So there I was, hanging out my laundry while listening to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’ As you do.
The talented wordsmith that she is, Mariah got me thinking. Was there any particular member of the male species I wanted for Christmas? Negative.
So what did I want?
What do I really want?
Well, I want a career. My dream career.
I’d spent the evening working on a certain graduate scheme application and feeling guilty for not devoting said time to my uni essays. But the trouble is, I’m far more interested in kick-starting my career at the moment. Getting a taste of the real world on my year abroad probably didn’t help either.
I know, I know, I should make the most of my final year as a student.
I know, I have the rest of my life to think about the working world.
And I know, there’s no point applying to anything if I’m not going to graduate with a 2:1.
But, as Mariah says, ‘what more can I do?’ This is where I’m at right now.
I feel like I’ve been building up to this moment my whole life – all the work placements, internships and shadowing; all the time spent imagining my working life; all my goals, aims and dreams of climbing the career ladder once I’ve finished my education.
It’s all about to happen.
And while that is beyond exciting, it’s also super terrifying.
What if it doesn’t turn out the way I’ve always hoped?
One thing I’m stubbornly having to accept is that you can’t plan everything. Whenever I speak to people who are essentially doing one of my dream jobs, they always seem to say, “Well, I actually sort of fell into the job, really.” Which is so unhelpful for an ambitious, enthusiastic, keen-bean kiddo like myself.
And the fact of the matter is, it’s a scaaaary world out there for a grad. (Yes, I know I’m not even a grad yet.)
It’s blimmin’ competitive, particularly in journalism.
As a final year student I’m facing this difficulty of not knowing how to prioritise my life: how do I balance uni work with job applications and working unpaid jobs? Which is the most important?
I’m really not sure, and I keep going through phases.
Even if the majority of final year students weren’t applying for grad schemes and the like, this would be a bloomin’ stressful year.
All. The. Stress.
I can quite foresee having a minor mental breakdown before this year is over, but let’s just push that to one side for now. That’s a whole other blog post really.
Applying for jobs is a big deal.
Sure, I’ve applied for millions of work placements, part-time jobs and internships in my time, but they’re not the same. Nowhere close.
These are actual jobs. In the actual world. Which will be your actual life.
And the reason it’s so scary is that I care so much. I really REALLY want to get something awesome, but – as our mothers have always said – all we can do is our best. (And as usual, they’re totally right.)
But what if my best isn’t good enough? It’d be disappointing. Massively so. But I suppose rejection is a part of life. Oh, we have so many life lessons to learn, fellow young grasshoppers!
And I do believe everything happens for a reason, so there’s something we must all try and remember when things don’t go as planned.
You're probably wondering what my dream career actually is. Well, there isn't just one dream. I have a few. But they're all in a similar ballpark (journalism, I'm looking at you), and I know I'm lucky to even have an inkling as to what I want to do with myself post-graduation.
I do believe this is a fabulously exciting time for all my friends and me though. So many opportunities! The world truly is our oyster!
Buuuut before I can dive headfirst into said oyster I need to finish life in the uni bubble. (Did this ‘under the sea’ metaphor work?)
And on that note, it’s back to the degree.
PS. Father Christmas, I realise you can't actually give me my dream career, so a present or two under the tree will be gratefully received as an alternative.
What do you think about uni and graduate jobs?