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The C Word (or; third year fear)

My supervisor used the C word the other day. Sat politely in his office, having a chat about how our respective summers had been, he brazenly cracked out possibly the most offensive word he could have summoned.

No, not that one. God, what’s wrong with you? This is respectable company we’re talking about- he’s an academic. You disgust me. I meant Career.

He wanted to know what I planned on doing after university. And it’s a fair question- I wouldn’t mind knowing myself. But that’s exactly the problem; I haven’t the foggiest. While everyone else has drawn up meticulous life plans- I’m still floundering around in a corner of the internet quietly wondering whether I can justify a new leather jacket to the Natwest overdraft people, and stacking my ever increasing pile of charity shop books onto my to-read list.

I have friends making the deadline for grad-scheme applications, friends comfortably setting up businesses and idly considering how much they’re going to pay themselves, and friends lining up contacts for post-university networking. I don’t know when you all started deciding what you wanted to do with your lives, but it would have been polite for one of you to give me a nudge, or to have at least told me to get out of bed. I mean really.

Me not knowing what to do with myself is hardly ground-breaking, but it’s starting to get kinda important. I can pretty much rule out engineering, Japanese translating and piloting. I would suck¬†at those jobs. So that narrows it down a bit, which is a nice start. Further than this though, I’m falling short of ideas. Suggestions welcome (seriously).

What I think I’ll do, unless I unearth some unmissable opportunity, is take myself off one one of those gap-yahs I’ve been pining after for the last three years. Is that cheating? I don’t care. If I structure it properly, I can build myself up a little stock of life experiences- and I might even be a little closer to knowing what I’d love to be doing at the end of it all. Filling a year with travel, lots of work experience, internships and more writing seems my best bet. I don’t have to be tied to a place, I can satiate my itchy feet and (more importantly) I can buy myself some time before the real world hits.

Farrah Kelly

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