Gilby’s Guidance #9

Second Year Crisis

Image: CollegeDegrees360.
Image: CollegeDegrees360.

We have made a lot of important decisions in our short lives so far. Where to pick up a weekend job? Whether to take a gap year? Where to live? Which university to choose? Which course would be best? What we don’t know when we make all these decisions is that they are all dependent on the last and influential on the next. We need to work out what all these choices have actually been for to be able to make the next ones fit in. We need to work out what we want to use them for. We need to work out the dreaded be all and end all. We need to decide on a career.

As I embark upon the beginning of my second year, the issue of ‘knowing what you want to do’ seems more pressing than I’ve ever known before. In your first year of university,  despite lecturers claiming otherwise, not much matters. As long as you have succeeded in enjoying yourself then you can rest assured with your achievements. Over the summer you find yourself reflecting back and looking forward. People ask you, ‘How have you found your first year?’ and you can babble about doing OK and finding your feet. You know what uni is about. You know what your course is about. One thing you still don’t know is how it all relates to what you want to do after it all.

In your second year you have to get serious. Like a relationship, the first year is all fun and games and the second year is when it gets serious. If it doesn’t mean anything to you then you are wasting your time. A commitment needs to be made and you need to be happy.

If you’re unsure about where you want your time at university to take you then this is the year to explore it. If you don’t feel like you’re getting out of university what you thought you would, then this is the year to change it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be as heavy and serious as twelve hours in the library slaving over a three thousand word essay. It can be joining societies, making an effort to meet new people on your course or applying to hundreds of work experience placements. The more you do, the more likely you are to find out what you want to do (and what you never want to do again).

I’m trying to console myself with the hope that my second year panic is somewhat premature. I’m refusing to believe that we are fully out of the stage of our lives when we are aloud to have no clue what we want to do after graduation. I, for one, am making the most of the short time we have left of wandering aimlessly. I’ll catch you next year though, mid-uni crisis. Hopefully, I’ll have my head screwed on a little tighter by then.

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