Looking back on my degree. What’s next?

Hello hello

I haven’t blogged in the past few months, because I couldn’t find the time anymore with the amount of work I had to do for uni. I had my final year dissertation to write, and damn that was stressful (as well as a lot of work)! It’s probably been the most stressful year of my life, very overwhelming. But I’m back now, because the year, and more importantly my degree is over, and I am freeeeee.

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It’s weird looking back on my degree. I absolutey hated my first two years (you can read about it here), I adored my third year, and – overwhelming stress aside – I didn’t dislike my fourth year that much. I realise that a lot of it was to do with my mindset and the expectations I’d set myself.

Before moving to the UK for university, so many people told me that it was going to be amazing, ‘the best years of my life’, that I would have tons of friends and that I would party all the time. That sounded really appealing, and I was really looking forward to it. I think it made me set my expectations quite high, and I never really considered the fact that it might not go as planned. I had so much anxiety, and I wasn’t really able to make as many friends as I would’ve liked. I won’t get into it here, because I already wrote a post on my social anxiety at university.

As I did a language degree, I got to spend my third year abroad, in Italy. It was absolutely amazing. There were ups and downs, like always, but the downs were never spent alone: I wasn’t as anxious anymore, and I went out with my friends pretty much every evening. Whatever it was that was wrong would be better by the end of the night. It was a good support system: I didn’t necessarily talk about my feelings, or show that anything was wrong, but at least I was being distracted and having fun, and I think that’s what I needed. I finally got to experience what I had imagined for myself when I first arrived in England. I’d heard about how fun the Erasmus experience can be, but I tried not setting my expectations too high in case it would be a repeat of the two previous years. It really did not disappoint. It honestly was everything I’d imagined, and I’m so grateful I got to experience that. It felt like finally my degree had given me something truly positive. The fact that I barely needed to study was a big part of the positive experience as well: I could literally spend all my time chilling, eating, going out, having a drink and partying. I feel like because it was for a whole year, I was able to really get all the partying out of my system, in order to go back to England for my final year, focus on studying and finishing my degree.

I think that’s why my fourth year wasn’t too bad. I was dreading it, because I knew how much I would have to study, but I fully knew what I was getting myself into. Everyone I was originally friends with had already graduated as they didn’t do a year abroad, apart from my best friend Angela (thank goodness – she’s the cutie in the pic who isn’t me), so I knew that I probably wouldn’t have many friends. But it didn’t bother me that much, because it was just for one year. My first semester was enjoyable, because I met a couple new people and dated someone really kind and fun. She only stayed one semester though, as she was an exchange student.

During my second semester, I didn’t mind not having many people to hang out with. I had to start working on my dissertation, which I knew would be very time consuming (especially worrying about it). I mean, it was a really shitty semester, but in a way I felt relieved that I wasn’t constrained to social obligations. My exams and dissertation went as well as they could’ve gone, given the stressful circumstances.

And now that all this is over, what’s next? Well, more uni. I’m going to start my master’s in September, in audiovisual translation. I’m not sure at which university yet, but it’ll be in England. This isn’t necessarily my dream job, but I’ve never had one, or a clear idea of how I want my future to be, so I’m kind of just going with the flow. I’m open to changing career path in the future or moving to another country, I’ll just see where life takes me I guess! I do really enjoy translation, so I know it’s still a good option for me.

In any case, I feel very relieved that my degree is now over, and that I can move on to something new. I can finally stop saying ‘I study Italian’, and have people look at me perplexed, thinking all I do is grammar all day and wondering why that’s even a degree. Despite not loving my overall time at uni, I did really enjoy the course and I was able to meet some wonderful people. It wasn’t all bad.

So to anyone who, like me, just finished their degree, congratulations! And best of luck to those who have yet to finish.

Lots of love,

Eleonore

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