After finishing my English degree after three years and awaiting to start my post graduate teaching qualification in the Further Education sector, you would think that I had this all planned out. That I had known from a young age that this was what I was going to end up doing. The truth is since school, I’ve changed my mind so many times that I’ve lost count. You name it, I was going to be a singer, an actor, a writer, back to acting again, working in the health sector, returning to writing again before having random thoughts of doing a psychology degree so I could go into the mental health services. Then finally applying for a teaching qualification last minute.
Obviously, it is quite clear that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do (or be) with my career. One of the contributing factors I think to this ‘issue’ was that there was so many choices, opportunities and things that I could do and become that it was easy for me to get swallowed up. I quite often heard my parents say they wished they had the opportunities I have now especially my dad who now frequently wishes he could have gone to university. Being the first person in my family to go university was a proud moment for myself and having a degree in English is something I’ll always be grateful and thankful for. However, I feel that ever since going to university there has always been that underlying question: ‘What do you want to do after university?’. For most people, an answer rolls straight off the tongue with no hesitation but for people like me who are so indecisive, a casual shrug masks the anxiety and alarm bells that ring.
For some time, I felt really uncomfortable when surrounded by people who seemed to have this grand plan all sorted whereas I had not even thought much about life after university. I was letting expectations and the pressures of other people panic me. Having a catch up with my two best friends the other day really got me thinking about having so much choice in life can be a blessing and a curse. My one friend who is going into her final year at university is now unsure, like I was, what to do with her degree when university finishes. The other, has decided to go back to college so she can do a nursing degree.
Looking back at my ever changing career paths, I sometimes whether they were genuine passions and careers I wanted to pursue because they were available to me or because I definitely wanted to do that as my job. After doing a couple of interesting NHS jobs, I became really interested in the health sector to the point I even toyed with doing a masters in Public Health or potentially looking for a graduate scheme after university. But then for some reason I held back. Was I only interested because my 16/17 year old self had been? What about my English degree I had just done for three years? Don’t get me wrong, I love English. I have done ever since I can remember. Plus I was good at it, I found it easy compared to other subjects and to be frank, I could not imagine ever picking any other degree at the time. How did I know which one I was most serious and passionate about when both interested me for different reasons. Which one was just a ‘phase’, if at all?
Having choice is great, but I wonder if sometimes too much choice can leave a person leaving overwhelmed and confused with what they want to do. However, I have made the decision to do this teaching qualification because I do think I will be good at it and (hopefully) enjoy it. It was something that had been in the back of my mind towards the end of my degree and I suppose the only way to find out is to try.
And for those who are worried or concerned that everyone seems to have their life together, most of the time they don’t and are just putting on a front. However, don’t feel pressured just because someone appears to have it all sorted. Your time will come and you’ll just know.
For now, I’m looking forward to starting this teaching qualification and seeing where it takes me…