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I don't know what to do with my life after graduation! watch

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  • View Poll Results: What should I do? (if you can be bothered to read all that haha)
    Psychology masters
    3
    50.00%
    Physics degree
    1
    16.67%
    PGCE
    0
    0%
    Teach and volunteer abroad
    2
    33.33%

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    I graduated last year with a high 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Psychology... now I'm stuck.

    The past year I have spent doing very little meaningful. I carried on with my uni pub job for a while and then moved back home to live with my mum and have had a couple of minimum wage jobs (in care and as a waitress, which I hated). I have travelled a little in Europe with some savings and that's about it. Why? Because I don't know what I want to do!!!! I'm so jealous of people who have a definite direction they want to go in. I don't want to make a choice that I'll later regret!

    The way I see it, I have 4 options:

    1) Do a research masters course in Amsterdam in 'Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology' (the only facet of psychology that I'm still remotely interested in). Problem is, I don't know what kind of career I'd want out of it. Psychology research stresses me out and is so regimented it bores me. The tuition fees are very modest, non-existent compared to UK unis, although I'd have to work to live there. I'm just concerned I'd be doing this to please others rather than myself. I guess it's what's expected after doing a psychology degree, the natural progression...

    2) Go to university in Germany and study a Physics bachelor from scratch (and it's free!). Going into physics research was my original career-goal as a teenager. It's always fascinated me immensely, plus I'm good at it. Last minute I decided against it and chose Psychology instead. Mainly because I became concerned my maths wasn't strong enough. If I went back, I'd brush up on my maths A LOT in preparation. Cons: time-consuming, makes me look fickle, don't know if I'll actually be good enough for a research career, plus I'd have to work to sustain myself there. But the passion is there.

    3) Do a PGCE (cannot decide between primary and secondary but currently trying to line up classroom experience in order to decide). I genuinely think I'd really enjoy teaching, I'd just need to work on my confidence/projecting my voice, etc. It does appeal to me. However, the PGCE workload seems incredibly intensive and it could go either way. Maybe I'll hate it and then what can I do? The positives are that I'll get help funding it and that eventually, it will really help me if I want to travel and teach abroad in the future. Something I think I'd really enjoy once in the swing of things.

    4) Just go and teach abroad now. Get a TEFL certificate and then join an 'English Assistant' programme for a year to ease me into the teaching environment and give me some experience. Maybe volunteer a little using sites like Workaway.org, before going for proper teaching jobs in places like Thailand or South Korea. Definitely the most exciting option but I fear it might be the most irresponsible option and me just running away from making proper choices. I guess if I enjoy it a lot I can always come back and do a proper PGCE.

    Oh and in the future, the option is always open to do a part-time degree in physics, maybe with the OU or something. So not doing it now is not the end of the world.

    I'm 24 by the way and have already had 2 pointless 'gap years'.
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    I worked in South Korea for 2 years.

    Best two years of my life. Don't regret it and it didn't damage my employability in my chosen field [3rd sector charity/campaigns work] because I ran voluntary groups over there.
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    (Original post by Jazz90)
    I graduated last year with a high 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Psychology... now I'm stuck.

    The past year I have spent doing very little meaningful. I carried on with my uni pub job for a while and then moved back home to live with my mum and have had a couple of minimum wage jobs (in care and as a waitress, which I hated). I have travelled a little in Europe with some savings and that's about it. Why? Because I don't know what I want to do!!!! I'm so jealous of people who have a definite direction they want to go in. I don't want to make a choice that I'll later regret!

    The way I see it, I have 4 options:

    1) Do a research masters course in Amsterdam in 'Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology' (the only facet of psychology that I'm still remotely interested in). Problem is, I don't know what kind of career I'd want out of it. Psychology research stresses me out and is so regimented it bores me. The tuition fees are very modest, non-existent compared to UK unis, although I'd have to work to live there. I'm just concerned I'd be doing this to please others rather than myself. I guess it's what's expected after doing a psychology degree, the natural progression...

