Top Fives..., Uni Life...

A few thoughts on graduating…

I graduated last week. It was a great day shared with great people and most significantly I didn’t fall over when I walked across the stage. I cannot tell you how many times I had nightmares about falling in front of hundreds of people, I need to get a grip!

Anyways, I’m taking to my blog today to help me process some of the thoughts I’ve had about this whole graduating thing. For the sake of tradition I’ll put them in a nice numbered list although there may or may not be five, we’ll have to wait and see.

1) First off it seems appropriate to say how astoundingly grateful I am to the people who helped me get through four years at university. The Vice-Chancellor of my university asked us, the graduates, all to stand up and applaud our friends and families before we left the ceremony last week and this couldn’t have been more of an appropriate way to end my university career. Particularly in my final year my parents and boyfriend read every single piece of work I handed in. They corrected it, gave advice and generally made me feel like I had a shot at doing ok…which I needed….a lot.

And even if they hadn’t done all that, my parents made it financially possible for me to go and live in America for a year, something I’d been dreaming of for as long as I can remember, and my boyfriend put up with a long distance relationship so that I could go and live that dream. So to them and everyone else who helped out and gave support, thanks guys-you’re the best.

2) My second observation about being a graduate…it’s not actually as scary as I thought. In fact, maybe it’s even a teeny tiny bit exciting. I thought I was the kind of person that needed to know exactly what my next step was because I guess that’s all any of us have ever known until we leave full-time education, but it turns out that I’m kind of ok with not being certain.

3) So here’s something of note. I assume it’s down to the fact that you automatically become a proper adult when you put that gown on and manage not to fall over while crossing a stage wearing heels but I actually do seem to be sorting my life out.

Since leaving Nottingham I’ve applied for several jobs doing really cool things that I actually really want to do. I’ve started selling all my worldly possessions on Amazon (this is a big deal for me, I normally vehemently resist getting rid of anything). I’m reading more and trying to use what limited spare time I do have now that I’m working full-time to do useful, grown up  things like read the news and make my CV look cool. I guess I got used to having a clearly defined goal last year…get that 2.1. Now that I’ve left I need loads of little goals, sitting around watching TV all evening just doesn’t cut it.

4) That kind of brings me onto this blog. I’ve been writing about it in my CV and covering letter but I sometimes imagine potential employers reading it and I wonder what they’d make of it. I guess it’s kind of lost its direction. I’m torn over how I should continue with it but I know that I don’t want to give up on it. My final year at uni confirmed how much I like writing and now that I don’t have essays to write I know that I’ll be craving an outlet every now and then.

I guess the thing I’m unsure about is what I’m trying to make of myself through this blog. On my CV I describe it as a place where I talk about my experiences on my year abroad and what it was like coming back to the UK. Well that just isn’t really the case any more is it? Do I need a clear thesis? Does the top fives thing confuse things? Does it need to be a blog about something other than my life? I’m not sure so I guess the next few months will involve me trying to work out the answers to those questions.

5) Wahoo I made it to number 5. My final thought on my experience since leaving uni is that the pain has most definitely been eased by the discovery that I’m going to be an aunt next January. I suppose if you don’t know me you won’t realise how much of a big deal that is for me. But trust me, I’ve been waiting for this a long time and I couldn’t be happier. That baby is going to be loved so much and I really can’t wait to meet him/her. (I’ve had a fairly convincing dream about it being a boy so I reckon I’m having a nephew).

So there we have it. For now, from the graduate…

My family

My family

 

My American Studies Buddies

My American Studies Buddies

 

And Me!

And Me!

That’s all for now

x

 

Standard
Top Fives..., Uni Life...

My top five reasons you should look forward to graduating…

Hey guys!

Just a quick one today to tell you that I’ve written a top fives for the Nottingham University chapter of Her Campus all about graduating.

You can find it here so give it a read!

Proper post coming in a few days…

That’s all for now

x

Standard
My Future...

Why 30 has to be the new 20 for some of us…

Yesterday I listened to a TED talk by clinical psychologist Meg Jay about “Why 30 is not the new 20”.

Jay wants us to embrace our twenties because they will define our futures. However, I can’t help feeling that this pressure in today’s job market is a little unfair.

My boyfriend has just graduated and I have watched him struggle to find a job over the past few months, sending out hundreds of applications.

And what did he have to show for all this hard work? Two job offers.

He didn’t get a single other response.

Two job offers…that’s pretty good you might think. So where were these jobs then? One was for a part time position stacking shelves at a supermarket chain. The other was for a 3 month unpaid internship at a PR company.

