Third year and beyond: deciding what is next.
Since starting my degree in Psychology at Warwick, I have been anxious about my future career prospects. Initially, I felt like I was making the wrong decision when I chose to study Psychology. Most of the people surrounded by me (family, friends, teachers, and friends of parents) were greatly disappointed that I did not apply for Medicine. My career advisor at college went to the great efforts of getting me shadowing experience at a GP and hospital; it felt like I threw all her efforts to help me back in her face. Therefore, there was (and is) a lot of pressure to come out of Psychology with a ‘good’ job just to prove to everyone that I did not make a mistake.
However, what doesn’t help is that when I tell people that I study psychology, they remind me that there are “no jobs” in psychology for graduates. Moreover, for a student not wanting to go into business or banking, the Warwick Careers fairs left me greatly dissatisfied as only two or three stalls would actually be related to Psychology.
Therefore, I was dreading the summer before my third year – I could not blissfully ignore post University plans anymore. At the beginning of the third year, I realised that Psychology is not a dead-end degree as a lot of people mistakenly think. Understanding human behaviour which is applicable in various fields. For instance, HR, banking and social work. However, the idea of more options made me feel more anxious. I have never been good with choices; I am easily excitable, therefore, every option is interesting and cool! I went from considering social work graduate schemes and research psychology masters to thinking about: becoming a chemistry teacher; post-graduate medicine or another undergraduate degree; speech therapy, consultancy, and advertising. However, I quickly realised that this would be too many applications.
When I started the applications, I realised just how tedious and time-consuming applying for masters and grad schemes are. I simply did not have the time! Well, of course, I could cut back on sleep and self-care, but I knew that this would not be a good idea. Therefore, I started to narrow down my scope again. I selected a couple of grad schemes I would pursue and abandoned all the rest.
However, the first term of the third year went on, I started to think more deeply about what I wanted for myself. It hit me that a lot of the pressure for applying for grad schemes was to come out with a job to please everyone around me. However, my career path and post-University goals should be entirely based on my needs and wishes – not anyone else’s.
Since coming to these conclusions, I have realised many things. I am not ready for the world of work. Not at all. I am recovering from a mental health issue and unable to work full-time. Therefore, it would be unfair to put myself in such a situation. Also, I need ongoing support for my wellbeing, which I can access at a University setting. Additionally, I especially love the research aspect of my degree. Therefore, I have decided that my next step is applying for a psychology MSc in research.