Growing up has all been for this moment. The moment when I leave education and enter the big world of work. It is a moment that has always seemed so far into the future but it is now fast approaching. The day I (hopefully..!) get to put on that gown and cap will be one of the proudest moments of my life. There have been plenty of stepbacks so prepare for many photos on Instagram, I’m sure of that. In a matter of months, I will no longer be a student. Instead, for the first time in 18 years, I will be out of education and an actual adult going into my first graduate job. Real life starts here.
There might be hundreds of thousands of people who do this every, single year and are absolutely fine. That doesn’t seem to make it any less daunting every time someone asks me what my plans for the future are though – oh the perks of being in final year hey?! It has got to that stage where each person I speak to has a different view on what my future will look like and what I should do – what a way to make this more confusing.
‘Oh no, don’t do that you’ll get a better experience at xxx’
‘Do this first or you’ll regret it’
‘Don’t go travelling, no one will employ you’
‘Is PR even what you want to do? Have you thought about moving to xxx?’
‘Do / don’t go back to your placement company….’
‘Do you really want to do that?’
‘Are you doing enough to get yourself out there?’
These are genuine conversations I’ve had with people. I’m not going to lie when I say that I am pretty scared at the thought of the future. I have goals of where I want to be but it is paired with a constant fear of what if I don’t get anything? What if after all of this I don’t secure a graduate job? I feel like I have a lot to prove to myself, I have been waiting long enough for this moment.
Each school project, bad day, exam, assignment, blog post and time building on my personal brand has been for now. The hours I’ve invested in myself during the last 18 years of education are all for now. Doing everything I can to make myself ’employable’ and different from all other graduates out there. To show people who I am and what I can do.
I’m one of those people who always needs a plan and a goal and I’ll do everything I can to work towards that. For the first time in my life, I don’t really feel like I’m 100% in control of my future. This could be the self-doubt speaking here because as the months go on from leaving placement, the more I’ve been doubting myself and what I can do. Yesterday, Orlagh posted an almost identical post to this (we seem to be on the same page this week!) expressing the same worries which makes me feel a lot better. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I am going to do to try and achieve what I want (and I will give it everything I’ve got) but I can’t help question each and every decision. Is it the right thing for me? It’s a massive decision to make and I want it to be the right one. We have to be mindful to choose jobs that help us learn and develop in ourselves, doing something we love not necessarily the jobs that are going to make it look like we are living our best life on Instagram. Sad times.
We’ve all been moving towards this point, each year learning something new to get us closer to the job at the end. But will we ever feel prepared for moments like this? Probably not. Would we like to feel more prepared for moments like this? Yes.
The education environment means you are surrounded by other people at the same stage as you which makes it equally as hard. You can’t help but compare yourself constantly. At the end of the day, we are all individuals with different talents and interests and we will all flourish in different environments doing different things. We are in a society where we can receive things or know things instantly and I think it’s weird here to not know or understand where our place is outside the classroom or lecture theatre. Not to know where we fit. It can feel quite overwhelming.
The choices we make now significantly shape our futures. I can’t help but think of where I would have ended up and what my career goals would be if I didn’t go to L’Oréal. Luckily, I loved my internship and that is all I want for the next step. To be happy and content wherever I am, whatever I’m doing.
Back to uni?
I think this is one thing I’m certain on, I’m not going to be returning to University (or for the time being anyway). Whilst it may seem like the easiest option, I feel so ready to move on and use what I’ve learnt to start working towards my dream career.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to see the world. I’ve hardly travelled and I just feel like I need to do something for myself to put things back into perspective before I make the next move. When I say travelling though, I’d love to go for a short while just after finishing my classes in the summer. I’m not putting off a career, just something to squeeze in beforehand! Hopefully, by that point, I will have something lined up (we can hope, anyway!). I’m also going to need money to do this so who knows if it will happen…..I am a poor student after all.
Moving back home?
Whilst I love popping home for the weekend, I just can’t think of moving back home. I’m ready for something new to challenge me and help me grow professionally and personally. I loved being in London so it’s highly likely that is where I will naturally head towards, I really miss it. The excitement, the people and the opportunities. I just don’t see myself back in the town I grew up in full-time (sorry, parents).
As excited as I am for a new challenge, it is kind of daunting that in a matter of months education will be over. No more essays, no more Turnitin and no more Harvard referencing. Its been a massive part of my life. It’s shaped so much of where I am today. I am so ready for something new, to go out and find something that I love, whatever and wherever that is. A brand new chapter of my life.
Who knows what 2019 will bring.