As I sit here studying for my very last exam in a subject that I care very little about, I feel frustrated. I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about graduating and, well, to be honest I feel very underwhelmed about the whole university process I’ve just undergone. It goes like this: When you go on holidays, I bet you visit those little markets designed for tourists – you know, the ones overflowing with gaudy souvenirs and trinkets. At the stalls, those handmade treasures look so beautiful, so unique, so worth the price! So, you gather a few souvenirs and make your way over to the stall vendor, bartering them down to what you think is a reasonable price. Finally, you two settle on a fair exchange and part ways. Some months later, once you’ve returned home and your bank account measures significantly lower than it did pre-trip, you look back at those souvenirs and think, huh, those hand-woven placemats looked a lot nicer when I was buying them. Boom, there it is. Once you’re removed from the process and your goggles have come off, things start to look a lot less rosy.
Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I feel like my goggles have just been torn off as I assess the final product of my efforts. University is hard. It’s time consuming, it’s demanding, and, sometimes, it’s just plain boring. I guess right now the accomplishment of the whole process has lost its lustre. I’ve loved most of the experiences I’ve had here for the past four years and I’ve met some wonderful people, but right at this very moment, I feel like I’ve just gone through a very rigours test and been spit out on the other side with a semi-meaningless piece of paper clutched in my hand. Can I get a job with my International Development degree? Maybe. Do I want a job related to my degree? YES! Yes, definitely. But, where do I find such a job that will hire me with no graduate degree? Right now, I’m hoping that my hard work will pay off, but it’s tough to look ahead with positivity when I’ve not a clue what I’d like to be, where I’d like to live, or what my life is going to be like. Mostly, I’m hoping that this education wasn’t a waste and that I find opportunities to put it to good use – that it still looks good and is appreciated once I leave.