    2) Go to university in Germany and study a Physics bachelor from scratch (and it's free!). Going into physics research was my original career-goal as a teenager. It's always fascinated me immensely, plus I'm good at it. Last minute I decided against it and chose Psychology instead. Mainly because I became concerned my maths wasn't strong enough. If I went back, I'd brush up on my maths A LOT in preparation. Cons: time-consuming, makes me look fickle, don't know if I'll actually be good enough for a research career, plus I'd have to work to sustain myself there. But the passion is there.

    3) Do a PGCE (cannot decide between primary and secondary but currently trying to line up classroom experience in order to decide). I genuinely think I'd really enjoy teaching, I'd just need to work on my confidence/projecting my voice, etc. It does appeal to me. However, the PGCE workload seems incredibly intensive and it could go either way. Maybe I'll hate it and then what can I do? The positives are that I'll get help funding it and that eventually, it will really help me if I want to travel and teach abroad in the future. Something I think I'd really enjoy once in the swing of things.

    4) Just go and teach abroad now. Get a TEFL certificate and then join an 'English Assistant' programme for a year to ease me into the teaching environment and give me some experience. Maybe volunteer a little using sites like Workaway.org, before going for proper teaching jobs in places like Thailand or South Korea. Definitely the most exciting option but I fear it might be the most irresponsible option and me just running away from making proper choices. I guess if I enjoy it a lot I can always come back and do a proper PGCE.

    Oh and in the future, the option is always open to do a part-time degree in physics, maybe with the OU or something. So not doing it now is not the end of the world.

    I'm 24 by the way and have already had 2 pointless 'gap years'.
    1) Seeing as you seem to have lost interest in most of psychology plus find the research aspect laborious, I don't really see the point of you taking up the master's option. I think you would have to be pretty set on a career in that field to benefit from something so specific and am I right in saying those courses are 2 years long in Amsterdam?

    2) There is huge demand for people with physics degrees, but have you really given this proper thought or is it just an idea? Do you have physics A-level? Have you had experience in a physical sciences research lab? Would you be willing to commit to a new degree from scratch and rack up more uni debts by the age of 28?

    3) Teaching is a pretty solid route plus you sound like you would have a passion for it. Important to get that classroom experience though beforehand. Most jobs are intensive these days so I wouldn't let that put you off.

    4) I've always had the impression that people who do the TEFL do it because they aren't willing to commit to a fully fledged graduate job and use it as a stop gap before settling down. Either that or they don't know what they want to do and see it as a default option where they can also have fun with the travel element. As you've already had a few years off perhaps this isn't the wisest move. Surely getting classroom experience in a British school teaching your subject of interest is much better preparation for a PGCE?

    Those are just my thoughts but the decision is up to you. Best of luck!
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    (Original post by -=|Jay|=-)
    I worked in South Korea for 2 years.

    Best two years of my life. Don't regret it and it didn't damage my employability in my chosen field [3rd sector charity/campaigns work] because I ran voluntary groups over there.
    Did you teach over there?
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    (Original post by Jazz90)
    I graduated last year with a high 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Psychology... now I'm stuck.

    The past year I have spent doing very little meaningful. I carried on with my uni pub job for a while and then moved back home to live with my mum and have had a couple of minimum wage jobs (in care and as a waitress, which I hated). I have travelled a little in Europe with some savings and that's about it. Why? Because I don't know what I want to do!!!! I'm so jealous of people who have a definite direction they want to go in. I don't want to make a choice that I'll later regret!

    The way I see it, I have 4 options:

    1) Do a research masters course in Amsterdam in 'Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology' (the only facet of psychology that I'm still remotely interested in). Problem is, I don't know what kind of career I'd want out of it. Psychology research stresses me out and is so regimented it bores me. The tuition fees are very modest, non-existent compared to UK unis, although I'd have to work to live there. I'm just concerned I'd be doing this to please others rather than myself. I guess it's what's expected after doing a psychology degree, the natural progression...

    2) Go to university in Germany and study a Physics bachelor from scratch (and it's free!). Going into physics research was my original career-goal as a teenager. It's always fascinated me immensely, plus I'm good at it. Last minute I decided against it and chose Psychology instead. Mainly because I became concerned my maths wasn't strong enough. If I went back, I'd brush up on my maths A LOT in preparation. Cons: time-consuming, makes me look fickle, don't know if I'll actually be good enough for a research career, plus I'd have to work to sustain myself there. But the passion is there.

