Tuesday, 27 May 2014

School, university, what next?

So it's about that time again when I stroke my metaphorical beard (I've been trying to do a Conchita for weeks and I just can't) and write on the Rags of Love drawing board: 'Make a regular feature.' Many 'regular features' before this have crashed and burned in the space of a single post, but now that I'm free of all academic responsibilities I'm going to do my best to make it work, and bring a bit of blimmin' discipline to this goddamn place. It might not be as engaging as me squinting in an elaborately patterned dress but it'll have to do. I'm going to allocate a weekly place where I talk about ~deep~ topics such as confidence, anxiety and updates on life, all accompanied with an aggressively edited selfie. In this one I'm going to talk about my thoughts on finishing university. Right, and on we go...
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What did university teach me? Well, it actually taught me some valuable lessons, including not to put a carton of soup in a microwave unless you want it to go up in flames, that throwing a bottle of lambrini is someone's face is not the way to settle an argument (disclaimer: this was not me), and that my mum had actually been doing the washing up for the last 18 years of my life and not a team of highly efficient but elusive house elves. Oh, and also, a little bit about poetry, theory and a few books.

I guess my point is that university was not so much an academic venture for me. I had come out of A levels, fresh faced and ready for a career in being all academic and clever and stuff, and now, aged 21, I've realised that despite its pulls, academia just isn't the thing that is going to make me want to get out of bed in the morning (before 11:30 anyway).

And now I've been thrown out on to the graduate job market, a pessimistic outlook of Dickensian proportions telling nightmare stories of an average of 3 million applications per job, and that was just to work in Starbucks. Some students have been able to rather more comfortably slot into a new career path such as teaching or a masters, but neither seemed like the place for me, which of course leaves me feeling just a little bit uncertain.

But there's something I like about that. It's only been now that I've not had that feeling of comfort and certainty in school or higher education, and the rest of my life has been laid out in front of me with a fair few questions to be answered and problems to be overcome, but hell, it's exciting. I haven't felt this excited about life in a long old while.

University gave me crucial social and living skills, and I need it to keep it at the front of my mind that I am so incredibly lucky to have been able to attend university, but it was not always an easy time and I often felt frustrated that I wasn't really able to go and pursue lots of the hobbies that I'd always wanted to.

I'm fully aware that there might be a fair few months of depressing unemployment and many many episodes of Jeremy Kyle, but I'm hoping with my new found knowledge of myself and this new manifestation called life that I'll be able to make the most the post graduate slump, maybe even do something, maybe even make things. Now that's an exciting thought to me.

Have any of you recently graduated? What were your thoughts on your uni experience, do you think it was worth it or could you have done without? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

24 comments :

  1. This was such a lovely blog post to read, I think most of us treat education like a safety blanket and never want to let it go x
    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Taylor! I think that's very true haha xx

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  2. I'm currently sitting looking at jobs (or attempting to) and having a mass panic about how i've no idea what to do with a fine art degree (assuming i graduate)

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    1. Oh no! Good luck with it Alice, and don't panic too much, you'll find something awesome I'm sure!

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  3. I'm about to graduate too, whilst most of my friends are getting/stressing about grad jobs all I can think about is travel plans!! We're finally free from education I guess! :)

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    1. I'd love to travel, I do actually think it's a good option before settling into work, hope you have an amazing time travelling! xx

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  4. I really really enjoyed reading this! I myself, still have one year of university to go. Uni has been a great experience and I have learn't so much, but like you, this was more in relation to life in general rather than my degree! I have been lucky enough to get an internship that has turned into work, and I am really enjoying it..but I feel like I learn more there each day than I do at uni. Nevertheless uni has been a great time in my life. The people I have met and things I have done have made all those late night essay struggles worth it!
    Looking forward to some more of your posts like this! Stay beautiful x
    poundingyounghearts.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah thank you Hannah this is such a lovely comment to receive. It sounds like you've found a career path that is totally ideal with you and you're lucky to do that whilst still in uni! I think overall uni is certainly worth it, I feel like a completely different person xx

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  5. XD "before 11:30 anyway" - girl we are so on the same page on this it is incredible.
    Very interesting post. I truly enjoyed reading it.

