The excitement starts when applying to university, choosing a course and actually thinking about what you want to do. It is a life changing experience that will shape your future. Being accepted and receiving offers at your chosen university is one of the greatest feelings you can have.
So, filled with energy, ambitions, optimism and hopes for a better life a student starts off by taking the first steps towards his/her chosen career path. But how long do these feelings last?
Well not long, at least not for me. As a new student starting university in 2012, the current economic climate quickly threw its shadows on me. The tripling of tuitions fees, the associated debt after graduation, and a critical and competitive job market have awakened me from my dreams.
Have I chosen the right course? Where will it take me? How will employers see me? Will I find a job after graduating? And if not, what shall I do? These and other pertinent questions are constantly on my mind.
Being a naturally positive individual who is looking forward to changing the world, this is of course a very daunting experience. But having doubts and feeling insecure are just normal emotions that every student has to go through.
Despite all that I try to maintain an optimistic attitude. Why? Well, what's the alternative? Is a pessimistic outlook towards life any better? I don't think so.
I have a passion for engineering and I love the course I am taking. I do not regret a second of it. I study hard and aim high. I attend careers events that take place at university, subscribe to companies on social networking sites, apply for membership at relevant institutions, and take part in any competitions I am eligible to participate in. Of course I want to win, but my main objective is to make myself known to potential employers and take any opportunity to network.
Life is not easy - nobody said it would be. We are facing many challenges in the 21st century and the economic crisis is only one of them. So, how do we cope with doubts, insecurities and worries about the future?
All we can do is give it our best and hope that everything is going to be just fine. We should aim to be the best, but not set our expectations too high. In this way we can avoid disappointment, which in turn leads to discouragement and desperation.
Yes, we are living in difficult and uncertain times, but we never know what the future holds. So, why do we worry about what could be and if we have chosen the right course, the right path?
Let's take a step back: Why did we choose to go to university and study what we have chosen? Of course we want to go into a related field and gain employment afterwards, but what was the initial drive? What made us choose that particular course?
Our passion. Our interest. Our thirst for in-depth knowledge into the realm of life.
I remember the remarkable speech held by Steve Jobs' 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University, and one of the things he said:
'Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.'
Wouldn't we be better off concentrating all our energy into what we love, our chosen field of study, instead of wasting our precious time on worrying about tomorrow? Just be easy on yourself and go with the flow. In the end, I am convinced that everything is going to fall into place.
Life is indeed too short to be anything but happy.