We start school at age five and by eighteen, for those of us who have decided to endure thirteen magical years of education, it’s time to make a decision. What’s next? Will I find a job? Should I go to college? Or might I even try university?
Back when I was at this crossroads, which feels like a hundred years ago, it seemed like choosing the “right” path was the be all and end all. It felt like the rest of my life depended on this one correct decision and if I made the wrong choice I’d be destined for the life of an alcohol dependent hobo. No offence if that was your first choice – power to you.
I chose to meander down University Road and three years of fun casually flew by. Then came Honours year, the time when I had to undertake perhaps the biggest challenge I’d ever face in my academic life: my dissertation.
For what felt like a David and Goliath battle for the modern age, books, journals, academic sources and the Harvard referencing system were my weapons of choice. On my classmates and I fought for the right to once again go and drink ourselves stupid, or to stay up late watching Desperate Housewives, lusting after Bree’s well-manicured lawn and meatloaf.
For most of the class of 2013 this ordeal has now passed, so a massive congratulations if you’re feeling victorious over your Goliath. However, the not-so-small matter that I’ve been unable to shift from my mind over the past few months has now taken centre stage: what do I do now?
￼￼Personally I look forward to the day when I can once again fawn over Bree’s lawn on my TV screen but, in reality, I’m lost. I mean, when we were in high school we were pushed to continue to learn, to push ourselves as far as we could, but what now? WHAT NOW TEACHERS?! The end of the education road may bring a sense of relief to many, but in reality it leads us directly into the firing line of another big scary Goliath named Life… shit.
I’m sure some of you are fortunate enough to have jobs already lined up, or maybe you’re like me and you don’t have a clue what to do with that uber-expensive piece of toilet roll known as a degree. Sure there are graduate schemes out there to try and help us soon-to- be ex-students, but there are also hundreds of us competing for the same thing, and the numbers just don’t match up.
To be perfectly honest, at this moment in time, I want to crawl back into my dissertation cave and pretend I’m still a student. I may even go wild with a few shopping trips to use the student discount I hardly remembered to take advantage of, but will still miss so terribly. Hell, maybe I’ll even check out some library books – there really is a first time for everything.
I don’t know what’s out there for me in the big bad world, but I do know, although utterly terrified to my last wit, I’m kind of looking forward to finding out. R.I.P to the students we used to be, it’s time to grow up now… gulp.