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“So what are you doing after your undergrad?”

This article was originally published by Talia on the Life@UofT blog.

Last week, I wrote a blog about how to deal with stress surrounding your future. Writing it reminded me that deciding what to do after your undergrad is a super stressful thing, which lots of people are struggling to figure out.

I want to start by saying that it’s totally okay to not know what you want to do with your life, or what your next steps are after your undergraduate degree. Working to finish a degree is an amazing accomplishment in itself! But, I also thought it would be helpful to interview some of my friends about their decisions surrounding post-grad.

I’ll start with my own story: for me, I’ve always been super interested in law, and have wanted to go into it since taking a high school law class. When I got to university, I loved it so much that I considered going into academia. But, after talking to professors, I realized that limited job prospects in academia would constrain where I would be able to live. As the city I live in is a really important factor to me, I decided to go into law instead, especially after talking to some lawyers and learning first-hand about their profession. So, I recommend talking to people in the professions you’re interested in, and always remembering what’s important to you when considering future work and lifestyles.

Emma- Political Science and Anthropology

“I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do after graduation, but I am strongly considering going into teaching. I love working with young people and whenever I look into grad programs I always come back to teaching, which makes me think it may be right for me.”

Kate- Political Science and Public Policy

“I’ve realized that I want to do research in an academic or policy setting, so going to grad school is a good step towards achieving this goal. I specifically want to go into political science because I’ve realized that I have specific interests within political science that I would find fulfilling to pursue further. I know other people can feel very stressed out if they don’t know exactly what they’re passionate about. Remember that this just means you haven’t found it yet; this is the fault of your environment, not you. It’s totally okay to wait until there’s something you clearly want to do.”

Ari- Equity Studies, Psychology, and Human Geography

“I think a lot of people feel so much pressure to stay in academia, but I believe that it’s important to both take the time to learn outside of the classroom setting as a young adult, and participate in the world that you’ve been learning about. So, I decided to take some time off after my undergrad and explore different opportunities related to what I’m studying.”

I hope that some of these stories are helpful if you’re trying to figure out what to do post-grad.

Republished: 23 February 2020