In the end he decided to take the hit of being unpaid and get the experience of working at the PR company. Luckily he’s enjoying it but it finishes in November…then what?

I find it incredibly frustrating that this is the position that bright, hard working graduates from good universities with good degrees are being forced into. Choosing between working in a supermarket where they will gain no valuable experience or working for nothing.

And not only that, but we’re supposed to be grateful that we’re working for nothing, that we’re being given this great opportunity to be exploited.

Maybe I sound a little extreme here but this is by no means an isolated case. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about people having to work far beyond what is reasonable for an intern and yet still going home with nothing at the end of the day but the vague hope that it’ll lead to something better.

And my boyfriend is one of the lucky ones. He is lucky to live close enough to London that he can get an internship in the city and still live at home with his parents. He is lucky that he has managed to get an internship position that he is interested in and where he is able to make connections which might help him in the future. And he is lucky that he even has the luxury to make the decision between a paid and unpaid job, for many graduates the option of working for nothing is out of the question.

So what does this have to do with the TED talk I started off talking about? Jay claims that our twenties are actually “the defining decade of adulthood” which I have nothing against in principle. What I do have a problem with is that there are thousands of twentysomethings who are unable to use their twenties to define their lives in terms of a career because they are unable to find or to afford to have the career they want.

I have nothing against working hard but the fact that we have no choice but to do it for nothing seems horribly unfair. If I had it my way companies wouldn’t be allowed to have people working for them when they’re not paying them minimum wage or at least giving them the guarantee of a job at the end of it.

I don’t know what will happen when I graduate, maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones. But, to be honest, the future looks kind of bleak.

Here’s the TED talk if you’d like to watch. I like what Jay is saying. I’m just feeling a little disenchanted at the moment.


That’s all for now

x

Standard
Uni Life...

My top five things about going back to university…

Oh the way I clap my hands together with glee when a Daily Prompt lends itself to me hauling something out of my drafts where it has been sitting waiting for the perfect moment to shine…or just get published, can’t guarantee the shining. After yesterday’s thoughts on giving up, I’m back to a good old top five, I can practically hear you all cheering! Number 5 has been waiting in my drafts as a kind of independent thought missing a top fives to fit into.

So lovely people, today it is my (and WordPress Daily Post‘s) desire that I write about going back to ‘school’, which is what these crazy Americans still call it even when you’re clearly years past school and are actually at UNIVERSITY.

1) I get to live all by myself again

Well by myself with three other people. What I really mean is I get to live with the absence of any of those pesky grown-ups. Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite enjoy living with my parents in a lot of ways. I get cooked for, I get my laundry done, I get to watch endless episodes of House with them…it’s a pretty sweet deal. Still though, there’s a weird, prematurely old, part of me that kind of likes doing all that stuff for myself just a little bit. I love cooking and I find tidying oddly satisfying. Point this out to me in a few months time when I’m eyeballs deep in coursework and haven’t eaten anything but chocolate in a week or am on my last pair of clean underwear and I may punch you in the face for reminding me of my naivety, but for now I’m kind of excited.

2) I’m going back to Nottingham

Nottingham is one of my favourite places in the world. To the outsider it may seem like nothing special, just a regular city you might say, but being at university there has been a great experience. I’ve had two of the best years of my life in Nottingham and I have every faith that next year will be just as good.

University of Nottingham campus

3) I get to see my old friends

Many of the people who I was closest to in my first two years at Nottingham graduated this year and I know that being there without them will be hard. They are the reason those first two years were so special and living it without them seems almost wrong to me. On the other hand, there was a good sized handful of people who went on a year abroad and will be back this September. I can’t wait to see them. Being back in Nottingham is going to be different and maybe a bit scary at first, but it’s also going to be fun. There’s no denying that a year abroad is a life changing experience and I’m eager to see how the year has changed the people that are left.

4) I’m graduating

Except apparently it’s against health and safety to throw your hat…i’m definitely doing it anyway

It’s weird and exciting and oh so very, very, very scary to think of myself as being a graduate. I’ve seen how hard it’s been for some of my friends to find graduate jobs and that’s freaked me but it’s also inspired me to try and get my shit together this year so that there’s at least a chance I can get a job at the end of it. And regardless of all that I’m excited to wear a gown and a cool hat and officially have a degree if nothing else!

