If you’re feeling like a failure, you should know you’re not alone

Are you feeling alone or powerless maybe a total failure? Then you should know you’re not alone.

I grew up in a working family. Money was always the problem. To be successful and save me, I had to study and, if possible, become a public employee.

I went to one of the good high schools in Bursa. There was a chance for me. Then I got a good score on the university exam. I was able to enter various engineering departments at the best universities in Turkey.

My family had no idea about the departments and their future. I have never had teachers who could guide me. I opened the preference book and saw a section called city planning. At first glance, it seemed interesting and entertaining to me. I could get a job in the public sector and make my family happy.

Then I came to Istanbul. Yıldız technical university, city planning department. Our education was dependent on presentation. We presented our project every week in our project course. I have no problem with them. But we can’t say kind person the people we presented our project.

Every week there was a big pressure. You could be talentless or even stupid. I started wearing a hijab before starting university. And there was an attitude with my professor that if you’re wearing it if you’re going salah in breaks you don’t understand design or whatever.

In addition, in one jury one of my teachers showed my picture that my hair was open. The list of shaming is going on. I worked harder to prove myself. My degree is 3.20/4.00 despite them.

I was exhausted from my final project. I was out of energy. I started to hate my department and my job, the realities of Turkey. I couldn’t change my department because my parents would never approve.

I didn’t know what to do. If you are a city planner in Turkey, it is impossible to work in the public sector without friend a court. I graduated. Due to the pandemic, I returned to my family. There was no job. Besides, I didn’t want to do my job.

I started my master’s degree in one of the best schools in Turkey, maybe because I am biased because of my old school. It just made me see the truth. I don’t want to do this job. No job even if I wanted to.

When you graduate from the best universities in Turkey as an urban planner, the salary you get is the minimum wage. Unless you’re surprised that my family still can’t accept that. They think I went to university for nothing. Because they can earn more by working in a factory than I do.

All of this made me feel so helpless and unsuccessful. Let’s not admit that I still haven’t gotten over this yet, but I’m working on it.

I accepted that I would never get my family’s approval. It’s their problem, not mine. Now I am listening to myself. I know what I want and what I can do, and I am ready to pursue a new career in this direction.

I push myself to improve. I have goals for each day, and I’m moving forward. Writing on Medium is one of those goals because when I start writing, it reminds me of why I started.

With this post, I’m letting go of all the weights of the past. There is only the present and the future. I will continue to work for myself. I will continue to share developments about my career and life here.

I know or want to believe that I am not alone. Together we can stand up. Just having someone like you feel can give you strength. That’s why I want you to know that I am here. You’re not alone.

It’s never too late to be the person you want.



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Merve Yılmaz

Merve Yılmaz

• Urban Planner •MSc student in Urban Planning at Istanbul Technical University