    3) Do a PGCE (cannot decide between primary and secondary but currently trying to line up classroom experience in order to decide). I genuinely think I'd really enjoy teaching, I'd just need to work on my confidence/projecting my voice, etc. It does appeal to me. However, the PGCE workload seems incredibly intensive and it could go either way. Maybe I'll hate it and then what can I do? The positives are that I'll get help funding it and that eventually, it will really help me if I want to travel and teach abroad in the future. Something I think I'd really enjoy once in the swing of things.

    4) Just go and teach abroad now. Get a TEFL certificate and then join an 'English Assistant' programme for a year to ease me into the teaching environment and give me some experience. Maybe volunteer a little using sites like Workaway.org, before going for proper teaching jobs in places like Thailand or South Korea. Definitely the most exciting option but I fear it might be the most irresponsible option and me just running away from making proper choices. I guess if I enjoy it a lot I can always come back and do a proper PGCE.

    Oh and in the future, the option is always open to do a part-time degree in physics, maybe with the OU or something. So not doing it now is not the end of the world.

    I'm 24 by the way and have already had 2 pointless 'gap years'.
    5) Find a rich husband and get yourself pregnant.
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    (Original post by frozen_fire)
    1) Seeing as you seem to have lost interest in most of psychology plus find the research aspect laborious, I don't really see the point of you taking up the master's option. I think you would have to be pretty set on a career in that field to benefit from something so specific and am I right in saying those courses are 2 years long in Amsterdam?

    2) There is huge demand for people with physics degrees, but have you really given this proper thought or is it just an idea? Do you have physics A-level? Have you had experience in a physical sciences research lab? Would you be willing to commit to a new degree from scratch and rack up more uni debts by the age of 28?

    3) Teaching is a pretty solid route plus you sound like you would have a passion for it. Important to get that classroom experience though beforehand. Most jobs are intensive these days so I wouldn't let that put you off.

    4) I've always had the impression that people who do the TEFL do it because they aren't willing to commit to a fully fledged graduate job and use it as a stop gap before settling down. Either that or they don't know what they want to do and see it as a default option where they can also have fun with the travel element. As you've already had a few years off perhaps this isn't the wisest move. Surely getting classroom experience in a British school teaching your subject of interest is much better preparation for a PGCE?

    Those are just my thoughts but the decision is up to you. Best of luck!
    Thank you so much for your reply.

    *I don't mind if you don't read this, I'm just writing out my thoughts really*

    The thing is, I am still interested in psychology and I'm not happy to write it off completely just yet. I can see developmental psychopathology as a potential career path, I'm just not 100% on it, especially when considering other options.

    I did IB higher level Physics (which included some undergrad physics) and I really enjoyed it, although it was very difficult. However, physics graduates themselves have warned me that it's not all it's cracked up to be, that there's a hell of a lot of maths, that it's put them off going into research with it. Then I'd just have 2 undergraduate degrees, and then what? :/ It wouldn't get me into any more debt as the course is free and living over there is stupidly cheap.

    You reply that teaching is the best option for me just as I've pretty much written it off haha. Some of the things I've read about the PGCE sound quite horrific and I feel that maybe doing a TEFL would prepare me a lot better for that. I feel that before embarking on a PGCE I'd want to be fully prepared and potentially have a few years experience behind me. Yes, I've wasted years and I regret that but I'm still young and I can't see any reason to really rush (especially if it means making a rash decision)...

    Say I die when I'm 80- I have another 56 years left in me. Say I retire at 65 (or probably older), that's another 41 years to have a career. Putting it into perspective makes me realise just how unnecessarily pressured young people are to make decisions and career choices. You most probably disagree with me, but I believe your 20's should be about finding yourself and having fun along the way. Since I feel I'm at a crossroads, I don't think TEFL would be the most terrible idea and I'm sure it looks good on your CV either way. I'm not saying I'm definitely doing that either, I'm still trying to decide. I'm just saying I'll probably end up doing that before embarking on a PGCE if I choose to do so.

