As placement one draws to a close, Ali reflects on the choices he’s made since graduating.
Since graduating from University (3 years ago – my goodness that is scary how fast that time has gone) I have pretty much done the things I set out to do directly after graduation. Of course the bucket list is endless but for now I’m pretty content with what I have been able to do. I lived and breathed soccer in the States for 6 months, pretty much a dream job with house and car. Then came the ski season, again a cool job that saw me working with the ESF (ski school) out on the slopes all day everyday. A return to America, this time just for a summer, gave me the opportunity to design and run a soccer programme for a summer sports camp. Then it was decision time – and I’m sure many others have faced similar situations. I had known that these were the things I wanted to do straight after uni before getting settled into a career, and now thoughts of career were entering my mind, what am I going to do, when am I going to do it? I had visited Australia back in my gap year before Uni and just knew that I really wanted to go back, but for a longer time to experience living there. Could I stretch out this prolonged gap until career time for another year? All of my friends were settled into work and earning ok money – but I was more than happy with my decisions, I’d had a great time and was funding everything myself I was just lucky that the jobs I had had were really enjoyable and didn’t feel like work. I just knew that if I didn’t go to Australia now, then I would never get this opportunity again. So off we went. Boy, did I have a good time, beautiful house, wonderful friends, outdoor lifestyle and to experience it for a year not just a couple of weeks was great! Upon my return I had got to the point were I knew I wanted to work and get going with a career. Timing? Probably as bad as it gets, recession hitting graduates pretty hard! I got myself a place on a masters course, which looked really good and I was so excited for it, then this job arrived, with so many applicants I thought I would just get lost in the pile. Decision – job or masters? Decided that the job would give me all the training that a masters could and more… a chance for professional experience and learning and so far so good. I hear so many people talk about all the things they would like to have done, or the things they would love to do – but the timing has never been right and they have commitments etc… when I hear these people talk I realise that it is not an easy decision to up and leave your comfort zone for the unexpected, for some it doesn’t work but I guess I have been lucky. Am I happy with my decisions? Absolutely!