Stressful. Exciting. Half of the time I am living in blissful ignorance, wine in the sun, meeting friends for brunch at 11am and pretending that student life is not almost over. But then I feel guilty. The rest of my time I’m feeling the pressure. Feeling the judgmental eyes of pensioners claiming it wasn’t as easy as I have it in their day and laughing when I tell them my travel plans. Maybe I do have it easier, but we all have different stories.
I’m not claiming that student life isn’t awesome because it is. And it is an easy life too, to a certain extent; the lengthy holidays, lack of contact hours, cheap drinks – the list goes on. We are all allowed to joke about it, but I do think that sometimes people misunderstand the ease of post graduate life in the job market. I do live a lovely life at the moment but I also work, constantly think about my future career, still have studies going on and with only a month of Uni left (as I’m constantly reminded) I find myself repeatedly answering the question: ‘what’s next?’
Well, lady who’s granddaughter is such a success and walked straight out of uni into a job, it is not always that easy and no I am not going travelling to waste time, find myself, or bum about. I want to be a journalist, a writer, entertain you all with posts like these, give my imprint of thought into the world’s media. I am also just 22 years of age. The pressure to leave university and immediately walk into an amazing job in London which pays phenomenally well is high, but it is also extremely competitive. This does not make university a waste of time, it’s just not how it works.
Having a degree in the industry that I’m entering is necessary and the jobs I’ve researched require one. Many jobs out there do not and for people in those circumstances, university would indeed be a complete waste of time, but for me it certainly wasn’t. I also don’t see the need to completely stress myself out by rushing, strictly planning my life to the year and diving head first into exactly what I want to be doing for the next fifty years of working days, but this doesn’t make me lazy. I visited careers at Uni the other month (amidst high levels of stress) and had a minor breakdown about future plans. The lady was so calming and basically advised me to slow down and chill out! She told me that I probably will come back from travels jobless because jobs don’t often work on a six month in advance basis, but its no problem and there are plenty of options. I am only 22. I keep reminding myself.
Travelling was something that was always in my mind when finishing Uni and I know there are plenty of opportunities to jet off at any age. However, this time in life really is the only time when responsibilities are next to nothing, you have saved enough money and can get away with budget backpackers and sacrificing food for alcohol. SO GO. Yes, I am a little nervous about being alone but as I sat in the chair in STA Travel about to hand away most of my savings on flights alone, I thought to myself – if I don’t do it now, when else will I? GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. So I’m going, and the more I tell people about it the more I get comments back as if I’m not taking life seriously, but I am. It’s something I need to do and I have my career in mind each day that I search travel magazines and think of pitches for articles that I can write during my time away.
As I’ve said, this puts a bit of a spanner in the works on the graduate job front. It will be very rare to find a job advertising now for intake in mid-November and so all I can really do is wait. Nope, man who constantly laughs at my plan and lack of job at the end, it doesn’t mean I’m sitting on my arse doing nothing. Most days I browse sites looking for things I’d like to do, scanning the industry and keeping up to date with developments. Being aware of writing around me and where it has come from. I also write and volunteer for companies, getting feedback on articles on a professional level but I will stop there. I don’t need to explain myself.
Yes I’ve gone to Uni, no I don’t yet have a graduate job lined up but come November I won’t stop until I find my dream. No I’m not saying a degree is everything and there are plenty of other avenues and good on you whoever you are, but for me it was right. For half of my friends and family it was not for them, but for ME it was right. This age is both stressful and exciting whether you’ve been to uni or not and if I’ve learnt anything about this period of life it is the old cliche thing – do what’s right for you and do not listen to those who judge. Whether you went to uni or didn’t, whether you drink alcohol or don’t, if you like dressing up as a bloody unicorn or running the marathon in slippers – do it and do it for you. The people who matter to you the most will support you the whole way and those who don’t can quite frankly do one because there will always be someone judging no matter who you are. Most importantly, keep your head. You’re young so don’t forget to enjoy the amazing years, be excited about your future and don’t let the stress get the better of you (easier said than done, I know!)