With the new academic year fast approaching, many of us who are now settled into university living (for the most part) begin to find new aspects of life to stress over. For many students, the unknown of a future after your degree is very daunting, confusing and intimidating. The array of opportunities and sectors to choose from, for many, including me, make us question what we really want to do, where we really want to go with our lives. What happens if we think we have made the right choice, but live constantly questioning what if?
I have a few thoughts regarding these life opportunities and am beginning to think that life should not be in such a structure, with “normal” paths and life stages that we are meant to follow.
We grow up in a society that tells us the ‘whats’ and the ‘wheres’, including the progression that our life, and everyone else’s should take. We go to school, college, university, maybe do internships, work experience, and finally begin our career. We believe these are the things we are meant to do, but what happens if we get there and realise this is not actually what you want to do. We are never even given the option to think about these things, but just thrust into these capitalist currents. This is not how it should be. Who made up these rules? What if we want to explore the world for what it has to offer, instead of trapping our self in a life long career, spurred on by the fact that we fear we will never find our place in this constructed society.
The problem is, even if we feel the desire to go against the grain, and do what we actually want to do with our lives – instead of falling at the hands of the pressure to find a monthly income – is this even possible? The structure of our society forces us to do things, even if we don’t necessarily want to. By this I mean we feel obliged to get a job or start our career path without a second thought, since, if we don’t, we’ll fall behind, or have no money! It’s a true catch 22. How are we supposed to fund our true desires (seeing as everything in this capitalist society is now a commodity) if we don’t follow the grain? How can we take time out after uni if we feel will be far behind our fellow graduates by the time we come back to the “real world”, constructed as it may be? If we do follow a career path, is it possible to find a balance?
The answer to this is impossible to say, but with the new academic year, perhaps we should begin to question our true desires, and find a way of implementing them into our lives, however big or small, being aware of what we want to do, rather than what we are told we should want to do. Perhaps the most important is to think, plan and do the things that truly make you happy.