want to do. That is, I don't wish to pursue a postgraduate degree at this point in time.

Depending on your friendship circle, your experiences on this may differ/have differed from mine. As an ever conscientious student who always strove to do well, making the decision not to return to University for higher study was kind of just...weird. I hate to say it, but for some reason I felt like a failure, a lost cause, like I wasn't using my potential, especially since lecturers and tutors encouraged me to consider further study. These feelings of aimlessness and confusion were compounded by the fact that a lot of my peers are pursuing masters degrees. Even my brother, who for a long while was the 'troubled' child in our family, is set to begin his masters next year. I can't quite explain the feelings of inadequacy and doubt that all this provoked in me. But essentially, I think it's down to the false misconception that you can only be successful if you complete higher studies.

It's been hard to adjust to a life in which formal education no longer plays a part but I'm glad I didn't make the decision to rush into further study. Obviously, for some students, higher education is a necessity for certain careers. And then there are students who do it because they are passionate about academia. But for me personally, I know my decision is the right one because the alternative would see me studying a masters degree simply because I don't have a clear idea of what else to do with my life. I definitely won't rule it out entirely, but for now, I'm glad I realised that doing a masters would've posed as a very costly distraction from my general uncertainties about the future.

There really is no set path in life and definitely no reason to do something just because it may seem the 'done thing' and this stands for going to University at all. For now, I'm going to focus on working, saving, looking out for volunteering opportunities and figuring 'it' all out, whatever 'it' may be. Whether that does end up leading to further studies or not, I feel a lot better knowing that some things just need time and that it's okay to feel lost at times.

If you have any similar experiences, stories or advice I would love to read about them!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

PICA x Pip & Pop | #localloves

Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) is the leading contemporary art gallery in Western Australia. With an ever changing and always engaging program, you never know what you might find upon entering the gorgeous heritage building in Perth's cultural centre.

PICA has showcased some of the best Australian and international visual, performance and interdisciplinary art. However, it was a recent visit that truly blew me away. 

When Happiness Ruled by local artist Pip & Pop, (who I can only imagine to be an all round magical human being) was one of the most visually exquisite exhibitions I have seen. The official program had this to say:

'Pip & Pop is obsessed with representations of paradise, illusion and wish-fulfillment described in folk tales, mythologies and cinema. Her wonderfully immersive and color-saturated dreamscapes draw wide inspiration from the edible fantasy world of Cockaigne, platform video games and Japanese stories of spirits residing within objects and nature'.

A kaleidoscopic landscape consisting kinetic sculptures, coloured sugar and other bits and bobs all doused in glitter captured my wildest imagination.

When Happiness Ruled runs from 12 November - 24 December. Find out more about Pip & Pop here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 05

It has to be said: how crazy is it that we're entering the final month of 2016?! The year started off quite slowly and then just went full speed ahead from June onward. I have no doubt in my mind that these final few weeks will also go by in a flash which, to me, seems an even better reason than any to continue 'Wonderful Wednesday' each week so everything doesn't just become one big blur.

Here are some Wonderful things from the past week
Picking up my brother from the airport My brother and his girlfriend are now home after a whirlwind six weeks spent traveling around Europe. It's kind of weird in a way that he's back, because I don't see him all that often at the best of times. The other day I caught myself wondering what he was getting up to overseas...only to remember he's home. It's just nice knowing he's safe and we can plan a proper catch up, hopefully in the near future! I can't wait to see all his travel photos.

Laughing with my sister I feel so lucky to not only get on with my brother, but to have an even stronger bond with my sister. Life has been stressful for us both of late, especially for her as she's had exams to battle with. While it may seem silly, I love nothing more than getting into hysterics over silly memes with her and performing duets of High School Musical, Hairspray and Chainsmokers' numbers.

Chai almond butter I made this the other day following the recipe from 26 Grains and holy moly, it is just about the most delicious condiment that has ever graced my taste buds. I've been eating it out of the jar, on toast, with fruit and am envisioning it on top of pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup. It is just so damn good.

People in general There's been a countless number of instances lately in which people have been approaching me and saying 'you look familiar'. In each instance, I discovered these people used to frequent the cafe I worked at throughout university. Each person I've come across would always have such lovely things to say about how they really valued the service I gave. It really warmed my heart to know that I could positively affect the people I've come across without even knowing it. It has really helped to perk me up too over periods in which I've felt particularly down. A little kindness goes a long way and I feel more inspired than ever to do my best to make someone's day better.

Perth Upmarket I spent Sunday perusing local businesses with a good friend of mine, feasting on artisan marshmallows and perfectly brewed honey chai. It really got me into the festive mood and I look forward to attending more Christmas markets in December.

 What Wonderful Things have happened to you the past week?

  *Image taken at a new concept store/cafe in Fremantle (aka my fave place)

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