June is always an exciting time of year for anyone working in design, as this month marks student degree shows in UK art and design universities. If you studied these subjects, cast your mind back to the effort that went into your final push, the excitement you felt at bringing all your hard work together in one last display.
Finally, after 5 long, hard years, I'm just weeks away from graduating from dental school. This is something that seemed almost impossible a few years ago; when I found out I was pregnant during my second year of this difficult course. Even more impossible when, at 7 months pregnant I also became single.
Once you have chosen which door you want opened, there will, in fact, be more on the other side. It might be twenty years before you get to the next door, or it might be three. When my dad first gripped the handle that would lead to his life as an undergraduate student, it was a realisation that this door was never closed, it was simply one that he had never tried to open before.
Dissertation deadlines creeping nearer, graduation dates announced, exam timetables released - the end of U.N.I is nigh. The question is, will we make it? It's not as if we haven't been training ourselves for this moment for the last two and a half years. It's the final stretch. But what if we fall at the last hurdle? What if our pole-vault snaps halfway up? What if...okay I've gone insane.
If, like me, you've just graduated, this question is currently being thrust towards you a lot. Normally it will escape from the lips of a simpering adult (discounting myself as part of that functioning, mortgage-owning, salary-earning clan), who poses the question after light chit-chat. It could be a family friend or someone in a pub.
Long story short, my life has been pretty much mapped out up until now. And in some ways it's liberating to not know what's coming next. But it's also completely terrifying. So can anyone provide me with some reassurance or advice or anything really? Am I alone in feeling like this? Will things work out? What do I do next?
"A 2:1 is all you need" is a phrase I've probably heard a thousand times at uni and is almost certainly something I comforted myself with when the occasional essay came back with a tear-inducing grade. I wouldn't be surprised if many students have it printed in flowery calligraphy and pinned above their desks. Unfortunately though, there's a problem with the 2:1 that needs to be addressed.
This summer, thousands of students will attend their graduation ceremony which traditionally marks the completion of an undergraduate degree at university. But this ceremony is not just some innocent celebration of achievement. Finalists seem to regard it a "must do" event, something you can't afford not to do...
I am still finding it difficult to believe that I am no longer a student. My graduation last month passed me by in a blur of delighted congratulations and tearful good byes but the thing that most struck me was the realisation that a great deal of us graduates are not where we expected to be by this milestone.
Starting out on the career ladder can take time, but once you secure your first job, it will be a lot easier to progress, either within the company or in another role. The job market has changed considerably since I started out but it's still just as important to approach your career with the right mindset, the right outlook and real drive.