So being unusually sensible, I had an early night last night and then I was up and at ’em this morning for my Body Pump class at the gym. It was tough going but then again, no pain, no gain as the saying goes. I don’t think my arms are going to thank me for it tomorrow though ha! I figured that I need to step up my game a little bit so I’m incorporating gym classes into my fitness routine alongside swimming, slowly turning into one of those exercise fanatics but I guess that’s a good thing!
Anyways I digress…this week has been slightly exhausting work-wise so that’s why it was nice to have an early night yesterday even more so! Following on from the triathlon last Sunday, I was also grateful to have Monday off in aid of my brother Scott’s graduation ceremony. He had his at the Barbican Centre in London, where I had mine two years ago so it was slightly nostalgic. Although the weather was sunny, it was also annoyingly windy so my little floral tea dress wasn’t the best thing to wear!
Graduation ceremonies are inevitably always long but it was a lovely day, spending time with the family and celebrating another mile stone in my bro’s life, after his 21st earlier on this month. In a way, as corny as this sounds, it feels like we’ve all reached another mile stone. Both the bro and I have now completed our respective years in education and it feels scarily even more grown up. My parents have seen us both through our education and helped and supported us along the way and within the next few years, we’ll (hopefully) be flying the nest.
I think graduation always presents a mixture of feelings; relief and achievement in one way and fear and “what the hell am I gonna do now?!” in another. It’s been two years since my own and part of me thinks “Wow, I remember writing a blog post about finishing uni!” and on the other hand, it fills me with panic. Things are still tough out there and I’m still not close to my aims in life but then again it wouldn’t be a goal if it was easy, would it? It’s easy to become despondent but as the Dean of my brother’s university London Met said: “You may have to take up jobs and placements that aren’t what you really want to do but take them, learn from them and you never know where you might end up.” A piece of advice that should resonate with Graduates old and new.
Sure, you always get people say after you tell them what you do for a living, “But didn’t you do journalism at uni?” or suggest that you look on the BBC’s website. Pur-leaaaaaase, without sounding ungrateful but unless you’ve done so many job applications that you’ve actually lost count, you’ll know that it’s not simply a case of writing to the BBC. Job applications are not fun, they’re not meant to be and it is mentally hard to make yourself look all singing and dancing in your 22,158th cover letter while trying to remain optimistic with each one you do.
The same thoughts battle it out in my mind on a weekly basis; “I’m a graduate, I’ve worked hard throughout my education and therefore I deserve to get the role I want,” but then I remind myself, “I’m lucky and I’m grateful to have a job in a time where so many young people are unemployed and therefore I will try to make the most of the job I’ve got,” I’m sure so many people in the same boat experience the same thing but I always strongly feel the latter, afterall A job is better than NO job at all.
If anyone has watched the BBC’s We All Pay Your Benefits with Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford, the attitude of media graduate Liam, is not the right one to have. He turned down any job that was didn’t match his dreams and refused to take up even a part-time role within retail. I worked in retail for six years during sixth form and university and took up a supervisor’s role for a year after graduation. Sure the hours weren’t great and the wages are never enough to compensate for standing for long hours and putting up with rude customers from time to time but it has meant that I have had a continuous period of employment for the past seven years now. That says more to an employer than, “Well I’ve sat around waiting for the right opportunity to come along.” Opportunities don’t always fall into your lap and through alternative ones, you may find something that you didn’t realise you’d enjoy so much. Sometimes, we focus so much on chasing our dream career that we don’t realise that sometimes, a career can find you.
Sorry if this has turned into a bit of a rant but I think for me, it’s always this time of the year where I re-evaluate my life more than I do any other time. If any of you feel the same way, remember never to give up!
As I always tell my brother, as long as you try hard, that’s what matters the most. Give 110% in everything you do and people will notice and they may not say outright but hard work pays off. Graduation is the end to a beginning of a new chapter but things become a little bit more like one of those text based adventure books from here on out…
So…which way to go?