    Sorry this reply is so ridiculously long.
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    (Original post by multiratiunculae)
    5) Find a rich husband and get yourself pregnant.
    I like the rich husband part... but then again, boys are smelly.
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    (Original post by Jazz90)
    Thank you so much for your reply.

    *I don't mind if you don't read this, I'm just writing out my thoughts really*

    The thing is, I am still interested in psychology and I'm not happy to write it off completely just yet. I can see developmental psychopathology as a potential career path, I'm just not 100% on it, especially when considering other options.

    I did IB higher level Physics (which included some undergrad physics) and I really enjoyed it, although it was very difficult. However, physics graduates themselves have warned me that it's not all it's cracked up to be, that there's a hell of a lot of maths, that it's put them off going into research with it. Then I'd just have 2 undergraduate degrees, and then what? :/ It wouldn't get me into any more debt as the course is free and living over there is stupidly cheap.

    You reply that teaching is the best option for me just as I've pretty much written it off haha. Some of the things I've read about the PGCE sound quite horrific and I feel that maybe doing a TEFL would prepare me a lot better for that. I feel that before embarking on a PGCE I'd want to be fully prepared and potentially have a few years experience behind me. Yes, I've wasted years and I regret that but I'm still young and I can't see any reason to really rush (especially if it means making a rash decision)...

    Say I die when I'm 80- I have another 56 years left in me. Say I retire at 65 (or probably older), that's another 41 years to have a career. Putting it into perspective makes me realise just how unnecessarily pressured young people are to make decisions and career choices. You most probably disagree with me, but I believe your 20's should be about finding yourself and having fun along the way. Since I feel I'm at a crossroads, I don't think TEFL would be the most terrible idea and I'm sure it looks good on your CV either way. I'm not saying I'm definitely doing that either, I'm still trying to decide. I'm just saying I'll probably end up doing that before embarking on a PGCE if I choose to do so.

    Sorry this reply is so ridiculously long.
    Have you thought about graduate schemes ? There's a lot of options with management schemes or What about becoming an accountant with the big 4 ?
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    (Original post by Jazz90)
    I like the rich husband part... but then again, boys are smelly.
    ignore the smell and you have yourself a solid plan
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    (Original post by Jazz90)
    Thank you so much for your reply.

    *I don't mind if you don't read this, I'm just writing out my thoughts really*

    The thing is, I am still interested in psychology and I'm not happy to write it off completely just yet. I can see developmental psychopathology as a potential career path, I'm just not 100% on it, especially when considering other options.

    I did IB higher level Physics (which included some undergrad physics) and I really enjoyed it, although it was very difficult. However, physics graduates themselves have warned me that it's not all it's cracked up to be, that there's a hell of a lot of maths, that it's put them off going into research with it. Then I'd just have 2 undergraduate degrees, and then what? :/ It wouldn't get me into any more debt as the course is free and living over there is stupidly cheap.

    You reply that teaching is the best option for me just as I've pretty much written it off haha. Some of the things I've read about the PGCE sound quite horrific and I feel that maybe doing a TEFL would prepare me a lot better for that. I feel that before embarking on a PGCE I'd want to be fully prepared and potentially have a few years experience behind me. Yes, I've wasted years and I regret that but I'm still young and I can't see any reason to really rush (especially if it means making a rash decision)...

    Say I die when I'm 80- I have another 56 years left in me. Say I retire at 65 (or probably older), that's another 41 years to have a career. Putting it into perspective makes me realise just how unnecessarily pressured young people are to make decisions and career choices. You most probably disagree with me, but I believe your 20's should be about finding yourself and having fun along the way. Since I feel I'm at a crossroads, I don't think TEFL would be the most terrible idea and I'm sure it looks good on your CV either way. I'm not saying I'm definitely doing that either, I'm still trying to decide. I'm just saying I'll probably end up doing that before embarking on a PGCE if I choose to do so.

