“And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognize as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save.”

On Tuesday I was woken by the phone ringing. It was a graduate recruiter phoning me back about my recent interview. I listened half-heartedly, waiting for the “however” to drop after the thank you for your time‘s and it was very competitive pleasantries. I bolted up right, suddenly awake, when the however never came. Instead-

I got the job.

I have a job!

I didn’t know what to say. The rest of the call passed in a blur. After the phonecall I sat there for a moment, wondering if I was really awake. Then I promptly started calling all my family – my sister, my father, my mother. I couldn’t believe it. I think even they didn’t quite believe it. They were as shocked as I was, but also as happy and proud. My sister was practically ultrasonic so she was so happy for me. It felt good to make my family proud. I had to go into university after that and I could hardly concentrate. I knew I had to. That I had to really get stuck into my work now. Because the job comes with one condition – that I get a 2:1 degree class. Which is something I am working towards, but I still feel very pressured now. I cannot slip up. This is a once in the lifetime opportunity, hanging in the balance. Just a little mistake, just a tiny slip in my grades, could mean I lose this, this amazing gift that I’ve been given.

And I’ve not been good this year. I’ve been depressed over job hunting – I had 15 job rejections, including 4 failed interviews, before I got this. I am struggling with my project. I am tired, I cannot sleep and keep missing lectures because I struggle to wake up in the mornings after a whole night of tossing and turning and fretting. I haven’t been working as hard as I should have. I have been struggling to concentrate. I am stressed, with so many difficult projects to tackle and exams to work for, on top of the stress of job hunting that I had. (Had!)

I try to reassure myself. I’ve come this far, I’ve only got a little longer to go. I can do this. But on Tuesday evening, after I had calmed down and thought it all through, I realised I was afraid. I had to take a couple of my anxiety pills – even though I was just sitting at home. Because I was freaking out. It really sunk in that this was it – this was the last crucial year, this was all I had left, and then I am going to be thrown out into the real world. I’ve got to live by myself in a new city and I will have to drive to work and then I will have to work from 8am to 5pm and study for my engineering chartership in my free time—

I am going to be earning money for the first time in my life. I’m going to be able to buy you things for once! I told my sister, ecstatic at the thought. All I want to do is be able to pay my own bills and treat my family occasionally. And I will. But I’m going to have to work like crazy for that money. And—

This is terrifying. I’m so happy, so relieved to have made it, so shocked and unbelievably grateful. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted, and it’s so close to being mine. I am terrified of losing it.

But let’s end this on a positive. 5 years ago I failed my A levels after years after struggling with depression. My teachers, my parents told me I would never be an engineer, they asked me with concern what I was planning on doing with my future. University’s turned me away. I did not listen and I fought for what I wanted, fought to believe that I was capable of more. I snuck into an engineering foundation year through clearing and worked like crazy to get into an electrical engineering course.

5 years later, I’m about to graduate with an integrated masters in electrical engineering and enter a competitive engineering graduate development scheme in my chosen field. I will be working towards becoming a chartered electrical engineer. I’m going to be living in a great city – one of my favourites! And I will get to stay in the North of England and near the Peak District just like I wanted to. I will be close to my family. I will have financial stability.

I do feel a little bit awesome. I tell myself not to, not to jinx it! But hell with it, I did it. I really did it!