A long summer

University is such a strange thing. You go away to continue learning sophisticated progressions in topics dabbled in from school, and you’re more often than not expected to end it all with a shiny new degree and life experience. No doubt, each and everyone’s ‘university experience’ is different – some people drop out, some struggle, some find their dream opportunity and others continue as normal, delaying the inevitable revelation that is real world problems. It’s an exciting period of anyone’s life, no matter the events that take place.

These thoughts throb in my mind endlessly as I sit back at home, away from the hustle of the Big City, contemplating my next moves. The last three years have passed at an impressive speed, it’s hard to comprehend how swiftly these ‘best moments of your life’ really come to an end. I sit here searching the web for answers; job prospects, social endeavours, and developing my own skills. Soon I’ll begin learning to drive, I’ll also begin a work placement, but sadly it may not last the whole duration of the holiday season, and again I attempt to sell myself to the World. Of course, I’m enrolling myself on an MA course in magazine journalism come September, but that doesn’t diminish the gloomy feelings that grow in-between those two segments of my life. My final year in university emphasised to me the realness and desperation that many students struggled with in finding a place to go after it all. Problems that were ignored prior such as overwhelming debt, lack of relevant job vacancies, and becoming fully independent became very grounded issues. Two years of boozing into comas, and being lazy with education deadlines didn’t completely convince people that they should be planning ahead, instead, they lived in the moment. It’s only at the last hurdle that one realises that this time did matter, and maybe it should have been more productive. In many ways this is how I feel about myself and my university experience, there are many opportunities I did not take up, and now I feel some regret. However, like numerous of fellow students, I go on.

Without question the burden of guilt of not succeeding lingers on my shoulders constantly, but I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life. My MA will be tough, but I bring with me three years of semi-independent experience, and believe that this will set me up for the future. The worries of lacking funding, and job prospects in the future scare me, but you only get out what you put in, so hopefully with some determination I can still succeed.

 

Alexander  Jones

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Author: alexwelsh95

Magazine journalism trainee. Journalism, media and cultural studies graduate, Cardiff University.

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