Take Two: The Thoughts of a Second Year Scholarship Kid
I used to be excited about becoming an adult.
I still am, I think. But this excitement has now been coupled with an underlying fear. While I still have a few years to suss out exactly what it is that I want to do after I graduate, 2013 will be my second year of university, which means that I’ll have to start thinking about what I want to major in and the general field that I want to get into.
The summer before starting university, I thought that I knew what I wanted to do in my career. I thought I wanted to work in the film industry as a producer or be involved in marketing for a not-for-profit. A year has passed, and I’ve realised that I don’t actually know. Not for sure, anyway. And that scares me a bit. As someone who always knows what they’re going to order before they even get to a restaurant, this past year has felt like arriving at a restaurant and discovering that the menu has changed.
With the dawning realisation among my friends and I that a university degree does not guarantee you employment upon graduation, our wishful thinking has been slowly replaced by part-time anxiety and full-time self-doubt. Is the degree that we’ve chosen to do relevant, let alone in demand in the market? Will our degree be redundant by the time we graduate? Have we chosen the right degree for ourselves; for our skills, passions, and goals? Is it worth it? Are we good enough? Are we going to have to compromise our goals and tone down our ambitions for the sake of being realistic and making sure that we can actually survive in the Real World? Are we going to be struggling and despondent and full of regret for the rest of our lives!? Just kidding. (Kind of.)
The only way that I can really reconcile this fear is by reassuring myself that whatever is meant to happen will happen, and that all I can do for now is to continue developing the list of things that I know I DO want. At this stage, I know that I want to work for myself one day. I know that I want a job that’s challenging, personally fulfilling, and able to align with my values. I know that I want a job that’s going to allow me to be creative, have flexibility, and work on projects that have far-reaching impacts. I know that I want a job that’s going to give me the opportunity to meet new people, travel to new places, and try new things that are beyond what I believe I’m capable of.
Maybe this is all just another form of wishful thinking, but I’m trying to convince myself that a career built on passion, ‘going with the flow’, and creating opportunities through collaborating with people who love what they do is just as viable and respectable as any other career. I don’t know what I’m going to be interested in in a year, let alone in twenty years from now, so I’m just going to trust my instinct and follow where my interests lay, in the hope that that will be enough.