Graduate. Alumni. That’s what I am now and it’s a title that I’m still getting used to. I was at the bank this morning, completing one of those bio data forms rather absent-mindedly; the usual stuff, name, place/date of birth, address, occupation. I started writing ‘stu’ and abruptly stopped, thinking to myself ‘wait… can I still put down student as my occupation?’ I mulled it over for a good 5 minutes, crossed out the ‘stu’ that I had written and wrote ‘fresh graduate’ instead because let’s face it ‘unemployed’ (the brutal truth) is just too pitiful to admit. It’s not that I haven’t had any job offers; it’s just that I haven’t had any suitable ones.
Which brings me to the topic of this article, now that I’m free to do what I want for the first time in my life, I seriously have no idea what it is that I want to do. Isn’t it ironic that what I really want to do is go back to uni and go back to being a student? But that being out of the question right now I have to come up with something else to keep myself busy and hopefully earn some money while I’m at it.
Sometimes after scouring the Saturday morning newspaper for job openings or after sending email after email of my CV to so many companies I’ve lost count, I sit back and lose myself in thoughts. It starts with ‘what job would I love doing?’ Then ‘what job will pay the most?’ Then ‘what role will suit me perfectly? What is my purpose in life? What was I born to do?’ Life is so short; I don’t want to waste it doing something mundane and useless. I’ve always thought that I’d want to follow a career path where my main duty is to help people; in whatever way it may be (forgive me for being so vague!) Not only will this make me and my clients happy, a win-win situation, but it will also match my ‘people-pleasing’ personality. I just haven’t found what that is yet, I’m on the verge of finding it but I’m not quite there yet, which I think is a dilemma that a lot of young graduates face nowadays. What a serious flaw in the education system. They grill us for ±16 years on how to get good test scores but after they release us into the wild, we have no idea what to do with ourselves because we’d been spoon-fed all our lives.
How many of us know exactly what we want to do in life from the very beginning? I’m assuming it’s a pretty small percentage. If you happen to be those lucky few, like my brother who aspires to be a doctor ever since he was 6 and has never budged an inch from that path (he’s now 16), please share your secret with the rest of us who are still a little bit lost.