“Do you know what you’re going to do?” is the worst question in the world when you’re coming up to finishing your degree. It’s also the question that nearly everybody asks. Through those months of exam and essay stress in my final year, I could barely cope with uni work, let alone think about beyond. Being asked that question by people of our parents’ generation seems to be the hardest, because it was so different for them. Back then, a lot less people went to uni and the economy was in much better shape. It seems like it was a given that you got your degree and then went straight into a graduate job. They don’t seem to understand the answer to that question when it’s “I don’t actually know”.
A few months down the line, I, like so many other people my age, still don’t know what I want to do. And that’s ok. I’m not suggesting we all laze around and sponge off our parents/ the state until we feel enlightened about our career prospects; I’m doing non-graduate work to pay the bills and see me through while I try to figure out what I want to do long-term. What I’m saying is that if anyone’s response to us not having our future all mapped out in a tidy life plan is one of raised eyebrows and disdain, we should pay no attention. Some of my friends know exactly what they want to do; others don’t but have impressive graduate jobs and earn a lot more than I do. It’s easy to make comparisons, the equalizer that was uni has disappeared and we’re all doing different things, taking different routes. Sometimes I look at myself and feel inferior, wondering why I’m not as successful as some of my peers. But the truth is we’re young, and we don’t have to have it all figured out. Just because our degree might not feel relevant now, it was definitely not a waste. Equally, those that didn’t go to uni and went straight into work have done what was right for them and there’s no one answer, no particular course that we should all be taking. In the midst of the not knowing, I have to remind myself that I’m one of many, a massive chunk of society that are exploring and seeking and figuring out where they’re meant to be. Hey, there are plenty of older people that still don’t know, we don’t need to have all the answers to life. What’s amazing is that God is right there with us and he’s got our back, whatever happens. It’s ok not to know.