I was inspired to write this after reading a post by fellow blogger Thoughts From Jasmine. Check out her blog, she has loads of great stuff on there!
I’ve been studying for the past 8-9 years and during all that time I’ve worked as well. I had no choice; I couldn’t afford to study unless I worked. Needless to say it’s been stressful at times, spinning multiple plates!
I’m in the last year of my doctorate, due to finish in May 2018. Maybe I’ll finish early, which would be amazing, but now I’m on the ‘home stretch’ I’m starting to consider ‘what next?’
What won’t happen after graduation?
After I’ve donned my floppy hat and flowing gown, had a few glasses of bubbly and celebrated with family and friends, I’m sure there’ll be a huge sigh of relief. Education has been a huge part of my life for so long and now I’m ready to ‘just work’.
So, first thing’s first, what definitely won’t be happening next is me enrolling on another academic course. No way! I’m done with writing essays and spending my spare time on Google Scholar looking up references for papers. I’ve done my time in the world of academia and want to be able to come home and spend my time on other things.
So what does happen next?
The problem is, I really don’t know what I want to do next. I don’t even know if I want to work in the field I’m currently training in. It’s not to say I don’t enjoy what I do, because I love being in a role where I have the opportunity to make a real difference. I just feel quite lost at the moment.
I can’t even say I’m at a crossroads, because being at a crossroads would imply that on the sign are printed the possible directions/options I could take. However, my sign is currently blank!
I’m the sort of person who likes to plan. I like to have a clear idea set out in my head of what comes next. Normally my ‘crossroad sign’ would have a number of different options all lined up, from which I could choose.
At the moment, there is no ‘next’, there is nothing, and that’s quite daunting. However, it’s also quite exciting.
Embracing the unknown
Having been the queen of ‘certainty’ for so many years, this ‘not knowing’ could be a great experience for me. It could really help me to embrace the unknown, to not make any plans, and to see how life pans out.
I’m not saying that, now and again, I won’t be hit with waves of panic about what on earth I’m going to do once I’ve finished university. However, I’m finding that I’m able to talk myself round more and say “Let’s see what happens”, which is a huge step for me.
After all, who knows what will happen in between now and May 2018. A year is a long time and all sorts of opportunities might present themselves. I’ll just have keep my eyes peeled for the signs!
Do you like certainty, or are you happy to go with the flow??