Like all other third-year students at uni, I’m about to submit my dissertation. I’ve got three deadlines left until I leave my university town and head home to start my new job. Which is really exciting, and honestly a little bit daunting. So far my life has only known education. Like most people I know, their lives have only revolved around school or sixth form or uni. So leaving this familiar bubble and being sent into the world of work is going to be a bit of a lifestyle shakeup.
The comfort of our bubbles of familiarity feels safe. But after 17 years of education, the time has come to pop it and be released into the ‘real world’ as my parents keep referring to it. I know I’m incredibly lucky to have a job to go to as soon as I finish but even with that security, the thought is still terrifying. University life isn’t that intense, in my third year I have 6 hours of lectures a week, and the rest is left up to me to put in as much work as I feel necessary. So if I want I can spend the day in bed, or I can go to the library and work for hours on end.
This year it has worked out that most of my hours are on a Monday and so the entire week is left to my own devices. Although I also play netball, which takes up most week-day evenings and some match days, a lot of my time I can decide how to use it. University is like being self-employed, where you decide how much time to put in to get as much out as you want. The ‘free time’ we have for 3 years at university gets very enjoyable, and so when we leave and join the world of work the shock of lack of time is likely to hit like a tonne of bricks.
Uni has been a wonderful experience for me. I haven’t been one to go partying a lot, But even still I’ve enjoyed myself a lot. I’ve made some amazing friends I’ll keep forever, and have really enjoyed my course. Joining a sports team in my last year has made it harder to stay on top of my studies, but helped with stress relief and making more friends. It’s given me some amazing opportunities and memories that I will look back on with great fondness.
Leaving university is the biggest chapter of life we will have gone through so far. It’s the change from education to work. The real world. It means more responsibility and less time. And it is probably going to be a bit of a shock and change to get used to. But going through education has prepared us for this. Switching schools, moving to secondary, moving to sixth form or college, and moving to uni have all been big transitions that have now prepared us for the biggest one yet. Let’s just hope it’s a smooth transition.