My Future

Four truthbombs you’ll discover when you leave uni

Fun fact: the world is not your oyster, nothing revolves around you and like an ant to a garden hose, you’re at the mercy of forces far beyond your control. Pretty brutal. The moment we step out into the “real world” of jobs and careers and taxes, the cushy surrounds of uni with extensions on assignments and free wifi evaporates like sweat on a summer day. We are left bare naked on stage, having forgotten both our (proverbial) lines and costume. Here are some truthbombs you’ll discover when you leave uni – just a heads up for when you throw your graduation hat in the air along with all sense of confidence and hope about the world.

You can’t just skip work for brunch, or go home for a nap

What kind of fresh hell is it when it’s no longer acceptable to spend your weekdays merging the two earliest meals of the day into one supermeal, followed by a timely slumber to account for the rapid ingestion of carbs? Not only do jobs not account for this normal activity in their workplace, they also actively discourage it. Apparently it has something to do with KPI’s (never had that cereal) and earning your keep.

Learn to live with the fact that you’ll probably be behind the eight-ball for at least two years after you graduate, and this means a somnolent day spent on the couch hating yourself for what you’ve eaten isn’t going to happen (except maybe on your precious weekends).

You no longer have a safety net; you’re on your own

Firstly, props to anyone who got through uni off his or her own bat, juggling both lectures and job to make ends meet. If this was you, read no further. However, for those who have been generously supported by elder benefactors (i.e. parents) for the duration of their degree, the game is up once you leave uni. No more pencils, no more books paid for and definitely no more free lunches. Not to mention the fact that the day you start work you’ll be paying taxes for as a long as you live. It’s like paying for a latte, but drinking a piccolo.

You might not end up in your dream job

“Dream job” is a term bandied about by millennials like a lung lolly at a warehouse party. Yet authors such as Cal Newport, in his book Deep Work, advocate the growth mindset to your career, whereby you develop skills and passions over time that eventually lead you to professional satisfaction. Your idea of what you might like or might be good at is moot once you leave uni, as by definition you’ve never really experienced the world of full-time work. Let yourself discover passions that you didn’t know were there and let go of the “dream job” fundamentalism that has infected a generation.

It’s going to be harder than you think

You can spend years building up the confidence and the individuality you’ve always dreamt of at uni, only to be thrown into the cesspit of competition, harking back to the days when you tried out for the choir without realising you were tone deaf. You’ll fumble and bumble your way round, and its going to be hard. Take a deep breath, consolidate and move forward.

Rory Marples

Rory is studying a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Notre Dame.

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