    Sorry this reply is so ridiculously long.
    I agree that your 20s are a time for enjoying yourself but perhaps the problem you have is that you are just too indecisive. We have been born into a generation where it's going to be really difficult for us to get on the property ladder for example, so from my perspective I think it's important to be able to be able to take responsibility from a young age. I understand your point of view that there's no point making rash decisions however.

    With regards to the TEFL, I still think it would be more advantageous if you spent a month getting classroom experience instead as it's likely to be more reflective of life as a teacher. I wouldn't let things put you off such as horror stories people have had doing a PGCE because we encounter challenges and tough situations in all aspects of the working world. I'm doing a PhD at the moment for example and there are stressful days where I wonder if I am actually ever going to get anywhere. There are occasions when I screw up experiments and I end up stuck in the lab for 12 hours with no time for a social life.

    At the same time though, I am living with my parents at the moment so can save upwards of 12k a year and I'm getting a PhD from a top university which will open up many opportunities for my career. So basically the point I'm making is that having a plan is a good thing and once you decide on a route then you'll have something to aim for
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    I'm in a similar situation myself. Graduated uni in July of this year (2015) and now it's mid November. Time is pressing on and I'm getting no where fast , Deary me. I'm 22.

    My problem I graduated with a degree in finance and economics and I didn't enjoy it really. Towards the end it was absolute hell, I still wanted to do well for the safety net and because so much time and effort was invested in it over the years. So I was mega stressed and doing something I had very little enthusiasm for.

    Now I find myself trying to find a career. At first I was adamant I wasn't going to be working in financial services but this has since changed now that I have gained some knowledge of the job market and what is available to me.
    Essentially I see myself in this position having a choice between 2 paths,
    Path 1: career in financial services which would likely require considerable further study for pro exams
    Path 2 : another white collar office job that I am likely not going to enjoy much more than financial services

    It's a tough situation because I feel I won't get fulfilment from finance but if I turn my back on it (which is proving difficult after 4 years of grinding) then I might end up in a career where there aren't many prospects, the wages aren't good , and I live to regret not working in finance.

    As with the folks above I know half these messages probably don't get read but I'm just getting my tuppence worth in and discussing my situation!
    Cheers
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    (Original post by Finglas)
    I'm in a similar situation myself. Graduated uni in July of this year (2015) and now it's mid November. Time is pressing on and I'm getting no where fast , Deary me. I'm 22.

    My problem I graduated with a degree in finance and economics and I didn't enjoy it really. Towards the end it was absolute hell, I still wanted to do well for the safety net and because so much time and effort was invested in it over the years. So I was mega stressed and doing something I had very little enthusiasm for.

    Now I find myself trying to find a career. At first I was adamant I wasn't going to be working in financial services but this has since changed now that I have gained some knowledge of the job market and what is available to me.
    Essentially I see myself in this position having a choice between 2 paths,
    Path 1: career in financial services which would likely require considerable further study for pro exams
    Path 2 : another white collar office job that I am likely not going to enjoy much more than financial services

    It's a tough situation because I feel I won't get fulfilment from finance but if I turn my back on it (which is proving difficult after 4 years of grinding) then I might end up in a career where there aren't many prospects, the wages aren't good , and I live to regret not working in finance.

    As with the folks above I know half these messages probably don't get read but I'm just getting my tuppence worth in and discussing my situation!
    Cheers
    To sum up it sounds like despite the amount of effort you put into your degree, you don't have a passion for finance but at the same time aspire to make a success out of your career.

    Perhaps you need to expose yourself to different possible avenues. I see you have limited yourself to only 2 options there which are you both office jobs. Right now if you don't have the interest and motivation for finance/city work then it's unlikely you will reach your full potential and probably end up doing something else further down the line.


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    That is true, I studied relentlessly and so I feel it's difficult to turn my back on it but I also agree that I definetely do not have a passion there for it.

    I'm beginning to think a lot of people must do jobs that they just don't really enjoy. I saw a post on this forum a while ago saying the notion of everyone having a job they love is idealistic but not realistic. I can see the truth in that now.

    I agree about doing something else further down the line.
    What's for you won't go by you
 
 
 
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