As students in the Loughborough bubble, many of us are guilty of becoming disassociated with the ‘real world.’ As the results from the first semester have been digested and the second semester is underway, contemplations for future endeavours and the pressures that surround them, ensues. So, what’s next?
Get a Job
It is the conventional next step, I suppose. We all hope that it is going to happen eventually, but wrestling with the idea and actively researching options amidst lectures and deadlines takes dedication. Whether or not career goals are already figured out during your studies, pressure remains on our attention capacity for post-graduation plans. We students are often ridiculed for being too laid back because it is after entering the working world that we are forced to grasp the responsibilities that epitomize adulthood. The sense of independence achieved by this post-graduation option, particularly financially, will surely be a rewarding and appealing one. Yet, I fear that the sacrifices required to building that sought-after career will quickly turn our intentions from working for the sake of living, to living for the sake of working. Before we know it, we will be growing nostalgic as we reminisce of those ‘good old days’ at university.
It seems that the thing about academics is that they don’t really fit in. They congregate together (in a manner David Attenborough’s narrative would suit) forming a unique culture and thriving off each other. If the pursuit of knowledge, academic curiosity and desire produce unique and in-depth research appeals to you more than the idea of working for a seemingly arbitrary wage, then abandoning the academic culture is most likely not for you and a post-graduate course is a suitable choice. Often, post-graduate courses are required as a stepping-stone before entering a specific career field, such as doing a PGCE course to become a qualified teacher. Yet, a sincere interest in the subject and the ability to consistently earn strong results at undergraduate level is paramount for choosing a post-graduate course. If you choose one primarily to avoid letting go of the student lifestyle or to offset getting a job, it might warrant a rethink.
Travelling the world is a lifetime desire for many. Choosing to do this immediately after graduating is often encouraged, as it may be one of the best windows of opportunities to do so. Whether it is a detailed plan scheduled to explore a variety of different cultures independently or a spontaneous summer holiday with university friends before branching out towards separate career paths, post-university travelling represents a well-earned celebration and commemorates a farewell to the student life. Either way, it is a perfect way to make all your recently graduated classmates jealous with your photos on facebook as they adjust to the recently employed lifestyle.