Final year at university, and then what?

12/30 - 4/365 by Kendra Infinity

Student blogger, Helen McGuire

I’m now officially in my final year at university, from now on every day is part of the inevitable countdown to my introduction into the adult world and all the delights of commuting, wearing suits and paying council tax. What worries me the most about this year is that I still cannot decide what I’d like to do after I graduate.

I tried to confront my lack of career direction over the summer; I told myself I would I sort out some work experience or volunteer work and do some more research into postgraduate courses. Suffice to say… I didn’t do any of the above. Well I did a bit of research into postgraduate study, but that was time mostly spent staring blankly at the screen when the tuition fees popped up. In my first blog post, almost a year ago, I wrote about how I have no fixed career plan in mind. At the time this didn’t bother me as I was still living in the carefree bubble of second year, but now the end of my time at Manchester is in sight and everything is getting a little bit scary.

It was especially hard to be motivated this summer as I was confronted on a daily basis with headlines about how the recession is affecting graduates. We are repeatedly being told that a degree is not enough anymore and simply succeeding on your course (or, heaven forbid, having time to enjoy it) doesn’t cut the mustard. Alongside essay deadlines and exam preparation we also have to think about proving our employability through internships and extra curricular activities.

So here I am entering my final year completely confused and torn between postgraduate study and graduate jobs. On the one hand an MA seems like the right choice, but is it economically viable for me? On the other I could try to get a job after graduation, but in the current economic climate will that even be possible?

If you’re in the same boat as me I hope this has made you feel a little less alone, I’m pretty sure there are enough of us worrying about our post-graduation plans to fill HMS Victory. If you already know what you’ll be doing come June 2011, suggestions would be much appreciated- answers on the back of a postcard please.

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4 Responses to Final year at university, and then what?

  1. Lora says:

    Hey! I completely understand your situation as I was in a similar one. I also enter my final year and although I know what I want to do, this doesn’t make it anymore easier. I know I want to do a masters right away but this doesn’t solve my problems. Now GMAT, applications, motivation letters, recommendations, etc come along. And on top of that is of course university 🙂 I am very stressed out.

  2. Helen McGuire says:

    Hi Lora
    Thanks for your comment, nice to know someone else feels the same way I do! Good luck with your applications

  3. A says:

    Hi, just read your post and it strikes a chord with me. I’ve gotten myself so worked up about the scary reality of it being my final year that I’ve sunken into depression and chronic anxiety. As a result I won’t be graduating till next year :(.

  4. Helen McGuire says:

    Hi, I’m sorry to hear that but I hope my post helped you feel a little better. Final year is an incredibly stressful time and I am yet to meet anyone who isn’t struggling with some aspect of it.

    I find speaking to my tutors ( especially my personal tutor ) really useful if I’m feeling stressed. They’re often very helpful.

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