Looking back at my time in college

Since beginning college at the end of September, 2014, I’ve felt both excitement and apprehension at what would come after I was finished in college. I began my journey in college as a young, carefree student, with very few responsibilities.

Like every fresher I spent majority of my first year in college finding my feet, making my friends, just about making my deadlines for assignments, and drinking. Drinking a lot.

I had no part time job. College was my only responsibility. I had so much free time, and very few worries.

By the end of my third year, I had a part-time job, an internship, and my course to focus on. My responsibilities had more than doubled. While initially the thought of finishing college had been daunting, I reached a point where I was ready to leave. The assignments were tedious, the one or two hour lectures were no longer fun, they were a hindrance, and I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions. I didn’t spend long enough in college to devote enough time to assignments, but I didn’t spend enough time in work to have money. I was just getting by, constantly broke but always working. Likewise, I spent a good amount of time interning, but it never seemed to be enough to keep up and feel like an integral part of the team. College had been fun, but it was time to leave and to focus on fewer things.

I reached the point where I was happy to be leaving college, and I think that’s a good thing. If you’re still pining to stay in college, maybe you haven’t fully finished developing yourself for the real world. I was ready, and with the uncertainty of my future came excitement, and nerves obviously.

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DCU graduations 2016. (Image by Michelle Bourke)

I’m still interning and working part-time, but after my internship is up, where does my future lie? I don’t know, and for once, I don’t have a plan. I finished primary school with the plan of heading to secondary, where I had a plan to get into college and study and get a degree. Now that I have achieved that, and I’ve finished, what next? Every summer since I started primary school, aged four, I’ve always had something to go back to the next September. Now there’s no set plan. I could get kept on at my internship and work there, or I could get a job offer elsewhere. Nothing is set in stone.

While part of me is panicking and telling myself to start making a plan, another part of myself is asking why? For once I can go wherever I feel. I have no responsibilities in Ireland, if an opportunity should arise in the U.S, mainland Europe, or anywhere overseas, I’m in a position where I can just pack up and go. I can’t think of a more exciting crossroads to be at in life.

If my time in college has taught me anything, it’s that things won’t just happen for you, you have to get out there and make it happen. It’s also taught me not to plan too much, because at the end of the day, things can change at the drop of the hat and the difference between happy, successful people, and people who are disappointed in life, is that successful people do not fear change, they embrace it, and they work hard to succeed. If you’re waiting on a particular event in life, or to reach a certain career aspiration to be happy, then you will never be truly happy. While I may not be successful I’m happy with how far I’ve come in the three years since starting college. However, I know I can do so much more, and that I won’t ever just settle, but will instead strive to do as much, and see as much of the world as possible.

The future is uncertain, but it’s exciting, and if I grow and learn as much in the next few years, as I did in the last three years, then I’ll be very content.

 

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