So you have finally finished university and the world seems to be your oyster right! What’s the next step? First of all congratulations to all graduates it is a great achievement and not a easy feat at all! I got a few friends to share their experiences and thoughts on life after school, to offer some perspective and encouragement to those in a state of confusion about their next steps and for those who are in eager anticipation of achieving this amazing accomplishment. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing their replies.
Biochemistry, University of Alberta
1.What were your expectations for life after University?
After convocation, all I wanted to do was to travel and learn. The latter was to be in form of an internship with an organization I’d been part of through my university years.
2. Were those expectations met?
Unfortunately, I had to let it go because of unforeseen circumstances. Unpredictability is the name of the game and you have to learn to embrace the rhythm of life as it presents itself.
It didn’t take long before I landed a very flexible tutoring job and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was never in the books though. The least I imagined was working in a laboratory, applying some of my skills. However, it was a wonderful surprise how much I loved teaching and seeing my students get those top grades was exhilarating. Among the things I did the past year, teaching is pretty high up on my list of favorites.
3. What would be your advice for those in their final year looking forward to life after school?
For anyone graduating, I would would encourage them to make use of the opportunities they have on campus.
What are you interested in?
Research? Make use of the undergraduate research opportunities.
Business? Make use of the networking opportunities whenever they pop up.
Do you want to change your program? It’s okay to change your mind so do it as early as you decide, even mid-year.
You should also realize that you may not secure a job in your field. What would you do instead? Have a plan B. Make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. I also cannot overemphasize how important good friendships are. Friends and family will keep you sane as you try to figure life out. You’re going to need to laugh, cry and vent . It’s easier if you have a shoulder to lean on. Correspondingly, be that friend.
4. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were in your final year in order to better prepare you for life after school?
Is there anything I wish I knew to better prepare for life after school? Yes, the fact that it’s absolutely okay to change your mind at any stage of your life, even after graduating. The world is evolving at an exponential rate and you should too. I believe some lessons are better learned through experience so take a deep breath and face everyday with courage. I have learnt a lot, made new friends and traveled to new places. There is a lot of room to grow but I’m very grateful so far.
Huge thanks to Prudence for sharing her knowledge and experiences. Don’t forget to reach out to her if her story resonates with you!