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The Truth About Graduating In 2020

I know I am one of many who has had the radical idea of starting a blog in 2020. This year has been a whirlwind to say the least. But as we enter Autumn and Winter nears, I need reason more than ever for positivity. I’ve loved writing ever since I can remember and although it may be a cliche, starting a blog might just be that push I need to put my writing into practice.

As I reigned in this year in a packed club with Prosecco in hand, I think I can speak for everyone when I say I honestly had no idea what was about to hit me. Like many, I had tons of plans for what was supposed to be a great year. Luckily I was still able to do some of what I’d planned but for the most part, it was a case of postponing, rescheduling or cancelling. Words that have become all too familiar in 2020. What’s strangest about this year is that no one, not even our grandparents, have ever seen anything like this. It feels almost as if we are walking blindfolded through this pandemic. 

However, I want the focus of this blog post not to be all doom and gloom about the year 2020… (ok maybe a little bit). Instead I want to talk about what it’s like to be a graduate this year. If you too have graduated this year, I’m sure you know what I’m about to say… what a load of shite! The cynical part of me wanted to say it was typical that I would graduate in the year a global pandemic arrived, but I have since learnt that to survive as a graduate in this climate, you have to think positively. 

I studied Media and Communications at Bournemouth for 3 years which for the most part I really enjoyed. However, perhaps naively, I didn’t give much thought to what I would do once I finished. The closer I got to finishing uni the more anxious I felt wondering what my next step would be. Pre any kind of pandemic. I chose my course because it was so broad and offered me a variety of subject areas but this in turn made it hard for me to figure out what it was I wanted to ‘be’. As many people know, there is an overwhelming amount of pressure upon finishing uni to decide what career path you are taking. Friends of mine fell into jobs straight away whilst others opted to do masters, and somehow I felt left behind in my deliberation and uncertainty. Once lockdown hit I felt a little relief in that I had more time to think about my next step. However this only made things harder as I watched the job market crumble before my eyes and opportunities dry up. Over the next few months as things started to open up, I applied for various jobs and internships. I even had a few interviews but was unsuccessful and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because my heart wasn’t really in it. Weirdly it wasn’t the rejection that disappointed me most, it was the realisation that I had nothing lined up for my future and felt like time was running out to decide.

My next consideration was to do a masters. I’d heard mixed reviews from friends about this idea, with some raving about it and others worrying it could make you over-qualified and was only useful if it led you straight into a job. This only muddied my thoughts further. I didn’t want to fall into a masters for the sake of it. I’ve been in straight education since I was 4 years old and never took a gap year before uni. As silly as it sounds, choosing to do another year of education at this point is not something I take as lightly anymore. Plus you only get one shot at a masters (and one year of funding from the government) so I wanted to be sure whichever subject I chose was the right one. 

Being a graduate in 2020 has only made it harder for people who don’t yet know what they want to do as there are no longer as many opportunities around. Maybe a gap year would’ve been a good way to buy some thinking time but because of the pandemic such travel is simply not possible. I want to make it clear this isn’t a pity post. More just my train of thought regarding being a graduate in 2020. I know there are many people in the same position as me and hope we can pull together in these unprecedented times. If nothing else, just to know you’re not alone can make a huge difference!

My plan for this blog is simply to share my thoughts as I muddle my way through graduate life. You can expect some laughs (mostly at myself), sarcasm, and most importantly, honesty (I don’t do fake). If this sounds like something you’d enjoy then great I’m over the first hurdle! In regard to my life plan (bit deep), I still don’t know exactly what I want to do but in writing this blog post, I feel a strange sense of catharsis. I want to finish with a quote from the Wizard of Oz which I feel is apt here.All in good time

Thanks for reading

Cappuccino Keeks x

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