Hi there! I'm Charlee, a second-year Conservation of Cultural Heritage student from Brighton. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and creating digital art.
During university we are thrown into the ‘real world’ without any supervision, expected to come out of our comfort zones and embrace serious changes in a short space of time. Although university life promises carefree partying and being around friends 24/7, we often find ourselves questioning our choices and staying up late googling what to do.
Recently, I was required to create a presentation on my goals and found myself with more questions than answers. In this article, I share how I cut myself some slack, overcame some of my uncertainties and normalised NOT having it all figured out.
It’s estimated that we spend a third of our lives working, so it should come as no surprise that most people during their university degree will feel an air of uncertainty about what career they would like to pursue.
The process of making career decisions can seem daunting and many of us just don’t know where to start. Usually, this is because we have too many ideas about what we would like to do or sometimes none at all. By no mean do you have to commit to one career pathway, but you can however try to better your understanding of your wants and needs for a potential job:
- Make a mind map of what you’re looking for in a career.
- Research your options. What are employers looking for? What attributes do you need? How can you demonstrate those skills?
- Tell your tutor.
- Book an appointment with the Careers and Employability team.
During your time in university, your friendships will evolve and take different paths. If a friend becomes less available, it’s important to know it’s not your fault and that changes within a friendship are sometimes difficult.
If you are struggling, it’s important to give the situation time and talk about how you are feeling. Remember that you are not alone, ensure you are keeping up your social life by going to society events, trying out for sports, or planning a get-together with your coursemates.
Change of Interests
What tickled your fancy in the past may not float your boat now. As you go through university, your interests will change. Whether it’s nights out not sounding all too appealing or a hobby no longer being the highlight of your week, it’s normal to go through different phrases.
Be selfish with your time and how you spend it; fill it with activities that make you happy! Embrace your current phrases and be open to new ones; university is an exciting time all about discovering who you are and what you enjoy!
Our bodies too, are going through some changes and that means we can start to struggle with our body image. It’s important to remind yourself of everything your body can do – your body is your home and you need to look after it, both physically and mentally.
We often feel more comfortable in our skin one month and not the next, but it’s essential that we try to persevere through those days. Have compassion for your body and avoid comparing yourself to other people. You define your own beauty.
Asking for Help
Being thrown into the adult world and suddenly expecting to know it all is scary. There’s no instruction book to university so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your best will look different to others, and admitting to yourself that you are struggling does not mean you are failing.