WARNING: Shit gets real.
An open letter to anyone who wants to read,
It's a new year, 2014 is well and truly upon us. And, rather than deciding to make new years resolutions which I am never going to stick to I prefer to use January to look back on the year just passed and realise some goals for the future.
This year will see me and my fellow classmates finish our undergraduate degree's and potentially enter the world of 'the professional' but what it certainly means is that I am no longer in any way able to consider myself anything less than an adult. Finishing an undergraduate degree to most people signifies a turning point in life where we leave behind the remnants of our adolescence and become young adults who truly are involved in society. It means really paying tax, contributing to the economy by engaging in a career and some necessary growing up. This prospect, though exiting, utterly terrifies me. Entering the real world means no more "I'll do better next term" promises, it means job responsibility (Hopefully) and personal accountability on a whole new level that quite frankly i'd rather put off for another few years. I feel like the past 3 years have flown by and even though I know that so much about me has changed in those years, I can't help but feel that there should be something else I need to do before I become a 9-5 boffin.
Starting graduate applications has melancholic, thinking that now is the time to begin deciding where I fit in in terms of the world of work and finding myself at a loss. Do I really have the necessary credentials for a £25k+ consultancy job simply because I studied 9 modules on politics? Do I want to get onto a scheme which will result in me being a manager? How do I avoid working a 8-7 shitty minimum wage sales job? That last question is of the greatest concern in my mind. Of course, I know that the phrase "I have learnt invaluable skills during my time at university" is not just home spun gold for cover letters but a truth in it's own right however I do feel like not only a small fish in a big pond but a mediocre tadpole in a fast running stream. The Guardian says that "The amount of vacancies available to graduates increased over 2013, leading to more work opportunities for the coming year." (Pitts, 2014) but I am still skeptical about the likelihood of landing a decent job in the 12 months following graduation - I truly am a pessimist at heart.
Even more than this, I am becoming nostalgic for Aberystwyth before I have even come close to moving back to my hometown. Aberystwyth has been a home to me for the past four years, I've met some of my closest friends there and it will always have a place in my heart. I do think my time is up after this year with Aberystwyth, I mean, a masters here is not even something I'm considering but I know when the day comes that I have to pack up my room I know it'll be emotional.
In an effort to tackle this I have come up with a few short term goals to keep my head from exploding under the change that is about to occur - they might be of some help to you too. One: Focus on getting grades I'm satisfied with in my final term so I can secure a 2:1. It's all well and good me panicking about the stress of the job market but without a satisfactory degree I won't even be considered! Two: Complete at least 2 Graduate applications a week for salaried jobs only. More applications mean more opportunity for interviews! Three: Make the most out of these last 6 months of immaturity where possible and cherish the time left in Aberystwyth! I endeavor to spend my time wisely and keep in high spirits!
Are you feeling any of these emotions right now? I know I can't be the only one.
Pitts, A. "Predictions for the 2014 graduate jobs market: change and opportunity." The Guardian Careers Blog. The Guardian Online, Jan 2014. Accessed Jan 2014 at http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/predictions-2014-graduate-job-change-opportunity