By Eve Lewis
“So…what do you want to do after university?” This question, which so many of us dread hearing, is often met with vague mumblings of half-baked ideas in an attempt to cover up the truth that a lot of us have no idea what we want to do. Often, this lack of knowing what to do next can also cast a shadow of doubt on what we do in the present; how do we know that what we are doing is worth it? What can we do if we don’t know what we’re doing? I’m lucky in that I know what I want to do and how I want to get there, but I didn’t always, and so here are my tips to help you stop worrying and find a way to discover what you want to do.
Find what interests you and look at what it can offer you. If you’re reading this and are in the process of doing a degree then hopefully you have already found something that interests you. If you love your degree, then start looking into what previous graduates have gone on to do with it or make an appointment to see your department’s careers advisor and see what they can suggest. However, don’t be afraid to look into things completely unrelated to your studies! Love music and playing an instrument? Consider auditioning for bands and choirs, and see about getting paid to play. Love travelling? Research careers which allow you visit various countries. Just get out there and try different things until you find something which you want to pursue.
Keep doors open. It’s important to remember that we are young and that plans can change or that life can throw us some curveballs. For this reason, it is good to leave yourself as many doors open as possible. If you have a few ideas of what you want to do, work towards the hardest goal. By doing this, you are standing yourself in good stead if you find that what you have been working towards is not what you want to do or that you can no longer do it. At least now you have transferable skills from your previous efforts which you can apply to your new goal.
Don’t worry. Finally, don’t worry too much about it. I can’t stress enough that you shouldn’t stress. Just focus on the present and try your hardest at everything you do. If you know what you love and try your best, then I can guarantee that eventually everything will fall into place.