I Don’t Know What I Want To Do After University: And I’m OK With That

So I’m about to finish my 3rd year of university, with only a year to go until that glorious graduation day. So it’s common that I get asked what my plans are for when I do graduate. And of course, I’m OK with people asking me this. I’ve got big dreams and big plans. But people give me a somewhat unsatisfied look when I can’t give them the name of a profession. Like somehow that doesn’t align with their idea of what my degree leads to or their expectation of me. I usually sit there trying to defend myself and the fact that I don’t know what I want to do, but that’s a good thing etc… but I can see it in their eyes. They think I’m delusional.

So this has prompted me to realise and accept the following…

The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate, and I’m happy about that.

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What ideas do I have?

Well let me name a few to get us started.

I’m considering doing honours (thesis). Taking a year off to work. Taking time off to travelVolunteering for an NGO. Applying for a graduate program. Doing my Masters. Doing my Masters overseas. Start my own business. Become involved in politics. Be a foreign correspondent. Be a freelance content creator. 

I have no shortage of ideas. But I feel like I shouldn’t be narrow on my focus or goals. That I shouldn’t discount anything just yet, because who know’s where life will take you. Or should I say, where I’m going to navigate my life.

The reality is, I’m only 22 years old. Some people at my age know exactly what they want to do in life and that’s fantastic, and I support that! But I feel that where I am right now in my life, it’s basically impossible for me to be sure which direction I want to go in. There’s endless possibilities out there. They say that young generations are going to switch careers multiple times during our work life anyway. At my age right now, I value life experience and the skills and lessons I’ve learnt outside of a classroom, more than pursuing a traditional lifestyle of finding a job, husband and settling down. Ain’t nothing settling down around here anytime soon.

I think the most frustrating thing is that the people who ask you this question, are usually the people who know you the least. You’ve usually just met and they’re making awkward small talk, which I hate. So when someone doubts my ability, accomplishments or ambitions, it’s extremely frustrating. Because they’re making an immediate judgement and assumption from our first meeting. Not cool.

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So what can we do about this?

Instead of people asking ‘what you want to do when you graduate’, or ‘what career do you want’… let’s ask something more meaningful. Maybe we can ask them what goals they have? Does what they do make them happy? Where do you see your goals taking you? What’s your biggest dream?

I also think that’s it’s dangerous to put so much pressure on young people. I think society perceives us as invincible, but I feel kind of the opposite at the moment. I feel vulnerable and susceptible to societies expectations but I feel strong in my determination to make something of myself and make myself proud.

I think that by asking these sorts of questions and being encouraging and nurturing of people’s ideas and dreams is the way forward. Questions and conversations that mean something to people. I believe that by moving away from the traditional conversations, we can adapt and change our conversations and belief in others to one that is nurturing, inquisitive and encouraging to ensure we leave a conversation inspired and not judged.

[If you’re still unsure what I’m talking about… check out this amazing TED Talk below, explaining why she, and many others don’t have one true calling – and that’s a good thing!]

Hugs Not Drugs @Future Music Festival

Future Music Festival… one of the few times of the year roided up guys and fake titted girls can show off what they’ve got to 30,000 other people, whilst gabba-ing, pinging and crowd surfing. Ok, so a little bit exaggerated, but none the less, there sure are a lot of drugs there. Pills, pingas, e, molly… whatever you want to call it, every second person seems to be on it. So here are my reasons being sober at a festival (minus a few vodka redbulls) is the best way to enjoy your day.

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To be honest, if you want to go ahead and do it, that’s fine by me, but the bottom line is that pills are illegal in Australia and can cause adverse effects. Security at festivals are usually really tight, with police and sniffer dogs everywhere. To be honest, I was quite surprised at the relative lack of security at Future this year however, is sneaking drugs in really worth a massive fine, or a criminal record? Hell no!

Then there’s the people that don’t know their limits and go too hard and crash hard. Whilst my friends are I were enjoying our lunch, a boy and a girl sat next to us. The girls eyes were rolling back in her head and she was struggling to keep her head up. Her friend just kept asking, ‘are you ok, are you ok?’ Obviously she’s not OK mate! We asked if she needed help and she murmured ‘i’m fine.’ She’s definitely not fine. The girl then began to froth at the mouth before vomiting down herself. We ran and grabbed the police where she refused help, but eventually led her to the emergency tent. Apart from being worried for the girls safety, I was saddened that she got to this state and couldn’t enjoy the rest of the festival.

On a side note of why you won’t see me smuggling pills any time soon, I’ll spare the details but why would you smuggle drugs into a festival in your… ummm… cavities? Ew

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And what about me? I just had a few vodka redbulls and let the awesome dance music carry me away. The best part… I could remember every awesome thing that happened, I wasn’t completely wrecked the next day, I don’t have a massive fine or criminal record and I could stay in control and remain aware and alert in an environment which is rather unpredictable.

So stay safe and get high on life and music!

xxx A

The Hardest Things About Packing (and Moving on in Life)

As the year draws to a close, so does this chapter of my life; living at a university residence. Whilst I’ve met some incredible people, done some awesome things and drank and awful amount of goon, I’m glad to move onto the next and currently unknown chapter. As I lay on my bed, walls cast with the shadow of my travel photos that lined them, bags, clothes and mess everywhere… this is not the first time I’ve packed my life into bags. Yet the same questions, uncertainties and feelings overcome me. So here’s the hardest things I’m confronted with whilst packing up my life yet again.

Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~ photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg
Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~
photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg

What does the future hold?

