Skip to content

We have to stop feeling pressured into having a post-university plan

Rushing this decision will just leave you in an unsatisfied job.

Epigram is an independent and neutral newspaper, aiming to publish opinions from across the student body. To respond with an opposing opinion, please contact comment.epigram@gmail.com or join our Facebook writers' group.

By Maddie Hardern, First Year Spanish and Italian

Rushing this decision will just leave you in an unsatisfied job.

'So what do you want to do after university?' A question we all get asked, but many of us still struggle to answer.

In an age where we are made to make life-changing decisions from such a young age, answering this question with 'I don’t know' is still often a met with a frown.

But what is wrong not knowing?

If anything, it is more likely to guarantee higher job satisfaction in the future.

University is the perfect place to experiment. We have three or four years to join societies and find out what works. It is an opportunity to discover what we do and do not enjoy without it looking bad on our CV or impacting our careers. Not only does it allow us to work out which environments we work best in, it also helps to point out which skills or traits may need improving before we are thrown into the workplace.

It is an opportunity to discover what we do and do not enjoy without it looking bad on our CV or impacting our careers.

By not having any particular job in mind, when it comes to selecting modules, we are free to choose the ones that we will enjoy and are good at, rather than the ones we feel obliged to do. In doing so, we develop a more varied skill set and knowledge base, rather than focusing on one particular pathway and limiting options coming out of university.

It also means we do not approach our degree with an ‘I only need to achieve this level’ attitude. Instead, we go for ‘I am not sure what I am going to need so I will try for their best result that I can’, instantly boosting your chances with employers on the other side.

It is also important to consider how limited knowledge of jobs may be, with regard to what jobs exist that we may have never heard of before.

It is possible that if we focus on one particular vocation then we may miss a job that is better suited to us.

Society is constantly shifting and changing, and new jobs are always coming into circulation that did not exist two years ago. With technology always increasing, not only does it create jobs, but also makes others jobs redundant, and so it is important to keep our skill sets varied and adaptable in an ever shifting workplace.

Society is constantly shifting and changing, and new jobs are always coming into circulation that did not exist two years ago.

There is often a misconception that those who take gap years are work shy and lacking in ambition. But, often a post-university gap year is a perfect way to transition from university life to professional life, whilst also providing an opportunity to fill any gaps in your CV.

There is nothing wrong with taking a year to do what makes you happy.

Our entire education is geared towards making us employable and making our CVs look promising, so why not spend a year enjoying experiences that have no consequences or pressure but are simply for personal enrichment.

Ultimately, once we start working, we do not stop until we retire.

So, we might as well make the most of the short period of time during which we have no responsibilities.

Despite what some may suggest, earning a degree is hard work. Not only do we deserve a well-earned break, but we most likely need one too.

There is nothing wrong with taking a year to do what makes you happy.

At the end of the day, just because someone has known from a young age that they want to be in a certain profession does not mean that they are any better than someone who has taken time to reach the same decision. The latter has likely gone to lengths to ensure that it is the best path for them.

Even those who are still deciding are building up a skill set that will make them more equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at them later on in life and will potentially have enjoyed the journey to get there much more than those who never strayed from the same path.

Featured image: Unsplash/Gordon Williams

What do you think about the stress of post-university plans? Let Epigram know!

Twitter // Epigram Comment // Facebook

Could not load content