5) I get to be a student for one more year

So before all that graduating nonsense I get one more year of being irresponsible and having fun (not to say you can’t have fun when you’re a graduate…I’m fairly sure adults still have fun despite what they try and tell you). Being a student is a weird time, you’re kind of stuck in this in between stage where you’re officially an adult and can do all the things you spent your teenage years wishing you were old enough to do and yet no one really expects you to behave like a proper adult yet. A lot of us are still heavily supported by our parents, there’s very little judgement over getting horribly drunk and embarrassing ourselves and although there is much talk of our futures they still very much seem (for me anyway) like an abstract idea which we’ll deal with at a later date. For me at least, being a student feels like an extra stage of life which should be added on between teenagehood and adulthood, where you’re just not quite a real grown up person yet. And I get that for another year. Yay for that.

That’s all for now

x

More Daily Posts

  1. Belgorod, Russia from the air balloon. June 2013 | Bright Moments Catcher
  2. Raindrops on the grass | Bright Moments Catcher
  3. Every single day | The Magic Black Book
  4. Sunday trip to Hotmyzhsk of Belgorod Region, Russia. October 23, 2011 | Agrifun.com
  5. Rural Russia. Be my guest! | Bright Moments Catcher
  6. Bzebza follows Russian traditions | Bright Moments Catcher
  7. Who is Bzebza? | Bright Moments Catcher
  8. Rural Russia. Time | Bright Moments Catcher
  9. Rural Russia. Posing | Bright Moments Catcher
  10. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Under the Monkey Tree
  11. School again ? | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
  12. Fifteen Credits – 10 signs your teacher is not that good | Geek Ergo Sum
  13. Fifteen Credits: How To Know When You’re A Teacher | suzie81’s Blog
  14. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34
  15. Schooldays | Sue’s Trifles
  16. Spell of the Typical | Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | likereadingontrains
  17. Who Needs a Classroom to Learn? | The Reluctant Journalist
  18. Is School The Best Time of Your Life? | Eat Read Glam
  19. I wish I’d have known | Butterfly Mind
  20. Yes, I do. But No, I don’t. | thoughtsofrkh
  21. Yes I do, No I don’t | thoughtsofrkh
  22. The Uncle Buck School Of Higher Learning | The Jittery Goat
  23. Junior High [Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits] | unknowinglee
  24. Fifteen Credits : Oh le Joli OS ! | Icezine
  25. Prof | clarior e tenebris
  26. Learning | Hope* the happy hugger
  27. Something to fill in. | ayimas
  28. 147. Finishing School | kevindeisher
  29. Anxious to Advance | AstridOxford
  30. To My Six Year Old Nephew As He Starts First Grade | Mind of a Mouse
  31. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | My Atheist Blog
  32. Molly’s Back In School | Molly Greye
  33. Call Me Nerdy (Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits) | Running with Reality
  34. Blue Loft
  35. Learning | Blue Loft
  36. School’s Out Forever… | alienorajt
  37. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | The Land Slide Photography
  38. Step-by-stone-step across the stream at Bishan Park | We Live In A Flat
  39. O-H! | Living Because of EDS
  40. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits or Somewhat Fewer | SERENDIPITY
  41. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  42. duck family (Learning) | photo potpourri
  43. School VS Work from someone who does both : Fifteen Credits | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
  44. Daily Prompt: 15 Credits and all the buzz of school | Pinay New Yorker
  45. Daily Prompt: Learning | A mom’s blog
  46. I miss dad | Life is great
  47. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Everyday Adventures
  48. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Musing Off the Mat
  49. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits « Mama Bear Musings
  50. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Memento Mori
  51. everyday haiku: I can’t believe this | FamousFeline
  52. Listen and Learn | Andante Cantabile
  53. Do I miss school? | My everyday mischiefs~
  54. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits – Here’s To Never Growing Up | LittleMinions
  55. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Ruminations from an Introvert
  56. Daily Prompt; Fifteen Credits | terry1954
  57. The Last 12 Credits | That Socratic Bitch
  58. Daily Post: The Hull-a-hoop Lesson | Slam on the Brakes, Pull Over, Take the Picture
  59. First Day of School | Writing Daily
  60. Friend(zone) Credits | The Nameless One
  61. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits » My Life, My Way, My Words
  62. School For Me | 1000 Words Daily
  63. To be back on campus | tornin2’s Blog
  64. Daily Prompt- The Life of Learning | readingwithafeather
  65. Rant About Public Education (Ranted By a High School Senior) | The Ergot
  66. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits | Let There be Peace on Earth
  67. Nerdy Freshman Ready To Start! (Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits) | College Girl Dai
  68. Dear School, I Miss You | Along Life’s Road
  69. Daily Prompt:Fifteen Credits | Danny James
  70. The Awesome Thing My Team Lead Said to Me Before I Quit My Job | Inkbelle
  71. Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits « The Blogging Path
  72. I am too absolutely BUSY for school | LauGraEva
  73. [Daily Prompt] Learning is Difficult | floatingsheep

 

Standard