People have this conception that students have it easy, and that frustrates me. Yes, being a first year student I consider was the easy year now that I look back, but at the time it’s a massive transition from high school where the likes of your teachers would hold your hand until you left the nest. University oozes independence, so that in itself can be a shock to the system, it certainly was for my naive little 17 year old self starting university back in 2013. I’m in my final year now, and even after 3 years at university I still have moments when I have no idea how to write an essay, struggle with referencing, and absolutely despise presentations with every ounce of my being. Despite the challenges, university is one of the most socially enhancing, and educationally advantageous experiences I’ve had, and the thought of it coming to an end next year fills me with slight sadness.
I don’t know how many of you can relate to this, probably a good few, regardless of whether you’re in your first or final year of high school, college, or university, we all wonder what the next chapter of our lives will entail. I’m in my Honours year of Psychology, and I graduate in literally 7 months, which is both exciting and terrifying, you could say there’s the concept of ‘fear of the unknown’ because once you graduate, what’s next? There are people who are so set in stone with what their next step in life is and have everything all figured out, but me? I’m still not entirely sure. Right from a young age your constantly bombarded with questions asking you want to be when you grow up, and if I’d have stuck with what I said when I was a little girl it would have been a bus driver, but things change, people change, and I can’t even drive yet so. Questions such as “what are you going to do with your degree?” or “what job are you planning on getting at the end of uni?” are constantly asked, like a record on repeat. To ask someone like me questions like that when I can hardly decide what I want for my dinner on a daily basis proves difficult.
I’ve went through many possible career options in my head, from teacher to psychologist, it’s a constant back and forth. Whilst people in my year are currently applying to further courses or post graduate jobs, I’m sat pondering about the future, wanting to be sure that when I do decide the path I’m going to take, that it’s the right one. I love education, I love learning, and although I moan about it, I enjoy studying so I would love to go on to do a masters degree, but as much as I would love to spend many more years in education I also want to venture out into the real world and gain as much experience as possible, earn a wage and become financially independent. That way if I do decide to do a post graduate degree I can fund it myself without having to rely on the likes of my mum or loans. I’m hoping that something miraculous happens next year in my final semester of my studies, something involving me waking up one morning with the rest of my life planned out, but somehow I think that’s highly unlikely, but that doesn’t worry me.
I don’t know what my exact point was in this post, just literally as the title says…thoughts of a student, well how I think anyway. As I’m getting closer to graduating, questions about the future are constantly springing to mind, but I believe that things will work out the way they’re supposed to. Although there may be times when I have a major breakdown the night before an exam, or simply cannot get my head around an assignment, I know it will all pay off. I may not have a set in stone plan just now, but that could be a good thing? Sometimes the best things that happen are those that are unexpected and unplanned. So if you’re like me and a little unsure of the future and what career path you want to take, don’t let it stop you from doing what you’re doing now, it’s common to be unsure, it’s common to juggle numerous different options. Just work hard and be yourself, and that’ll lead you to your final destination.