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Graduate Life: One Year On

Friday, 29 July 2016

Hey friends! So it's been just over a year since I graduated from university. It was a huge day for me! I honestly didn't expect to be graduating with a 2:1 and I had no idea really what my future would be. All I knew then was that I was terrified of standing up in front of a crowd of people and that I had to shake some man's hand who had no part in me earning my degree. I knew that my gown didn't fit right and my hat was slightly too big. During the ceremony we had to listen to speeches about our future and how bright they would be after graduating. They almost made it sound easy. 

So what is graduate life like one year on, I hear you ask. I have a story that kind of sums up how I feel about it. I recently met up with some people who I used to work with, and I was asked why I was working in a coffee shop when I had a degree. And I really wasn't sure how to answer. I mumbled something about training to be a manager until I figured out what I really wanted to do. But I didn't have a solid answer. Having had time to think about it I realise that I didn't have to provide an answer. That I could very well have just said "because I am". But I do think this tells you something of what graduate life feels like. If you have graduated from university and not immediately fell into a high-paying career then you're a failure. This is the kind of implicit message you get from a lot of people around you. It feels like most people are wondering what you're doing wrong if you haven't instantly got this great job. And it's a question that rolls around my own head a lot too.

So why am I working in a coffee shop when I have a degree? Because being a graduate does not ensure success. It's an outdated idea that going to university guarantees future success. We have an abundance of graduates and not enough jobs to go around. Given the political climate and the amount of terrible things happening around the world, my priority isn't on getting a graduate job. It's on trying to improve my mental health and make happy memories and make the world feel like a better place than it is right now.

Graduate jobs sound dull and I don't really know anything about them. Matt and I have scrolled endlessly through various graduate jobs and none of them appeal in any way. They sound mind-numbingly boring. I also don't have the right attitude to get one of these jobs. I am not a "go-getter" type person. I am not a lazy person by any accounts. When I work, I work and I throw my entire self into it. I simply don't want to carve a career out of an industry whose only aim is to make money. I want to do something I love. And so for right now, I'll be a graduate who works in a coffee shop. Because I have rent to pay. Because I have things that I want to focus on other than a career. And simply because it's okay.

Thanks for reading!

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