Column: JUST DO IT

By Maria Mellor

Okay it’s time to talk scary. Getting a job, finding what you’re going to do with your life and all that jazz – it’s terrifying. I seem to have this permanent lump somewhere between my throat worrying that I’ll never get a real job, never get what I want in life and wake up one day to find that my degree is useless and I’ve got nothing to show but hours logged on watching Netflix.

We all know what we’ve got to do. Get off our asses. The only issue is that it’s so much easier said than done. I mean who wouldn’t prefer spending an extra few hours in bed in the mornings to facing the cold Cardiff winds. I’m not just talking about applying for jobs or going to the library. But, joining societies, meeting people, going shopping or even going to YOLO at the union every once in awhile. If you stay in your room, declining invitations you’re only going to get sad and lonely. (Sorry to be brutal but you know it’s true!)

But what if you’re not good enough? What if you’re no good at making friends? These doubts plague EVERYONE. Everyone gets a little nervous before a party or when going to a society meeting. Though just think how much fun it’ll be. You could have the best night of your life!

If there’s even one tiny part of you that wants to do something, take a chance. What’s the worst that could happen?

Okay, so I’ve had a few failed ventures – the short horror film that is laughably crap, the several blogs where I got one or two posts before I got bored, but failure is a necessary step on the path to success. We all fail, but we’ll never succeed without trying.

Have you ever not talked to someone because you were too shy or too nervous? That happened to me a couple of years ago with Kenneth Branagh. KENNETH BRANAGH. I could have talked to Gilderoy Lockhart if I hadn’t been such a bloody chicken! I’ll undoubtedly regret that for years to come, but now whenever I’m nervous about doing something I want to do, I just think of the fact that I could have met actual Kenneth Branagh, sending me marching headfirst into whatever I’m scared of. Even if it’s not a celebrity you want to talk to. Might just be a girl in your seminar who has nice hair or a guy you fancy, you might as well go for it. Take a chance and possibly make a friend.

Now for the real talk: job interviews. There’s not one person who doesn’t get even a little nervous before an interview. You’ve just got to relax and remember that you have nothing to lose if you don’t get the job. You can’t get MORE unemployed! There are loads of jobs out there and who knows, if you don’t get one job, maybe it’s destiny’s way of telling you that there’s a better one out there. Apply for things, take risks! Even if you’re not 100% sure you want the job, it’s better to interview and end up declining a job offer than to have no job at all. Even a job in your local shop could turn out to be worthwhile, as long as you can make friends with your co-workers and earn a bit of cash.

What if there’s someone better than you? Someone who has better ideas or better grades. You know what, it doesn’t matter! It really doesn’t. It may sound like I’m just talking a load of guff, but I wish someone had slapped me round the face sooner and said this exact thing to me. Last year I applied to be Social Media Editor for Gair Rhydd. Then, I had no interest in going into journalism in the future and basically just applied on a whim. Much to my surprise I got the job and I can honestly say it was the best thing that has happened to me in my time at university. I’ve had some amazing opportunities, met some amazing people and made some great friends. You probably don’t care about my life story, but my point is that great things can come from unexpected places. Go for it. Say yes. I believe in you and all you have to do is believe in yourself. If no one is hiring you, try and look back at what you could have done better and persevere.

You may think it’s weird, but to be a success you have to look at how others are doing. If someone in your field is doing something better than you, you have to see what they’re doing and try and do it better. Say you want to be a YouTuber; you need to watch other YouTubers to see what makes them successful, and use elements of it in your own videos. There’s no such thing as true originality and it’ll help you massively if you look at other people’s work for inspiration in style and content.

I may not be the best at directing, drawing or even writing. But I’ve found something I enjoy and I’m going to stick with it and work at it. Maybe one day I’ll be making a career out of it. Maybe I’ll get a novel published. If you enjoy something, do it. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. However if you’re not enjoying it because you think you might not be good enough then you need to find a way to quieten the voices inside your head telling you to stop and work hard to BE the best. In the wise words of Shia Labeouf: “don’t let your dreams be dreams. Just DO IT.”