The Student Life – Is it all worth it?
Your exams are looming, datelines fast approaching, you stare at your desk, filled with notes and “to-do” lists. You took a deep breath, probably even scratched your head, sigh and you wonder to yourself – what is all this? What am I doing with my life? WHAT IS LIFE? Will all these even matter next time? Yes and no. No, because 5 years down the road and your degree might not even correlate with the line of work that you’re in. Yes, because your grades are going to matter. All the assignments and exams that adds up to your grades are what open interview doors at big firms and companies. So yes, unfortunately for the most of it, it does matter. As for “what are you doing with your life?”, well that is completely up to you. After all, it really is as they say – you hold the key to your life, as clichéd as that sounds.
Fast forward a few days from now, after all the sweat, tears and blood, you’ll be at your own graduation ceremony. With your parents beaming down at you from the stand most likely spamming the camera at their child who’s about to receive his or her certificate. Yes, it does matter. For that brief minute where you step onto the stage to collect your degree or masters certificate, you can assuredly say you did them proud. But what next? Ah, that’s the question we all fear. The uncertainties, the period where you just have to follow timetables and roll to classes depending on the time of the day is over. You have entered adulthood. The PROPER adulthood; not the 21st birthday nonsense. You will have bills to pay, bosses to please and your parents to take care of. (Well, it’s your turn to repay the debt now isn’t it?)
Where do I start? What do I do?
Now is the time to properly sit yourself down to have a chat with yourself. What do you want to work as? What do you aspire to be 5 years down the road? Is what you’re doing now making you happy? Or are you just rolling with it just because? Do you want to be an employee or your own boss? Do YOU know who YOU are?
As surprising as it is, the question “do you know who you are?” stumps a lot of people at this point of life. You begin to wonder about the choices you’ve made; your degree, your friends and your family. Then you start questioning yourself. If what you’re doing is because people around you have been egging you on in that direction or if it’s a path you’ve decided on your own. BUT if you are really stumped on this question, then it’s a sign for you to take a step back, breathe and rediscover yourself once more.
Road to Self-Discovery
As clichéd as this sounds, it works. The quarter-life crisis is real but it just happens to different people at different points in life. Numerous people your age have been dumbfounded when they’ve reached this stage in life. They feel as though they’ve lost a huge part of their identity. They are no longer sure what they’re doing things for anymore and if it all really matters. Chances are, you probably have peers who are accumulating job offers as you sit here reading this article but before you make things worse by comparing yourself with your friends, you need to ensure you’re confident with what you want in life.
Just because your peers are scouting big companies to work for, doesn’t mean that you should follow suit. If you want to further your studies instead, go for it. You shouldn’t feel belittled just because your direction in life is a bit off course as compared to your friends. Sure, doing a Masters or Ph.D. will set you back a couple of years but in the long run those few extra years will prove to be insignificant. Life isn’t a race after all.
However, if you are still feeling lost, go out and travel (on your own if possible) because it is one of the sure-fire ways of figuring out what you want in life. Learning how to do things independently gives you a whole different perspective and aspiration in life. It sharpens your goals and your opinions on what you are truly capable of in the real world. And when you’ve got that bit figured out, let’s just say that at least you now know roughly where you’re headed to in your next stage in life.
Finding the Perfect Job
Is there such thing as a perfect job? Perhaps there is: fully stocked pantry, extremely friendly colleagues and actually working in a field that you have an interest in. Sounds too good to be true? Perhaps. Which boils down to understanding the criteria and your own definition of the perfect job. Before you start drafting your own mind-map about what your most ideal job is, consider the nagging voices of your parents. After all, they only want what’s best for you.
If you are considering writing songs because it is truly what you’re interested in, think about the future or the bigger picture. Where do you go from there? Can you take it to the next big step? You are no longer a daydreaming adolescent teenager. You are now an adult and with age, comes responsibility –and these include bills to pay and mouths to feed. So, even if you really want to write songs for a living, start by doing it as a side job to your actual full-time paying job. When and IF it really hits off, then yes, you can focus on writing songs as your career.
Ask any starry-eyed, high-achieving university student who is on their road to graduation about where their ideal job location is and you’re bound to hear one of the Big Four’s name. Ernst & Young, PWC, Deloitte and KPMG. These four big names are good enough to get any pre-grad students drooling. The prestigious name comes with bragging rights (for both the one getting hired AND their parents). If you are very sure this is the road that you’d want to pursue, do it with your head held high. It is your dream that you are chasing.
Begin by asking your friends and family to help in training you for interviews because practice makes perfect ESPECIALLY for interviews. The big fours typically come with assessments for you to complete and it is okay to fail. Hardly anyone gets in on their first try anyway. So, if you didn’t make it on your first go, pick yourself back up, dust your clothes and try again. In fact, try as many times as you can because we learn a little bit more with every failure and the Big Four dream isn’t one that is so easily accomplished.
Uncertainty with your Career Goals
It is okay to be unsure – this fact cannot be emphasized enough. You will be working for the next 40 years of your life! You can’t expect to hit it right off on the right note. Just because you go into a role that does not meet your expectations, doesn’t mean that you’re stuck in that role forever. Go out, work in different types of roles and discover for yourself which line of job truly inspires you to get up every day. After all, this is for you and only you. Do something you love BUT pays enough. If you don’t find it on your first try, go at it again. You got this. You are not alone.
To have more idea on how to build your career path go to you Career Guide!
This post was written by Suyin Leow from iPrice Group.