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29th September 2013

101: Combatting A Young-Life Crisis

Dana Fowles discusses hitting the dreaded third-year crossroads

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? I have just started third year and am incidentally questioning my future. Up until now I have always been one of those annoyingly organised people with a well thought-out life plan. Since sixth form, I have had my sights set on a career in women’s magazines, but now I’m freaking out about committing myself to one industry. Do I want to be a journalist, teacher, author or ball-breaking businesswomen? In other words, I’m having a young life crisis.

I have always loved to write. From the stories and poems of my childhood to my articles for The Mancunion, I have never second guessed that putting pen to paper is what I want to do. The problem is, I don’t know if writing about the latest diet, Kim K dying her hair blonde or Miley Cyrus rubbing her nether regions with a giant foam finger is enough to keep me fulfilled for the rest of my days. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of goss- but in reality, does anyone actually care? At the risk of sounding uncharacteristically pensive, do these articles make a difference to women’s lives, entertainment value aside?

Anyone who has read any of my previous articles will probably be screaming, ‘Hypocrite!’ as we speak. In the past, I’ve predominantly written about my (pretty disastrous) love life. Although these articles have usually been received with a laugh, I can’t imagine me turning men into my full-time career focus. In the words of my A Level History teacher, ‘Girls, we may like a man, we may want a man, but we do not need a man.’ That said, not all women’s glossies are limited to sex tips and new ways to starve ourselves. Take the October issue of GLAMOUR, for instance. There is plenty of career inspiration, from interviews with women who have set up their own successful businesses despite the recession, to tips on how to stay sane while job hunting. So it’s not all bad.

The problem is (and it’s really more of a privilege than a problem) that there are so many opportunities with a degree from UoM. The question is: which path is the right path? I’m hoping that at some point in the year I’ll suddenly have a light bulb moment and everything will become clear. In the meantime, I’m going to try my very best to stop this young life crisis in its tracks. I’m sure that by semester two, it will have been replaced with dissertation dread, but I’m going to try and see my future as exciting rather than daunting. The POA is to carry on writing (just maybe not about members of the opposite sex – boys, you’re safe for now) and getting as much experience in different fields as possible, in the hope that this epiphany is going to happen. Wish me luck!

Dana Fowles

Dana Fowles

TWEETING @DanaFowles By day: Lifestyle editor at The Mancunion, aspiring women’s magazine journalist. By night: Lover of gay men and Canal St, prone to believing I am Beyonce on the d floor (embarrassing).

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