What do I do? Where do I go? Wait, I’ve changed my mind!

October. Once in third year, you think you’ve got your life planned, much like I did. A third year psychology and criminology student, who wants to go on to qualify as a chartered forensic psychologist. I got a great grade for my dissertation proposal in my second year, so I’m starting final year on a high. But I can’t do what I originally planned in my research proposal.

December. I’m panicking. One of my criminology lecturers tells us about his time as a mental health nurse. I became intrigued by the idea of training as a mental health nurse. I think back to times I visited family in hospital and remember how friendly and welcoming the nurses were and thought it may be a good idea. I then reflect back to my year of volunteering at a mental health hub and think how much I enjoyed interacting with hub users.

April. I’ve submitted my dissertation. Not my best work, because I couldn’t get ethical approval for my original proposal so I had to alter and make do. But I’m free! I’m off to Syracuse, Italy with my friend and her brother. A nice little getaway was definitely needed. I guess in my prolonged state of panic, I’m thinking, “I’ve finished uni, what’s my next step?” I decide against mental health nursing but I still want to help vulnerable people. Decisions, decisions.

May. Google! I like helping and being there for people so why not go into psychotherapy. So many routes, all of them long. But I managed to decide on one. A part-time masters in the Psychodynamics of Human Development. It can be paid in monthly instalments. Perfect!

June. I attended the interview, which went great! I finished uni with a 2:2 but their entry requirements were degrees with a first. The course leader liked how well informed I was and told me to submit an essay, which would determine the outcome of my application. At this point I have mixed feelings because I am worried my work won’t be good enough. But I am thrilled that I made such a good impression, so I know I am more than capable.

July. The course leader extends an unconditional offer of acceptance. It felt so good because it just ended the internal battle I was having, letting me know I am good enough, and to know that what I finished university with does not reflect the true depth of my intelligence.

November! Graduation is here and it feels good to be back at Coventry University again, so many great memories. I find myself at the Careers and Advice section because I wasn’t happy with my current situation, working part time with this MSc. We get into a discussion about a new 9-month internship they will be running in January. I think I want to give it a go. I have been thinking of withdrawing from my MSc. This would be a great way to make money and gain experience too! Marketing and Communications has always intrigued me, in part due to my 5+ years experience in retail.

December. I submitted my application and have been shortlisted for an interview. Yay me! I handed in my notice at work that day and withdrew from my MSc later that week. It felt really good to have a clear head and free from the pressure I had put on myself because I was a graduate. Two weeks had gone since my interview and I had made peace with the idea that I didn’t get the job. At least I was happy. On my way to a networking event, I checked my emails to see that I have been offered the job. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and see at the same time! A digital marketing intern. Sounds good doesn’t it?

January! Here I am. I took a huge risk and it paid off. But most importantly I am taking the time to do what I want to do. Free from personal pressure and being in a hurry to please my family. I’m on a very well paid internship, thanks to believing in Coventry University and myself.

And now, thanks to giving myself time to really think about what I want, I am going to start an MSc in Forensic Psychology. What I’ve been too scared to do all along. I just needed the time to reassure myself and understand things need to happen in their own time and not to put added pressure on myself.

I am capable of everything!