The beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

Everything is finishing: my job, living away from home, and the biggie: University.

Most of my work experience has involved a few months here and there, or working with older colleagues, or been something to get enough money to complete my next adventure (Kenya, Iceland, University…) This bar job was a little different. To a point, I missed working, but I also wanted to make as much money to do something when I finished my degree (this was originally going to be buy a house – how exciting). Working for Lancaster Uni tourguiding, and later designated alcohol provider and hangover solver has been a really joy, I’ve met some awesome people, and even though I knew it had to end, I wasn’t expecting the slight hole that would be left when I no longer poured pints or prepared pizzas. To anyone and everyone who I’ve served this year’ it has been a pleasure; to all those I’ve worked with, you know who you are, thanks, it’s been memorable.

Considering how much leaving a job of a year has left me, I am sure you’ll understand how much the next bit is hitting me. Well, I say that, I’m slightly lying. I have watched my friends have that moment of realisation. I don’t know if it’s because I worked later than them, whether it just hasn’t hit me yet, or whether I am just cold-hearted, but I haven’t had that ”wow, it’s over moment” yet. Maybe it will come when I move out for the last time, and move back into my parents house for the tangible future. I don’t think I am too bad when I move back in (sorry if I am Mum) and I am extremely thankful I can just move back in, but it just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Once you’ve lived on your own, it really sucks to move back in with your parents, and their way of doing things.

With the end of University comes the end of 18 years of education. For along time, especially during some of my early months in Lancaster, I had been waiting eagerly for this freedom, but now that it has arrived, I don’t know what to do with myself. I have been in education since I was 4, so excluding my gap year (in which I worked for resits and looked forwards to uni) I have spent 18 years developing, learning, and living in a regimented world in which I felt comfortable, but also, in which I felt like I had a purpose and a place. Throughout these years, I have said so many times ‘I don’t want to do that’ or ‘I don’t want to go in today’ or ‘God, this is boring’. I hate to admit it, but whenever parents, or teachers, or any generic but legitimate adult says to you ‘One day you will look back and think they were the best days of your life, so don’t waste them” they were so right.

I didn’t do as well in my degree as I wanted to, but I guess after 3 years of studying it is about as much as I deserve. I went to a top 10 University (Lancaster Uni) to do a decent degree (BSc Geography) in LEC (Lancaster Environment Centre) one o their flagship centres, so I know I shouldn’t complain too much, but at the moment, no matter how much I try to reason with myself at the moment, it’s not working. It has undoubtdebly limited the amount of work I am likely to be able to get. Not that I am thinking about that.

So far, everything I have done in education has led down a path that has been set for me: I completed primary school in order to go to secondary school, i sat entrance papers for a good secondary school to maximise my secondary education, I did well at year 9 SATs so I was setted well for GCSE, I chose GCSE subjects and worked for those exams to get good grades that allowed me to sit my chosen subjects as A level. After that, I chose my University subject (a great struggleย  in itself) and the grades they setย  me dictated my path further. Once at Lancaster, how hard I work was directly represented by eventual grade and has set me up for real life. But what do I want to do with my degree? What field do I want to go into? What is real life and the real world for me? So far, the only answer I have doesn’t seem to cut the mustard: I DON’T KNOW.

Throughout my life I have love maps. Call me sad or a geek, but I don’t care. I have two awesome atlases, a map above my bed that has pins for everywhere I have been, and I asked my friends for a globe for my 22nd birthday. I love travelling, and places, both of which are cartogrphical to some extent, and so when I was deciding what degree to do, it was a natural choice to go with Geography, a subject (I thought) that would essentially be an extension of these passions. I have another decision in life, what to do next. When I thought about the answer to this, only one thing came to mind: travel.

When I was looking for things to do when Ieft University, I realised that I wanted to continue writing somehow, so I decided to start a blog. This blog. When I was thinking how to start it and what to write about, I wasn’t really sure whether it was for me. By the time I had finished reading about themes and niches, I was about to pack it in, but as everything is ending, I thought I needed to start something new. As for themes and niches, well they will come later, when I actually find a writing style, or decide this is for me, right?!

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