Jobs and work experience, Living away from home, Money, Only in Cardiff, Studying, Third year, Travelling

What to do after University? Third year dilemmas.

This week’s blog post is mostly about the future as it’s that time of year where you look forward to the upcoming months and imagine what’s going to happen and how your life is going to change (particularly as a third-year student edging closer and closer to becoming a graduate!)

For me, this time of year where I’m doing work ready to go back to uni and start another crazy semester of lectures, seminars, late library sessions, socials, living with my housemates, and going out. Although I’m only halfway through my third year at Cardiff, and I’ve still got another semester of teaching to go and lots of work to be getting on with, this is a very thought-provoking period time right now. There seems to be a constant question which is festering away in the back of your head which asks ‘what am I going to do after uni finishes?’ I find that as I don’t have a burning desire to go into any particular career field, my idea of what I will do after uni changes with the direction of the wind. Sometimes I think it would be great to stay in Cardiff and carry on living with people I know whilst working, perhaps for the university or for one of the big company headquarters situated in the city centre and lead a somewhat similar life to now. Other times I think I want to throw off the shackles of work for another year and go travelling for a while or go and do a ski season (that’s by far my favourite idea!). Then I come back down to Earth and think maybe I should move home for a while and look for jobs in neighbouring cities such as Birmingham or Leicester as it would give me an opportunity to save up some decent money and set myself up in a better financial position. My older sister is desperate for me to move to London when I finish which throws a spanner in the works. Every time I go to London to see her I have a fantastic time, but I get bogged down with the expense of the city and the rude people, and the constant rat race which is going on there. I feel the debate is between head and heart. Should I follow my heart and spend a year having a bit of harmless fun and enjoying my youth? Or should I press on with the fact that I am a young adult and this is the time to start building up those crucial foundations? What can also be so intimidating about making your mind up about life after uni is the sheer amount of options that you have (talk about first world problems). Having the world as your oyster is a fantastic thing but when you lack strong direction, it can be very confusing. What I certainly don’t want to do is to get back from my summer in Tanzania, and get stuck at home with no idea of what I going to do, then fall into a stale situation which is not helping me move forward. (That’s quite a terrifying thought, to be honest).

I know that those of you who are reading this must think ‘I don’t need to worry about what I’m going to do after uni..that’s ages away!’. I don’t mean to scare you, but NO IT IS NOT! It seems like yesterday that I finished my A-levels, packed up my rucksack and went off around the world on my gap year, and now its 3 and a half years later, that’s a distant memory, I’m about to finish my degree, and it’s all gone by in a flash! What I’m trying to get at is that it’s fine to not have a life plan in place (that’s the way I have lived my life and I like to think I’ve turned out ok), but it is worth thinking about things in life that you might like to do. When I was applying to go to university, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to end up doing for work, so chose a subject which I know would teach me valuable and transferable skills which I could use in a variety of career fields. So my advice is give some decent thought to what you’re going to study at uni, especially if you have no idea what you’re going to move on to afterwards. Pick something you enjoy, have an interest in, and will hopefully give you some transferable skills for the future whilst keeping your options open.

Despite this question being a common subject to talk about with my friends, there does come a point where I take a step back from it all and just think ‘what happens, happens’. You never know who you might meet, what you might find out about, or what opportunity you may stumble upon. As long as I’m happy and moving forward in one way or another, I think that’s all I should wish for right now.

This time next week I’ll have moved back to Cardiff, back in with my girly housemates, and will be (hopefully) continuing working hard for my upcoming exam.

Speak soon x


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