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.