I Just Turned 20 and I Can't Stop Thinking About My Future
In my experience, there’s two types of university students: 1. those who cannot stop thinking about their future career and are doing everything in their power to prepare for it, 2. those who are purely focussed on university and making the most of their degree. Until recently, I would have put myself in the latter category but, at the moment, I just can’t stop thinking about what I’m going to do when I finish my English Literature undergrad degree.
Maybe it’s because I’ll be out of university and into the world of work in just over a years time or maybe it’s because I’ve become a little bit bored of my degree. In reality, it’s a combination of the two. I find myself all too often wishing my life away and I think it’s largely because I think a lot about things and often get excited about the future, an exciting job! A decent salary! A nice flat! I don’t have any of these things now and, to be perfectly honest, I might not even have them in a few years time. But I do feel quite optimistic about starting a career and leaving university and I just can’t stop fantasizing about it.
I’m not really thinking about anything long-term. I’ve never thought properly about what I’ll be doing in 20 years time. But thoughts about how my life will change over the next 10 years won’t leave my mind. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many books and consumed so much media generally about women in their 20s (Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love anyone?) but I also think it’s because I’m leaving the education system for the first time ever and there’s nothing predictable about that!
I often feel guilty because I’m not as focussed on my degree as I used to be, perhaps because I’m not enjoying the rest of university life as much as I used to, but also because there are so many other things I’m doing that excite me more! I’m really lucky to, seemingly, be one of the few people who actually enjoys their degree but I am becoming more and more frustrated with its repetitive nature (read 10 books, write an essay, read 5 more books, sit an exam, repeat) and I can’t wait for my everyday life to become a little bit more interesting (and by interesting, I mean literally doing anything different to the process I just described).
By no means am I fooling myself in thinking that I’m going to get a well-paid job that I love straight out of university. I’m prepared not to have too much money for the next few years as well as working a few shitty jobs to get to a place where I’m happy. But any change from the monotony of 16 years in education will be a welcome one at this point!
Until then, lots of unpaid ‘passion projects’ on the side will have to keep me going and I’m going to try and make the most of my degree in the mean time!