“In London, I was doing a Master’s degree in creative writing, working a part time job, freelancing with one company, and interning with another. Needless to say, I had a lot on my plate. I always had more to do, and getting published was the goal. I began comparing myself to my peers, wondering why they succeeded and I didn’t. I became ill with stress, my hair started falling out, I lost a lot of weight, and I began to say no to social events. I felt I wasn’t getting enough work done, and I couldn’t move home because I feared failure. I was convinced if I did a bit more, then I’d be published. Eventually, I had to weigh the benefits of sticking it out, going bald and maybe getting published, versus going home and starting over again. I had good friends and amazing support from my family. ‘Go home!’ They all said. I quit the jobs, stopped freelancing, and focused on my thesis. I flew home the day after handing it in.

It took me a long time to realise I wasn’t a failure. Recently I saw a TED talk with James Cameron. He said failure is an option; fear isn’t. We learn from what didn’t go accordingly, but we should never be afraid to try. Learn to love the journey and the bumps you encounter. I’m still not published, I haven’t found the ideal job, but I’m trying my best. And calmly this time. Stressing over a career or life plan isn’t worth your health, or your hair.”

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