As I approach my 21st birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future: I’m in my last year of university, and in a global pandemic – a combination I never saw coming. There’s always this pressure from adults around you as you approach the big 2-1, and even more so in your final year, to know what you’re doing next – I think a lot of us can relate. I received this question back in February, but now feels like the right time to answer it.
Being in a pandemic has made this process a lot harder: this wave of thoughts going “I need to find a job” or “I need a plan” has been plummeted by “there’s hardly any jobs around”, or “a lot of graduate schemes are closed”, or “I’m battling the job market with people with 5 plus years experience in my field as they’ve lost their job too”. I can safely say I’ve spent the new year and onwards prowling the internet for opportunities, and something that really clicks with me.
I know I’m not alone in this: I have friends in the same position as me, many of which are looking at internships or Masters (and some which have secured some – congrats!) It’s difficult when people ask you “what’s next”, because you hardly know yourself. However, even though people ask, I feel people are a lot more sympathetic to the current situation – they understand to an extent the havoc that the pandemic has caused.
So, what is next?
I was stuck between wanting to find a job in writing/blogging/copywriting etc., or teaching. I’m sure you can all guess why I would want to go into the writing field by this blog, but a lot of people probably won’t know why I considered teaching. Teaching has always been something in the back of my mind: one of my first work experience opportunities was in a school, and I just believe that teaching is such an important job – it helps shape our future. I love being around kids, and I’ve always been told by friends and family that I’d make a good teacher, so I guess this stuck with me.
I’m still at university for the moment, and have a couple months until I finish. I’m really going to look back on the fact that I missed almost a year and a half of my university experience as I wasn’t able to go in to all my lessons, and attend events. I won’t dawn on that too much for now, but maybe I’ll write a blog post about it in the future, if you’d like to know my thoughts on the entire situation. I miss university a lot, but it seems that my journey hasn’t quite finished yet. In September, I will be embarking on a teaching journey – I will be training for a PGCE and QTS within a primary school, with some lessons at my undergraduate university. Whilst this was always a journey I had considered, applying was not easy. I am also doing this with a tuition fee, like my undergraduate course: I will work at the same time as all the salaried options were taken up in October, so whilst this may not be an easy ride, hopefully I’ll get a real taste of the teaching world for the 10 months following. It’s a journey I’m excited to take up, as teaching young children has always been something I wanted to do at some point in my career, and it seems smart to start this journey now. This application journey may also be something I write about soon.
Keeping up this blog and hopefully getting my work out there will also be on my list: it’s going to be a lot of work, but these are my two passions, and I don’t want to give any of them up. Whilst it may take some adjusting to, and maybe some different scheduling hours on the blog front, I’m determined to keep this up, as I love blogging so much.
It’s been such a ride full of stress and anxiety figuring out what I want to do: I worked non-stop for days on end, and felt a massive weight off my shoulders when I finished the process of applying for teaching routes. Before applying for teaching, and in the process of applying, in case I didn’t get the offer, I reached out to different companies. You know what? Not a single response. And I’m okay with that. I’m not ashamed that I put myself out there, and that definitely won’t stop me in the future. I landed the two teaching courses I applied for and I’m beyond proud of myself, because I really worked hard for it.
I want people to know that it’s okay not to have everything figured out. It’s a tough world out there at the moment, and I didn’t have anything figured out until just the other week. It’s okay to try out different things, and you shouldn’t be expected to know exactly what you want from the get-go. Take a minute to enjoy the journey, and visualise what you want for yourself. Follow accounts that post job opportunities for students – I discovered some recently, and will share their posts on my Instagram stories the next time I see them. Also remember we’re in a pandemic – life isn’t going to be a breeze, but there’s an end in sight.
I would love to know what’s next for all of you: leave your thoughts in the comments below x