Whilst not even tarot cards can accurately tell me this, it’s a bit unsettling having so many options and decisions to make for my immediate and distant future. Where will I live? Who with? Do I need to start looking for a house now? Or maybe just a room? What about my job? How am I going to afford Christmas presents? Can I go to this party? Or will I be working? What do I want to achieve? Countless questions flood my mind. The thing that gives me hope is that I’ve experienced this before (when I was leaving London) and I know that if you make the most of every opportunity, learn and grow from every experience and refuse to give up, then wonderful things will happen. You just need to first believe and then do it. The present and future is in our hands.

Is this the end?

The end of some things… yes. And thankfully, goodbye single bed, see ya later noise/alcohol bans, adios cookie thieves and au revoir to the thousands of lizards! The hardest thing, particularly leaving London, is imagining your life without certain people, places and the little things you’re used to, and the saddening fact that you don’t know when you’ll see them again. A big thing that I dealt with leaving London was the fear of losing the new London Adelaide. I was proud of everything I achieved and had become and was scared that it would disappear when I moved back to Australia. Sometimes I still feel like I’m dealing with an identity crises, however over time, you adjust. It’s almost like you get to recreate yourself again. The picture below shows how much I changed last year and even comparing myself to the photo from last year, I’ve changed a lot from that girl too. We have to create the life we want and inevitably we’ll change. Yet some things will never end, the unique and special friendships (especially those that cross borders), the memories, the lessons learnt and the feeling of creating a home.  With every ending, comes a new beginning, and they are always exciting (and your friends will want to hear all about it).

February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland) More than just my clothes changed
February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland)
More than just my clothes changed

How am I going to move all of this stuff?

I don’t know how, but I just accumulate so much stuff! It’s not until you start packing and thinking about transporting everything you own, you truly realise it. Luckily, my parents are helping me do this (thank god). When I moved back to Australia from London, I had to fit my life into 30kgs! (miraculously I did it). And with all the of the stuff you accumulated over your time somewhere, attached to each thing is a specific memory that you just have to hold on to!

My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.
My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.

Reflection, reflection, reflection 

Maybe it’s just me, but I take forever to pack because I look through things, I reminisce, I decide if I want to keep it or not, I organise things, toss thing and look at things a bit more. While I pack, I can’t help but reflect on the year that has been, how I’ve changed, grown and learned. I then listen to sad and soppy music and look at photos, thinking back to all the good times. And once I’m done reflecting (and sobbing), I think forward to next year and how I want to change, what I want to achieve, fix, excel at, get involved in. Once I do this, I get a buzz of excitement and just want to get it all started!

What gets me through?

Even though packing up your life and moving on can be difficult (and you will no doubt need an adjustment period), the thing that gets me through is hop for the future, that I can make each year, month, day, bigger and better than the last. Knowing that my friends and family love and support me (and will even help me move all of my stuff). Knowing that I have goals and dreams to aspire to, and that the actions I take now are a step towards those dreams. Knowing that each night the sun will set and each morning the sun will rise, shining new light on a new day. I know it’s incredibly clichéd, but it’s true.

xxx

A

After each sunset, there will be a sunrise
After each sunset, there will be a sunrise

The Adventures of a Worldly Addict

Travel completes me.

I don’t know whether it’s the thrill of meeting new people, deciphering street names, tasting the local cuisine or wondering the back streets of the world, one cobblestone path after another. But whatever it is, it’s beautiful hand has captured my heart and spirit.

So, where I have I been in this beautiful, big, wide world? Just a few places. When I was young, my family and I traveled around Australia in a caravan. I can’t remember much, but I know that’s definitely what triggered my intrigue in the world around me. After living in rural South Australia, Tropical North Queensland, and beautiful Port Stephens (my home town), I’m quite used to packing up my life into a bag and starting a new one somewhere else.

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When I was in Year 10, I did a 3 month Rotary Student Exchange to New Zealand, Palmerston North, where I first saw snow, attended an all girls high school and… tried alcohol for the first time (sorry Mum).

After I graduated from high school, I worked my arse off, once again packed my life into a backpack, and this time… London was calling.

So last year, I called little old London town, home. Where I lived and worked for a year, traveling when I had the funds. It was by far the scariest, most wonderful thing I have ever achieved.

Travelwise… I went skiing in Austria, immersed myself in the café culture of Amsterdam, strolled through the streets of Paris 3 times (yes, I love Paris), explored the Scottish Highlands (the sexiest accent around), spent St Patrick’s Day in Dublin drinking Guiness and Jameson, rocked out to Bastille in Munich, partied for a week in Zante, Greece, went back in time Italy, celebrated New Years Eve in Krakow, got lost along the Danube in Budapest, got alcohol poisoning in Prague (the city where beer is literally cheaper than water), saw glaciers in Iceland and of course, explored the wonders of England and everything that the country itself, London, has to offer.

Photographer - Adelaide Haynes
Photographer – Adelaide Haynes

In total I’ve been to 16 countries and hope that number increases significantly in the near future.

But where will I go next? Well for now, I’m settled into Wollongong, the South Coast of Australia, studying International Studies with Communication and Media. In 2016, I’m hoping to complete an exchange for a year in France to become fluent in French and discover the many more gems of Europe, in particular; Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt.

At the moment, Brazil is a stand out of somewhere I’d like to explore (the 2nd sexiest accent).

So what’s this blog about then? I’ve finished my travels and am now just a boring uni student? I did keep a travel blog http://crimsonthoughts.travellerspoint.com  or http://missadelaide.travellerspoint.com If you’d like to check it out. However, after being back home for 3 months now, I’ve had some time to reflect and think about my time abroad. So read on to find out about my adventures, recommendations, guides, must do’s, thoughts and perspectives as a traveler and hopefully not so boring uni student.

Ciao

Photographer - Adelaide Haynes
Photographer – Adelaide Haynes