The future is a daunting idea and one which requires a lot of thought. What will we do with ourselves when we ‘grow up’ is a scary and often intimidating topic for many of us. However, it doesn’t have to be. For so many people at Cardiff University and every other university in the UK students are graduating and being flung into the ‘real world’.
Personally, I could not imagine graduating this year. It would feel like my university experience was over far too soon. I am very fortunate to have studied in both Spain and Germany and so I will be graduating next year after another year in Cardiff. I am approaching the end of my time in Germany and I have been pondering future plans. I had to pick our modules to study at Cardiff next year. This includes the possibility of completing a dissertation. It is hard to think about my final year at Cardiff without the worry of what will come after.
But you do not have to know. It is ok to not yet know what you want to do. The aim of a degree or of any sort of education is not only to study the subject you chose but to explore potential career prospects and to find out what you really enjoy and are really passionate about. This is not necessarily going to be related to education. So next year I will be taking part in a module in which I work in a school. This sort of opportunity is fantastic in terms of helping to decide what to do for a career. If I like it maybe I will train as a teacher! Who knows?!
Therefore the future does not have to be daunting but can be exciting. Skills are such an important part of job applications and getting yourself set up for work or further study. However, you are learning so many more skills than you think. For example, my experience of studying abroad has taught me how to live independently and how to become accustomed to an entirely new culture. The prospect of having a full-time job seems very far away. Yet you can pick up skills all through your education to prepare yourself better for this.
A part-time job can also help with knowing what you might want to do in the future. At home, I normally work as a waitress and I have learnt from this job that I wouldn’t want to do a job where I work alone. I love the interaction between colleagues and the supportive environment that creates.
I know that when I was at school the idea of career prospects seemed distant, but it will come around quicker than you think. The best thing to do is to take every opportunity available and to find out what you love to do. School is the perfect place to do this. Best of luck to you all with finding your passion.