For the first time in my life, I have come out the other side of an educational institution or university degree and have nothing standing in the way of me and the rest of my life.
It’s a scary experience. As a fresh-faced 17-year-old, I went straight from school into university – and after that, as a not-so-fresh-faced 22-year-old, almost straight from my undergraduate degree into a professional masters. The year in between was spent applying for the masters and doing the relevant work experience, and just generally trying to feel like a human being and get over my ex (now once again boyfriend).
So this is the first time I’ve really been left bare to the world. No particular plan – just an apartment with an obscenely high rent, some savings, and a slight feeling of dread at the daunting prospect of having to – for the first time in my life – look for a job.
That will make me seem like a bit of a spoiled brat. I did, in fact, work part-time through school and university, but all I ever worked at was teaching Irish traditional music to various groups of people (mostly small, bratty children). It paid extremely well, and I was blessed to have this opportunity – I knew it at the time, and I know it now. But it meant that the first experience I ever had of trying to get a job was looking for my work experience during my gap year. And now, looking for a real, actual, honest-to-god, money-paying job – it kind of scares me.
So here I am putting together my first ever job application. My CV is finished, I think; I have a cover letter ready to go; and the application form is nearly filled out. Now it’s just a matter of proof-reading it, printing it all out, and bringing it to the organisation in person, because the deadline is in a couple of days and I just don’t trust our postal service.
I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of more this over the next couple of weeks and months. And to be honest, it’s not just scary, it’s exciting. Exhilarating. Sure, I’m not going to walk into my dream job anytime soon. I don’t even know yet what my dream job could be. But the thought of actually being a real adult with a real income, contributing in a real way to society – it’s exciting.
I’m just hoping that I’ll have time on the side to continue looking into academic research and all my creative endeavours. I think I didn’t give academia a proper go-around, and I’d like to take this year to get back into English literature and see if anything really grabs me. And maybe get back into writing more, painting, photography. But it’s time for me to get out into the real world and give myself something to write about. I’m looking forward to it.