I would have assumed that the end of university is supposed to be some sort of prolific and monumental life achievement, but here I am feeling as though nothing has changed. In fact, the conclusion of my university journey has been somewhat underwhelming. There’s no huge banner saying ‘congrats, you’ve made it’, nor is there anyone to pat you on the back and pop a little party popper full of unnecessary streamers over your head. Life kind of just goes on and you’re left to fend for yourself. Thus begins life after university.
My final year of university has been a whirlwind of an adventure to say the least. And no, I don’t mean the kind of adventure that I had in 2014 when I packed my bags and moved to the other side of the world for a year. I mean the kind of adventure that demands responsibility and real life planning. I came back from my year abroad intent on gaining relevant work experience to slap onto my mediocre resumé. That intent turned into too many applied jobs, too many rejections and a handful of train-wreck interviews that left me sweating all over the place. I was in such despair after stuttering and sweating my way through interviews that I lost all hope that an introverted and self-conscious person such as myself would ever find a job.
Things started picking up for me after the middle of the year though. I had landed myself a volunteering job with Greenpeace doing data entry. Though it didn’t entail much brain power, it made me feel a little bit better. Then on a whim, I applied for another internship and to my surprise, got it. That internship quickly turned into a paid job which still kind of baffles me to this day. I guess my biggest weakness is my lack of self confidence in my creative abilities and I’m very quick to undervalue my talent and skills. Anyway, things got very busy in a short amount of time and I realised that when I’m drowning in copious amounts of work, I tend to disfunction a little. So eventually I quit my volunteer job at Greenpeace and focused on university, my part-time job, side work for my brother and of course, trying to continue creating content for YouTube.
The thing about finding your path when you’ve chosen a less conventional and more creative career is that you’ll always be at a crossroad. You want to be able to gain experience by doing things for others that you would never get to experience otherwise. You also want to express your creativity through personal projects in the hope that they’ll blossom into something that you can be proud of. The thing that really constricts both these processes is time. For me, organising my time has always been something that I’ve tried to master in order to be more productive.
Sometimes I wish I had chosen a path that was more lenient in terms of time. Like perhaps if I had chosen a nursing degree, I would have more time after university or after work to Netflix and chill. The thing about creative pursuits is that it doesn’t end after you’ve clocked off. Creative productivity is a 24/7 thing. I’ve chosen a path that demands productivity every minute and I become riddled with such guilt whenever I’ve planned to do something but end up in the city with friends. There’s a fine balance between work and play. I think a lot of our successes in life will simply boil down to persistence and dedication… and a damn good time management plan.
So yes, this is life after university. I was hoping that I would cuddle up in my pyjamas and binge-watch shows on Netflix, but it looks like life demands to be lived. I’m going to be flat out for the next three weeks until I leave for my holiday in Malaysia and Singapore but I figure one of these days, the hard work and dedication will pay off… and if not, then it’s another experience that I can add to my life’s story.
Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your time with friends!
I completely understand why people say that university is the most carefree time you’ll ever have. I feel like we’re always so keen to grow up and to progress that we forget to live in the moment. We forget to cherish the pockets of freedom that we have. I really hope that moving forward, I’ll be able to organise my time wisely.
Anyhow, despite life’s stresses, I’m very excited to see what life after university has to offer. I’m heading overseas at the end of November to visit family in Malaysia. Mattias will be joining me and we’ll also be doing a small trip to Singapore before he comes back with me to Sydney. I think the biggest driving factor in persevering through the most difficult of times has been Mattias’ support and the prospect of him spending next year in Sydney with me. I have so many plans and exciting projects that I’m itching to get started with the help of Mattias. Fingers crossed they all come to fruition and we can create some epic content together.
But yes, that’s life thus far in a nutshell. To all us shy introverts out there who are seriously lacking in self-confidence… I only have one piece of advice for you. Trust. Trust yourself. Trust your abilities. Trust your determination and perseverance.
Until next time,