Posts tagged graduation
Posts tagged graduation
This time next week I will have officially graduated from university. Exciting.
Yesterday I told my parents that I’d like them to buy me a one-way ticket to New York for graduation. They asked what I’d do there and I said I’d ‘figure it out’. Suffice to say they were not impressed, but I think it’s a great idea.
Today, in class, discussion turned to graduation and what everyone was planning to do once we’d left. I braced myself, expecting everybody to talk about travelling the world, or going to become an entrepreneur or about just having some sort of plan. And so I was surprised when not one of us had any idea how we were going to spend the next few years of our lives. We bonded over failed job applications and the lack of money to be able to go abroad and it made me feel a lot better about my situation (or lack thereof).
Then our teacher told us a story about a friend he had at university, who dropped out of his law degree, to live with his girlfriend, in the hopes of finding a job that would allow him to utilize his love of alcohol. Through some twist of fate he ended up becoming a top buyer for a London wine seller and lived happily ever after. My teacher’s point was that things will eventually fall into place. Sure you have to put in some work to get you there, but everything happens for a reason and not having a plan is perhaps just as good as having a plan that seems completely set in stone. Because things change, things don’t always go as expected and opportunities can be found in the most unlikely of places. But eventually we’ll get to where we’re supposed to be.
I realise this seems quite idealistic, but it made me feel okay with not knowing what’s going to happen after June.
What are you going to do? The question all students on the verge of graduating, dread. Your heart begins to beat, palms become sweaty. What do you say? Do you say you don’t know or do you tell the truth? I want to be a journalist. Either way it’s met with the same response, a disapproving look that tells you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Well it’s nice you have a dream but are you really being realistic? Great, another student who doesn’t know what they want to do, probably going to stay in university, sponging off the state.
Then there’s the inevitable question. The one that’s asked no matter what answer you gave to the first question; have you thought about teaching/are you going to be a teacher? It really annoys me that people assume that because you have a degree that doesn’t give you a set job at the end of it, then you must want to teach. Don’t get me wrong I like kids; I’m a pretty big kid myself, but to impart wisdom and tell them about the world? I’m not so sure. And then I feel bad. When I laugh and say ‘oh no, I couldn’t teach’, like I’m a terrible person because I don’t want to do it.
And the judgemental looks continue, because I’m definitely not going to get a job now. But what they don’t realise is that becoming and getting a job as a teacher is just as hard as anything else. Schools are closing left, right and centre and I’d say maybe 70% of people I know, graduating this year, are going to do a PGCE next year. Everybody is becoming a teacher and there simply aren’t that many jobs going round. Just like everything else in this economy. But I don’t tell them this, because it isn’t going to make a difference. I realise, I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does. For once I’d like somebody to just say Oh well, that’s good, good luck with it all and not make me feel even more inadequate than I already do.
2010 was an eventful year; I travelled to Spain and America, I turned the big 21 and can officially consider myself an “adult” and I moved home after living away for three years.
Now 2011 is upon us, this is the year that I will do something that scares me more than anything: Graduate. For the first time in my life I will be out of the education “bubble” and into the real world. I’ll have to get a job, become a “grown-up” and the sheltered sanctuary of university will be gone. I’m terrified. Whilst I’ve applied for some graduate programmes and have a few ideas of things I want to do, I don’t have a set plan and that’s what worries me the most – the unknown, that and rejection; The fact that my CV may not be good enough to get a real job and that my time at university will have been for nothing. My dad keeps telling me to stop focusing on what I’m going to do after graduation and focus more on actually graduating with the grades that I want. And whilst I agree that this is the sensible thing to do, it’s still scary to think of finishing in June without having any clue as to how I’m going to spend the rest of my life.
But for now I guess I’m going to try and take his advice and concentrate on doing the best that I can and above all enjoying my last semester, because before we know it, it will all be over. So here’s to 2011, may we have fun, laugh lots and not take things too seriously.