Course, Free time, Music, Study

Being Here, Looking Forward

University, like all things, must end. When you’ve developed into the habit of studying and University life, it becomes difficult to imagine what to do next. Long ago I began to plan what I would do after graduation, but now that it is nearly time to make that choice, I’m not so sure what to do anymore!
I had always said I wanted to be a teacher. I might still want to be a teacher one day. However right now I’m not sure I want to spend an entire year teacher training. I think it is something to leave until I can be 100% confident that is what I want to do. That said, I still very much want to teach English abroad, ideally in Japan, in which case I require TEFL certification which would take a year of evening classes at college to complete.I’ve also considered taking a Masters, as it might be beneficial to have a postgraduate certificate and continue to study something of interest to me, but I’m not certain about that, either. I actually feel it is my time to move on.

I realised the mistake I made upon leaving college was to do something ‘just because there was nothing better to do’. I came to university having made no effort to look into my options. As I found out, this method didn’t work, as I ended up in a degree which didn’t suit my style of learning or my interests.It was only after a year’s break from education and some soul searching that I found my way back to University to take American Studies.

I find that whenever I’m at a time of change, I always start to look back. I don’t think this is negative. The reason why I look back is to reassess myself. To remind myself how and why I got here, and to contemplate how much I’ve changed and what I’ve learnt in the meantime.
When I look back at myself from five years ago, even three years ago, I find myself face to face with all the fears I had at that time –  my mind swirling with employment concerns, preconceptions of the world, fears and an overriding feeling of being lost, even trapped. How differently I see myself, and my world, now!

As I approach the final stages of my degree my outlook is filled with many opportunities and ideas which have arisen from the people I have met and the things I have learnt from this university experience. When I walk away from University next year, the most important thing I will take away will not be a scroll. It will be the memories, emotions and life experience locked away in my mind.

So, as much as I look forward to the future, I cannot help but look back. In doing so, I hope to enjoy and appreciate all that university has to offer in my last moments of this journey, though I know that writing my dissertation will be stressful!

Overall, I have been hit by the realisation that once again I may soon face a similar situation to five years ago, and the same old questions are beginning to return: What job do I want? What do I want from life? Where will I be happy?

My time at University may not have answered those questions, but it has given me a better idea of where to look, and higher chances that I will achieve what I want.
But for now I’m happy to enjoy my final few months at University – I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

As always, Jack Johnson has a great song which accompanies the feeling of this post nicely.

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