Sunday, 10 September 2017

Graduate to Grown-Up: bringing it home


Over the last few weeks, we've heard from 7 graduates, 5+ years down the line about their experiences after university. I've learned that what you hope or expect to do on your graduation day won't necessarily be what you end up doing 10 years later and that, usually, everything does work out from the best. I've spoken to entrepreneurs, turning their hobby into their career, or creating their own job because the right one wasn't out there for them. I've discovered that people do jobs that I never really knew existed, and heard from people juggling their jobs alongside parenting, charity work, travel, blogging and...other jobs. I am always astounded by what people manage to achieve in such a short space of time, and thrilled that people have managed to make their jobs work for them, and are living happy, fulfilled lives. 

So to finish it all off, I thought I'd bring it back to me. Part of my reason for doing both The Graduate and Graduate to Grown-Up blog series was to help myself. This time last year, I was curious what other recent graduates were up to, and realising that others were doing a huge range of things helped me qualify my decision. A year later, I feel a teeny bit closer to grown-uphood, but I wanted to better understand how I would get the rest of the way there. I wanted reassurance that, over the next few years, things would probably fall into place and that, hopefully, I'll work out where I want to be and what I want to do. 

Luckily, that's kind of what's been happening. I graduated not really knowing what I wanted to do and, since, have had a go at a couple of things. But it wasn't really right, and every time I came back to thinking about what I actually wanted to do, I kept coming back to teaching. I am really interested in education, I like learning, but I don't want to be an academic. So, at pretty late notice, I applied to go back to university this September and study for a PGCE in Secondary Geography. It's been a bit of a whirlwind few weeks of tests and prep and interviews and having to make a super quick decision about whether this was 100% what I wanted to do, and accept my offer. And here I am, no longer writing marketing material, and desperately trying to understand what these oil field maps are, but buying stationery and getting back into academic reading. 

In all honesty, I'm pretty terrified. I've spent too long reading about people who haven't had more than 3 hours sleep a night since they started their PGCE and have spent 9 hours prepping every lesson, and I'm wondering if someone's invented a way to stockpile sleep. I am lucky enough to have some good friends who are excellent teachers, providing me with reading and resources and tips, and who are bringing me back down to the reality of teaching. I'm trying to work out if there's any outfit that will make me look 10 years older so I won't be mistaken for a year 9 (at a push), and how much stationery I'm reasonably going to need (can justify buying). But I'm also excited. I'm looking forward to learning again, and not just about really theoretical things that don't really exist. I'm looking forward to having a job that isn't just sitting at a desk and doing emails, and I'm looking forward to meeting loads of new classmates, and students, and teachers. What I loved about school was that you're part of a community - more so than in an office - and I'm looking forward to that again. 

I don't think it's going to be easy, but I hope it's going to be worth it.
I'll be a student again, then a graduate, but hopefully it'll be one step closer to becoming a grown-up. 
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