Thursday, 29 November 2012

A degree of uncertainty

Image source Melanie Toye
It might often feel like you’ll never stop being asked what you want to do when you finish university, like a bad hangover from the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” A lot of students still don’t know and probably won’t until their first forays in the working world. Others may have travelled this path already, discovered what they don’t like and are trying again.

As degrees become more expensive, students feel like they don’t have as much room for trial and error, but it’s still ok to not get things right first time – having the strength to change your course or university shows employers that you are capable of making tough decisions. However dropping out isn’t the only resort. 

Make a list of the things that make you reluctant to face university – if the root cause is a
particular person in your accommodation, course or department there could be a simple and effective solution just waiting for you to discover it by talking to your welfare officer. They will have come across all sorts of issues in the past and will be supportive. If the problem is a person from home or general homesickness this will usually pass with time, but if you feel the matter is reaching a critical point, a counsellor can help you work out the best steps for you.

picture from this blog
Perhaps you are someone who enrolled on a course you are enthusiastic about but the job prospects just don’t measure up. It’s not the end of the world – it’s often far harder to keep up motivation working towards a degree that doesn’t interest you. 

Completing the course doesn’t mean you will be stuck in one vein for the rest of your career; there is a lot of crossover between subject areas in the working world, and seeking to diversify shows individuality. Talk to a careers advisor or your personal tutor, you can even ask them to describe how they came to be in the role they’re in today – everybody’s story is different and there can be many paths to get to the same destination.

While friends and family might chalk your cold feet down to you just needing time to adjust, university is the time of life where you can really start thinking seriously about your personal aims, values and goals, independent to everyone else. Just remember to put things into perspective - these years are just a tiny portion of the long lives ahead of you.

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Read the rest of The Stag Issue 52

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