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An Open Letter to Those Who Enquire About Post-Uni Plans

Dear those who enquire about my post-uni plans,

Firstly, thank you for your concern and interest. Really, I am honoured that you seem to care about what I want to do with my life. It gives us an extensive topic of conversation and kind of motivates me to focus my interests a bit more. I enjoy listening to what you did, back in the day, and what your grandchildren or the neighbour’s children did. They all have such great stories of how they found their passion, or even if they didn’t, they still managed to get a job and get on with renting a flat etc. It’s fun finding out that we have things in common and, oh yes, that might give me ideas and help me find my way. Sometimes I might think I’ve found my calling, and then it’s even more exciting when you ask because I feel I can finally give you concrete answers… until I realise that, after all, that wasn’t for me because I’ve figured out what, for example, being a lawyer, actually means. So yes, I appreciate your interest.

I have been very patient with this topic of conversation up until now, but frankly enough is enough and I’m struggling to find any positives at all. Forgive me, but it’s getting to the point where I dread it. To be honest, I don’t like it at all. I’m tired of you thinking (or at least hinting) that I’m a failed person if I don’t have an idea or plan of exactly what I’m going to do the minute I graduate. I’m allowed to not know, aren’t I? I’m still at uni, still working out what I enjoy and what I might want to pursue, right? Please don’t look crestfallen when I say I don’t have any plans. Yes, there are those fortunate people in the world who have an idea; my mum appointed herself as teacher to the boy down the road at age five and never looked back. But the majority of us will just have to pick something we like, or maybe even don’t like, if it comes to that. We’ve got time. So please, ask me how uni is going rather than what I’m going to do at the end. 

Look, I might get angry and rant, but deep down I know you’re only asking because you’re interested. Even if you’re just making conversation and being polite, I suppose there’s still an element of interest. I guess to me it just seems like a massive burden to think about right now, and that’s why I sometimes get annoyed and defensive. If we just try and understand where the other is coming from, I think we might have more profitable discussions that don’t end in annoyance, fake politeness and/or tears. I’ll do my part to not get irrationally frustrated, I promise. And I will appreciate any efforts you make to lessen the blow of ‘that’ question. I have great hope that we can move on beyond our differences on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

An uncertain uni student 

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