    Love from Canada
    ❤anamascara.blogspot.com❤

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    1. Thank you for commenting Anna, I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! I'm glad it's not just me haha xx

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  6. I had literally NO IDEA what I was doing when I finished but the whole May - September period of that year was the best and most formative of my life :). I've been thinking of writing a reflective uni post as it's two years since I've graduated this year but I think it would just look so boring seeing as I'm so tragically old and far away from when I finished (sigh) xxx

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    1. Ah Laila that is really comforting to hear :) I'd love to read a uni post from you! You're really articulate so I can imagine it would be awesome. Your life seems really fun so I could definitely aspire to that :D xx

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  7. I really enjoyed reading this post!

    I graduate next year but feel so lost and confused about the future - your optimism and excitement is motivating me to see the bright side of job-hunting after university. Sometimes I suppose seeing graduates being unemployed while others do astoundingly well can really put us off but I will try and see the positives that university has given us!

    Thanks and good luck for the future!
    Don't forget to have fun while you're finding your future career! :D

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    1. Hey Yinyin thanks for commenting, I'm glad to hear you found my post even slightly motivational! Sometimes I think it can really be luck of the draw, it's hard not to compare yourself to others but it's important to keep your own goals in mind above anything else. Best of luck with the job hunt, and same to you about having fun! xx

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  8. Congrats on graduating Bel! I graduated from my philosophy degree almost a year ago, and this year has without a doubt been the weirdest. I knew I didn't want to go straight into a masters (although I'm starting one in september) or teach, or try out for a grad scheme, but I didn't really know what else to do. I've spent this year living at home, whilst almost all of my friends live in London and hang out together. That has been hard. I've just been in and out of temporary shop jobs, admin jobs and internships. Although this year hasn't been succesful for me career wise, I was so ready for the break from academia, and there's a lot to be said for having the freedom to try things out, do nothing, and live without a "plan" for a little while. What I've learnt this year is that a job doesn't define you, and it's okay to not be "succesful" straight away. There's too much pressure to go straight into a high-flying career straight out of uni, but you have your whole life to find your dream job, there's no hurry! Sorry for the rambling comment, haha, but I hope this year treats you well :) xx

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    1. Hi Jess,

      Thanks so much for this wonderful comment! I'm sorry to hear your year out wasn't entirely ideal but it looks like things are now improving! I think you're so right, it's so easy to panic that you've not been accepted onto a grad scheme or something like that but you really do have time and it's a good time to start doing things that you've always wanted to do, such as you opening your gorgeous shop! Best of luck with the masters, and thanks for your well wishes, made my day :) xx

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  9. Eeee the Conchita part had me giggling away there! Brilliant! ;)
    I loved this post Bel! I've literally just finished Uni this week for good and I had a very stressful 2 months and to be honest I know people say "ooh the real world, its scary bla bla bla" I've actually came out of Uni feeling the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. I'm lucky I have worked whilst at Uni anyway so I had a job waiting for me albeit not in what I studied but I like my job and the people I work with so I enjoy it non the less :) the job stuff aside though, I know it is soooo cheesy but I really do feel like the 'world is my oyster' now, being able to take up hobbies again or even simply reading a book without a sense of guilt for not using that time to work, I agree coming out of Uni is exciting because there's so many routes people can take. Personally I don't want to commit to a full-time job right now (my part-time job pretty much has me working everyday anyway!) as I just want to take some time out to relax and enjoy some free time, we've been in education since we were little and this is the first time in our lives where we don't have to have everything planned out, we can go at our own paces and enjoy it! :D

    apologies for this dissertation of a comment haha, can you tell I'm happy to be done with Uni? ;)
    I love this post series idea of discussing certain topics, I look forward to the next one :D
    www.violetdaffodils.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Kate!
      I'm so glad to hear that you feel the same in terms of being able to have some free time and enjoy your hobbies again! The job situation sounds totally excellent, it must feel lovely to feel secure. I don't blame you for being happy to have finished uni, the world really is your oyster (that's a lovely phrase!) xx

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  10. Ugh I totally know what you mean. I finished in April and the last couple of months I've been thinking about the future and what I'm going to do. I'm still kind of deciding what I'm going to do, but I managed to get a a role helping on a project at the Arts Research Center at QM and hopefully that will get me more settled in what I want to do.

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    1. Oh awesome, that sounds like an amazing opportunity! Thanks so much for your comment Jaye and best of luck in the future! xx

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  11. Hey Bell! Aww sounds like you had a fab time at uni and your right getting to know yourself better is one of the best parts! Sounds exciting not sure what lies ahead and I hope you enjoy pottering with different career ideas till you find something you love! Be interested to hear your journey! @rose_bud_annie xxxx

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If you want to continue the conversation, tweet me @thebelphoebejar

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