Who do you want to be?

March 7, 2013 6:51 pm

graduationAs a third-year University student, I am used to my family and friends ask me what I’m ‘going to do’ when I graduate. This question makes my stomach drop. In the past year alone, I have decided that I was going to pursue careers in marketing, nursing, modelling (don’t laugh, we can all dream), management, drama-therapy, psychology…the list is endless. Nursing was the interest I took furthest, undergoing a week long ‘introduction to care’ course which enabled me to work in a nursing home to gain experience. I even went for an interview at my local college to talk about doing a conversion course into nursing. Then, one night as I lay in bed, I suddenly got cold shivers. I realised I wasn’t enjoying the nursing home. I wasn’t good with blood and needles, and I needed to divert my career path.

I panic because I like to have a plan. Not knowing what path I am taking troubles me on a daily basis, despite constant assurance that I will ‘find my way’ and ‘not to worry’. It scares me to see so many people leaving university and floating into the first job that comes their way. I feel inadequate without a direction and a focus. I’ve always been a worrier, and seem to feel like I somehow have less to offer to a potential employer than anyone else. This made me think that what I needed was a good look at what I enjoy and what I am good at naturally.

I realised that what I am ‘good at’ has been staring me in the face all along: writing. Poems, articles, stories…I’ve written since I was young, excelling in English Language and Literature due to my analytical mind. I went on to take English Language at college (as well as Geography, but we can forget that one…), and finally decided on English Literature with Drama as my University degree. I love reading and analysing words, and am fanatic about magazines and gossip. The perfect path for me now seems slightly clearer. I am interested in features writing at the moment, sticking my toe into every magazine doorway and trying hard to make myself stand out.

I think the issue is that I, like many, never want to feel like I’m doing the wrong thing in my life. I want to feel happy, successful and settled like everyone I see in their generic instagram pictures, smiling with work friends or relaxing with a glass of wine in their new apartment. It’s about wanting to feel grown up and settled; two things that don’t relate to the University lifestyle, which is more about parties and nocturnal living. Being in the real world seems daunting as there’s no essay deadline; you have to go out there and get your life sorted, by yourself.

My advice to everyone out there who is confused and feels slightly terrified of a world outside of university is to sit down and have a proper think about what you enjoy, what you’re good at and what skills you have. I also suggest asking family and friends what they think your strengths are. It’s important and eye opening to hear what others see in you; skills that you yourself may have overlooked as unimportant. Other than this, it may be a case of trying out a few different things via work experience, much like I did with the Nursing Home. Just remember, things will work themselves out. Try not to lose too much sleep.

Who knows…I might want to be a zoo keeper next week!

  • Bored

    “I’m Meg, I love writing and blogging and am currently in my final year of an English lit degree hoping to get into journalism and features writing…”

    What a pointless article.

    • Marie

      What a pointless comment…you are indeed boring.

    • johngj

      Indeed – who are you? – those of us who relate to this article find it quite interesting.

    • YouAreToLand

      Did you even read the article? You quoted the authors profile? Do you wake up in the morning and think you are an onion? a pointless comment and what a pointless life you must lead….at least the author of this article (which is great btw) is doing something worthwhile…and cares about her future and wants to help others in this situation. Why don’t you go outside and get some sun, you’ll feel better for it. Instead of sitting on your computer and masturbating over pictures of different species of trees. You’re a waste of space.

      Oh, and to the author….insightful and intelligent article. I think you have found your talent. Well done and good luck to you.

  • Meg

    This article clearly shows that I’ve found what I’m good at recently, hence my confident self description which you so kindly quoted. What a sad faceless person who can’t even post as themselves. Have a great day, grumpy!

  • ThomasJ

    I can completely see your point, as a non-university student who has always had his sights set on one particular vocation, only now to find that it’s never going to happen in a million years and is now up a rather smelly creek without a paddle, I commend you for optimism and for leaving your options open.

    Life is going to throw you any number of hurdles, you just need to adjust your run-up.

    Best of luck to you!

  • ThomasJ

    P.S – I am a registered blogger on here but for some reason my details are not being pulled through despite being logged in!

  • HarrietAW

    Great article – I am in the same position as you, just finishing off my third year and heading out into the big bad world. It’s scary but also exciting! And now you’ll have the time to read whatever books you like too, good luck!

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