The dreaded question of any final year student. Often asked by a distant relative or well-meaning stranger, it results in panic, an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, and a bad case of the fight-or-flight urge. Do I punch the offending questioner in the face or stare at them blankly before running away?
What people don’t realise is that most soon-to-be graduates don’t have the slightest clue what they’re doing next. At the moment, we’re just trying to get to the end of our dissertation word count, or cram everything we’ve ever learnt into revision notes for our final exams. We’re trying to find the balance between getting enough sleep and not missing out on those 3am LRC sessions (which is the only time you can actually get a good spot that isn’t surrounding by other stressed out final year students pulling their hair out). So when you ask us what we’re doing after we graduate, we have no idea. We can’t think that far in advance, actually, we can’t even think past our next deadline. We’re under enough pressure as it is without your invasive questioning.
Next time you spot a final year student, don’t ask what they’re doing after they graduate. Instead, perhaps offer some revision tips, a caffeine infused beverage, or a shoulder to cry on.