Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit in anywhere?
Going to university is a right of passage right? No, despite what your school teachers may say it is down to you whether you go to university or decide to go into work.
At 24, Sarah a recent graduate reviews how she still doesn’t know where she fits in the world after university, and completely regrets going at all.
Sarah has struggled with anxiety throughout this whole entire period, just to discover it wasn’t going to go away once she landed a job.
Studying law, Sarah took on an academically strong task, and not understanding fully the workload and what was required of her once she started. Sarah slowly started to feel alone and scared, that when her anxiety kicked in.
She said: “I continued to keep going and pretend I didn’t feel the way I did to be honest I thought it was just home-sickness. I didn’t think or even know that there was any other option. I didn’t want to let my family down and let them see I wasn’t enjoying my course or even my time at uni, so I just carried on. It wasn’t until my last year I found out I could have changed my course.”
It wasn’t until Sarah left university she began to contemplate on what she had actually gained in the last three years, and problem of fitting in was really beginning to show.
As a law graduate it is common to follow a typical career path once obtaining your undergraduate degree that be to continue your studies into master or at professional level as in; the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in order to become a Solicitor, or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to become a Barrister.
Sarah went on to say: “I had a rough idea what I had to do if I wanted to be either, and really thought actually, ‘I can do this’.” Both courses required another year or two of studying, and fees up to £15,000.
With this in mind Sarah considered on applying to do the LPC. With her 2:1 undergraduate degree, she bagged a place at one of the most prestigious law schools in London.
In order to become a solicitor also requires you to obtain training contract which most large city firm’s offer. However Sarah had no idea the level of competitiveness there was is trying to get one, she had undertook another student loan of £10,000 only to release she couldn’t be a solicitor unless she had a training contract.
“I knew what I was doing was a big mistake, I pushed through my anxiety and thought F**k it, you only live once, how long is my anxiety going to keep pushing me back? I felt lucky enough to get in to do the LPC, I’m just so annoyed to this day that I didn’t know about what and how to get a training contract. I suppose because I was never truly interested in the subject and just forced myself to get on with it, I thought it was best to just carry on.” Said Sarah.
Despite graduate recruitment on an all time high, Sarah was amongst thousands of undergraduate students who struggle to seek employment once on completion of their studies every year. Sarah saw that it was her lack of communication with her career department that emphasized her anxiety over the process of seeking a job and then falling into more student debt.
Although Sarah now has a full time job as a legal assistant, she knew that this wasn’t her dream job. Most students get caught under the assumption that university is an essential requirement in growing up; in Sarah’s case it was making her ill and fall into a pit of student debt.
Sarah said: “I wish I knew what my options were, and I ‘you’ don’t then find out before it’s too late.”
Nowadays there are many possible routes gaining the career you want, university is not the only route to gain a job of your dreams, whether your academically strong or not. Talk to your careers advisors early to establish what career you would like to see yourself successfully undertaking