The Expectation of a Graduating Student
It’s mid-May (when I wrote this at least, it’s mid-June now).
It’s been a few weeks since I handed in my final university assignment and as far as social media is concerned I am doing nothing but going out, going to barbecues, travelling, seeing movies, and enjoying the warm weather we’ve been having recently.
I am living my best life, not a care in the world.
Except I do have a care. Many cares in fact.
Like: OH MY ACTUAL GOD UNI IS OVER WHAT ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY LIFE?
I feel like there’s a huge expectation when you leave uni that you have to immediately start applying for graduate jobs.
So many people I know have already gotten job offers and are moving on with their lives, but I’m sat here and I can’t help thinking that’s not what I want AT ALL.
At least not yet.
The thought right now of getting a 9-5 makes my skin crawl.
Not because I’m scared, not because I’m lazy, but because that’s not how I envision my life right now.
I’m creative, I like variety, I like excitement, and I haven’t found a ‘full time’ job in which I feel like I could experience all of those things.
At the moment, I am happiest just creating, building my portfolio, taking photos, teaching myself how to use more advanced Adobe programs.
Is that going to cover my bills? No, but a bar job will, and I just happen to be very close to getting one of those in the city I’m about to be moving to.
I feel like there’s a stigma around it, getting a bar job after uni. I feel like there’s a stigma around it because I can feel me judging myself for it.
But I just can not justify running face first into a job I’m not 100% passionate about just because that’s the expectation.
I didn’t spend three years at university for that. I spent three years at uni learning a craft, honing my skills in writing, photography, video, and audio, and I intend to continue with that.
So it’s the beginning of June.
What is my plan?
Move to Brighton.
Earn some money from bar work.
I know myself very well. I would describe myself as a very self-aware person, and I know that right now I need time. Time to figure out what my next step is, time to figure out who I am as an adult, as a graduate, as a functioning member of society.
I refuse to stumble into a career that I don’t really want in favour of fulfilling some perceived expectation of what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
When I start applying for jobs, it’ll be because they’re in fields that I’m passionate about, for companies I’m passionate about, doing things I am passionate about.
Until then I’m going to breathe. I’m going to tell the judging voice in my head to do one, and I am going to breathe.
Thanks for reading.