I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a very happy new year! In the Mayan history (yes, I’m really going for this…) end of a calendar doesn’t predict end of the world, but predicts big changes, so I pronounce the year of 2013, the Year of Change. Let’s all take this opportunity to, for once, stick to our new year’s resolution, and prepare for things to be different.
But let’s get to the point. I am a final year student and overall I love the experience of University. But it doesn’t last forever. University, in a way, does prepare you for what’s waiting for you out there in the real world – especially if you’re studying for a degree that will closely relate to your career. Career advisers will help you explore your options. They will tell you that, nowadays, you can’t get far with just a degree – you also need relevant experience or volunteering. What they don’t tell you is when to take action.
I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do after I graduate. But the reality is that it was only recently that I decided on my career path. I would like use my passion for psychology to work with mentally disordered offenders. What does this mean for me? Further studies. At least to a Doctoral level.
So I know where I want to get, but how do I actually get there? What do I do when I graduate? Do I go on to do a Master’s course that’s designed exactly for what I want to do, but is very competitive? What if I don’t get in? Do I apply for another course? Or do I forget about the Masters and apply for a Doctorate straight away? Or maybe I take a gap year (or two) and work to get more experience?
I’m a third year student, with all these ideas and options; having missed one application deadline, with another approaching soon, where I will have to fill out an extensive application, on top of my dissertation and coursework and exam revision.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is okay to go to University without knowing what your next big step will be, but it is worth to start thinking about your future career early enough to meet all the deadlines. And no-one will tell you when to do that. It is in your best interest to figure out when that time comes. So, all future 3rd Years – make a mental note of this. Think in advance. Get that relevant experience. This is your future and nobody else’s.