Sunday, 4 September 2011

Five Years of Blogging

It's been almost five years since I wrote my first blog post, and since then I've switched through so many blog providers (including making my own!) and domain names that I can't even remember them all.

Five years is a long time, almost a quarter of my life. I've changed so much since then, and reading over old posts highlights that uncomfortably well. Being a directionless 17 year old was a very strange experience, and feels so far away from where I am now. Having gone through college and the majority of university since then, I can at least say that I have a vague idea of where I'd like to be in another five years, whereas before I had none. Picking between universities, do I do Psychology or Journalism or Business Studies or Law?

Honestly though, Law was probably the best decision I ever made, albeit made in the worst way. I hadn't really done much research, I just knew that it was the sort of thing I'd probably be good at (due to the research-based and office-style nature of it) and took a leap. Really though, it was the best leap I'd ever taken and I don't regret it to this day.

I'm having a small dilemma at the minute though. I keep hearing the same phrase in my head:

"Those who can, do; those who can't, teach."[1][2]

I have the utmost respect for my lecturers, I can't imagine their job being 'easy', nor can I imagine their job being an easy field to get into. On the same token though, surely that's the same as every job?
Both require a totally different skill set, and both take just as much time to 'train' towards. I enjoy academia, my university years have been the best years of my life and I spend my time during the holidays craving to get back to work. A part of me enjoys the structure to it, though, and I wonder if that's where my issues lie. The 'real world' isn't going to be structured, whether I teach or whether I do.

My final year at university is going to be the biggest discovery year, but I don't have a whole lot of time to do it. Bar applications start in November and it's the kind of thing I'd like to do sooner rather than later. I could put it off another year (or two) by doing a Master's, and that would undoubtedly help in any field I go into (especially teaching), but the Bar is another handful of years on top of that and if I keep sinking years of my life into studying I'll be claiming a pension before I stand in front of my first Judge or classroom full of undergraduates, quivering and wishing I were anywhere else in the world.

Career decisions aside, the new year starts in little under a month, and I'm very optimistic. I would consider myself a good student, and I've kept on top of the "difficulty leaps" between years quite well, so this year should be no different. Beyond studying, it also gives me time to push the Law Mentoring scheme forward for the Law school, as well as my employed post as a Student Mentor for the university faculties as a collective. 
Outside of university, it means that I have access to The Bridge, a homeless-based charity that I've been attending for a few years.

I think the most driving factor of my success this year is that I'll have my own space and circle of supportive friends, whereas last year I was living in a flat of five (the other four being total strangers) and had so many problems with the accommodation managers and residents that it created a very difficult hurdle to hop. While last year was undoubtedly a resounding success (coming away with a First Class set of results), the fact that I have no foreseeable hurdles this year means that this year should be nothing short of legendary.