I’m in final year now, and with that comes intense and steadily occurring bouts of the Final Year Fear. The all too regularly crippling truth is, I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life. There are still so, so many roads open to me at the age of 20, but it feels like each year as I get older, more and more of them close off. I’ve probably missed my window at this point to become a ballerina, say, because I can barely touch my toes, and my knees creak going up a flight of stairs. I’m not so upset about that particular avenue being closed off to me, but what about the next one?
People tend to say I’m lucky that my degree is so open, that I have so many options, but all that choice is striking dread into my heart this year. In theory, I do know that whatever I choose to do next year, be it a masters or a traineeship, or something else entirely, won’t be the be all and end all, and likely won’t have any kind of irreversible effect on what I end up doing for the rest of my life, but the dark, illogical side of me thinks: what if it does? There’s so much you can do with a law degree, they say, but sometimes I really wish there wasn’t. I’m writing this and I can physically feel myself coming across as whiny and over-privileged, but too much choice is a terrible thing. I know this for certain because my blood pressure is currently thicker than the tension in a 9am tutorial where the tutor has asked an open-ended question.
On the other hand, I am constantly aware that I am very lucky to have the freedom to make these choices for myself. Many people aren’t, in terms of educational opportunities, and in a multitude of other areas, like a certain upcoming Irish referendum. It’s important that everyone has the freedom to make these choices for ourselves, and we should, in all aspects of our lives. The only way to do that is for each of us to be the change. So, in sum, catch me at my weekly careers fair with way more fliers than I can reasonably carry, and at the voting booth (hopefully) next summer.