Friday, 8 February 2019

Not Having a Plan // Student Life

I was at an event where I was mixing with a bunch of A Level students and telling them all about uni life and what to expect when a girl approached me looking like she had a pretty serious question to ask me. We sat to the side and I told her to ask me anything, and she told me that she was worried that everyone else around her seemed to know what they wanted to do post-graduation, even though they hadn't even begun their degrees. "Is it bad that I don't know what to do after education? When will I absolutely need to know?" She's not even in uni yet and she's already worried and anxious about finishing her degree. Here's the response I gave her and the advice I want to share on here with you.

It's okay to go into something not knowing the outcome

Taking risks or stepping out of your comfort zone will help you to figure out what you can and can't do well and what you do or don't enjoy. This even applies to choosing a degree subject or a job. It isn't a case of 'choose this and stick with it forever' and you won't know you enjoy it unless you give it a go. Some people around me have switched degrees and others have stuck with theirs. Some people have gone into a job thinking they would hate it and ended up loving it, others have had the opposite happen to them. A lot of what we do is trial and error, and you won't know whether something works for you unless you give it a try.

We all change our minds 

The chances are that a lot of the people around you who are completely certain of what they want to do will end up changing their minds. As a psychology student, I started out wanting to work as a forensic psychologist and now i'm going into marketing as my career of choice. I have a friend who started out wanting to be a clinical psychologist and now she's set to become a teacher. Some people change their minds later in life and leave their long-time career to pursue something new. Nothing is set and nobody's plans are set. The fact that you don't have a plan will change before you know it, and then your new plan can change too.

University will introduce you to new avenues you hadn't even considered before

Don't have a plan now? You probably will have one after some time in university. Try out all sorts of new things in university. It's the best place to do this! Join societies, get involved and take up opportunities even if you're unsure of whether they are for you. I decided to volunteer as a Welcome Hero at the start of my second year, which basically meant that throughout freshers' week I accompanied new students on trips around the area, I volunteered at the freshers' fair, and I spent a lot of time standing outside the Students' Union with a big arrow pointing people to events. I loved the buzz of Welcome Week so much that when the opportunity for a summer internship involving preparations for Welcome Week came up, I applied straight away and ended up getting a paid internship for the whole summer working in marketing for Welcome Week, as well as marketing for other aspects of the uni. I loved it so much that i'm now pursuing marketing as a career, something I hadn't even considered before! To cut a long story short, your 'plan' can come at the most unexpected of times, so just take up opportunities where you see them and you never know what might happen!

Sidenote - taking up these opportunities will also look fab on your CV, whatever you decide to do!

Do you have a plan? How has your plan changed?x

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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