It used to be a bit sad watching all my friends ‘move on’ in the world after university. They’d travel, get married, buy a house – they were earning money. Of course, what they never talked about is what it takes to actually earn that money – 40 hours a week. For the rest of your life. That’s what that means.
But I really struggled with the idea that I was being ‘left behind’. That I was potentially replaceable in their new world – for the first time, we weren’t all moving along in the same way at the same time. And that really scared me. It scared me to think I might not be able to catch up at the end, either.
As a woman, who wants kids, factoring in that part of my life is a big thing in academics and moving into a career. If I have kids when I’m just entering the workforce, that will impact on my experience. If I have them while I finish studying – how long will I then be studying for?
But the reality is (and it took me a long time to get to this realisation), even though my friends and I are on different stages, and probably will be for a while yet – we’re still friends. I’m still with them. What is this end bit, anyway? What’s the end? Is it a job? Is it when I have kids too? The more I define myself as similar or different I open us all up to comparison. When in reality, I’m just me. And they’re them. We’re all walking different paths. One of my friends is a nurse – she studied that and went straight into that job. The others went to university, and only one of them is now working in a field vaguely related to what they studied (they all did BComs, btw, so stop digging on the Arts students).
Are any of us in a spot we thought we’d be in eight years ago? No way. So who knows where we’ll be in the next eight years. And that’s really cool. I can’t wait to share that journey with them.
Written by Aimee Winters
Ashalyna Noa is in Samoa at the moment doing her research working towards her PhD. This has been made possible in part to the UC Pasifika Doctoral Scholarship which Ash won. The good news is that two of these scholarships are on offer again for next year but applications close on 15th October.
Watch Ahalyna’s video then either apply or share this to all your family and friends that this could help. What an awesome opportunity!
The Research Report is an excellent opportunity to profile some of UC’s best and brightest.
Copies are sent to key contacts in business, industry, education and the political sphere. Around 30 stories are published each year. One of the goals of the report is to demonstrate, through feature articles and across all disciplines, the real world impact of research at UC.
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Research & Innovation