What happened after dissertation

By Yanisa T , Thailand

 It seems to me that not many people talk enough about the period between finishing a university degree and getting a job. Perhaps it is a very difficult and confusing part of most people’s lives and the experience and circumstance varies. For those who are in this in-between stage, here is what I have experienced so far and I hope that it will help you in some way.

On September 4th, 2017, I submitted my master’s degree dissertation. As I submitted my dissertation, instead of feeling a sense of relief, I felt as if a part of me was taken away.In a way, I have worked my whole life for this moment. I’ve done it. It’s over. All of a sudden my life purpose was gone.

It might sound overly dramatic but that was how I really felt. I have devoted all my time and energy researching and writing on a topic of my interest, when it was done, I did not know what to do. It also meant that everything was coming to end; my master’s degree, my student life, and my life in the UK. It was the end of the happiest year of my life. I have never felt so empty.

I knew that I was walking into uncertainty. I had to go back home, become a responsible adult, and start my professional life. I began to worry excessively about the future and my head was filled with unanswerable questions. I have never felt so lost in my life. My pondering of the future was temporarily distracted by my two-weeks family trip. When I came back home, I spent the next month enjoying my free time and learned how to drive.

As I began to search for jobs, all the worries and questions about the future flooded my head again. I was terrified of everything. I was terrified of the future. Nothing that I have done in my life has adequately prepared me for job hunting and choosing the right job. At this critical moment of my life, I am scared to make any decisions. This whole process is particularly daunting for me because I have high expectations for myself and I want to start my professional life on the right path that would lead me to success. Moreover, there is additional pressure from my parents to get a well-paid and stable job. I was extremely stressed out.

What I have come to realize in the past few months is that this is just the beginning of a very long journey and there is still room for development and change. If the job I chose is not the right one for me then I can quit and find another one. Not everyone has made all the right choices throughout their lives. It is normal to take risks and to grab rare opportunities. The more important thing is that I have to believe in myself that even if I’m faced with an obstacle or a failure, I would be able to pick myself up and carry on working towards my goal with persistence. I cannot be afraid of the future because it will come, whether I like it or not. I have to start somewhere, sitting around and waiting for the right job is not going to help. I have to go out of my comfort zone and explore. Maybe I would find a better path to success than the path I have imagined.

To be continued…