One Year in the Real World

It’s been nearly a year since I graduated from university. It has been a weird one. Without being in an academic environment where you can actually see what you have achieved and how well you have done it, it can be a bit disheartening when you step back and think WHAT have I actually achieved this year?

It was difficult at the beginning because I loved being a student.

I loved:
– All of the friends I made and all the weird and wonderful things we did (including a Lord of the Rings marathon complete with drinking game, dressing up as pirates to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, regularly having breakfast at IKEA because it was so cheap and spending most of first year juggling wanting to have as much fun as possible and wanting to pass our exams)

An impromptu BBQ
An impromptu BBQ

– Living close enough (sometimes in the same house) to everyone to stop by at a moments notice.
– Going to lectures and making notes, making confused eyes at people when the lecturer started making things a bit difficult.
– Feeling extremely close with my fellow coursemates when we were stressing out about exams.
– Going to the pub after we finished our exams for the semester, even if our last exam finished in the morning.

All of these were consumed before midday
All of these were consumed before midday

-Having a horrifically messy room and no one to moan at me about it.

In my defense, I took this during the exam period
In my defense, I took this while stressing out about exams

Sometimes it was hard, but I loved it. I was really excited to go to university and it was so much better than I had imagined it.

So you can imagine, having it all finish was a bit hard. Despite not knowing what I really wanted to do I was actually organised enough to apply for jobs before I graduated, in an attempt to have one lined up right after I finished. Unfortunately, I applied for jobs where you had to be a bit more of a computer genius than I am and while I did go to quite a few interviews I did not get any offers.

So I lowered my standards, if I got any job at least that would give me some experience and I could move in with R and pay some rent. I applied for pretty much everything.  Unfortunately when you are applying for a job in a shop, having a Physics degree is only going to put people off. They’ll assume you don’t plan on staying there for very long.

I did have an interview for Domino’s Pizza though, and a trial shift which convinced me that I did not want to work there. Anyone who works in a fast food or kitchen environment has my infinite respect because I thought it was horrible.

Luckily, I got a job in a shop. I was glad I got it, but I always dreaded anyone asking me what I did before working there. When I said I had studied Physics at university I could almost feel them wondering what I was doing there. It’s difficult to get your first decent job!

Thankfully, after 3 months working there I got offered my current job. A 7 month contract working in a college library. People still raise their eyebrows when I mention my degree but the work is a bit more interesting and the hours are much more sociable.

The 7 months is almost up. While my manager thinks that there might be funding for the position come September I still feel like I could be doing something more challenging, which is why a lot of my posts are themed around my struggle with those silly interviews.

So it has been an interesting year, I may not have learnt about quantum physics or how stars form but I don’t feel like I have been sitting around doing nothing.

I have learnt what it is like to live with your significant other, I have learnt how shops work and how to be not be an annoying customer, I am much better at talking on the phone and interviews no longer make me ridiculously nervous.

 And I have started a blog that I really enjoy writing and has introduced me to loads of other interesting blogs that I love reading.

It may have been tough at the beginning but I don’t think this being a grown up thing is as scary as I thought it would be.

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