The end of May is getting closer by the day and do you know what this means? I will have to become a decent, working member of society. No more hiding behind the veil of academia; this little blogger will have to get a real job. And it terrifies me!
It’s not as if I never worked in my life. I’ve did part-time jobs since I was 15. For my degree I had to do 26 weeks of internships in various departments and most of them sucked. Some of them were interesting, like the more hands-on work I got to do early in my degree, actually working in a factory. I learned a lot during those 6 weeks but I was also glad when it was over no matter how much I enjoyed welding. It’s just so cool, you put on the mask, concentrate on your work and it’s like the world tunes out. I don’t hear the noise around me anymore and only after I finish I realise how much time has elapsed. I love that feeling and you know, melting metal together. After that I did a 5-week stint in a steel mill. Fascinating but boring when you are not allowed to do anything but look for five weeks while still having to be at work at 6 am every morning.
After that came the office internships and some of them were good or at least parts of them were. Especially the last 7 week stint in accounting department was awful though. I barely learned anything and was mostly unemployed during the time because the department “only” knew for a couple of months that and when I was coming so they had nothing to do for me or teach me much. Ugh! I hated it, and not only because accounting is boring in my opinion.
The other day I realised why I hated those internships or better when. I don’t like idle time! BOOM! This is the little secret to why I hate working, not knowing what to do next and let’s be honest. When you’re an intern, you are dependent on other people telling you what to do, giving you tasks because you’re only there for a limited period of time. I may have been bored drilling hole after hole in the little metal pieces but at least I was doing something. I dreaded the moment when I got to the bottom of the bucket though and I had to tell my supervisor that I finished yet another task and he had to think of something new for me.
Same goes for me thesis. I dislike the days I know by the time my alarm clock rings that I don’t know what to work on because I’m finished with whatever I was doing last. I like being challenged (this is a revelation to me), having to think about actual, solvable problems; turning them over in my head until I find a solution. I love juggling variables, trying to make sense of whatever the equations tell me. This is precisely why I have struggled with the final courses of my degree so much because after the first 2 years, there started to be much more business classes and they were not full of wonderful math but memorising 300+ power point slides full of nonsense I doubt are actually useful after graduation (not that I can remember any of it anyways).
As much as I enjoy watching all the TV shows and procrastinating procrastination, it’s also not enough for me. I like having my mind occupied with other things beside my emotional well-being and how much I love a certain actress or whatnot. I don’t like idle time when I know I need to be working.
This is what actually scares me about getting a job. That I will not know what I have to do next, that the little things I learned at uni aren’t enough for a real job because I forgot so much. Just the other day I had to look up how to do a partial derivation on Wikipedia because I wasn’t sure how to do it anymore. I have a couple of small ideas where I want to work that I don’t tell anyone about when they ask me what I want to do after finishing university because I don’t want anyone raining on my parade. I need to keep them to myself until I know it works for me or not. So I actually appear more clueless around friends and family than I truly am. Ha! Never thought that would happen.
I am ready to move on from studying when just 6 months ago I wasn’t. I’m also fairly certain I won’t be doing a PhD. It would be nice, I could stay at uni a bit longer and doing research interests me highly but the thought of dealing with students and supervising their work just doesn’t do it for me. No matter how much I want to prove to myself that I am as good as my uncle with his PhD in Physics. I want and need some change, as terrifying as that is, I need to move on to something else. Something with numbers and variables because it’s the ultimate language I am always able to understand (until it’s rotary current or fluid dynamics :D)