Third Year English Lit, Journalism and Media Student at Cardiff University
Dear younger Maya,
Spoiler alert, you eventually manage to figure out what to do with your life.
I know you tend to get really stressed about not knowing where you want to end up, and that you never really stuck with any hobbies when you were younger so now you feel like you’ve got nothing going for you. I know you feel like you’re boring and you don’t particularly expect to make friends at
university, and that you worry you’ll find it hard to stay in contact with your college friends and eventually drift away from each other. I also know that by now you’ve probably had at least three separate stress breakdowns worrying over things like budgeting, cooking and how to use a washing
machine. I’m here to tell you to chill, babe! You have absolutely got this.
“First bit of advice: choose a degree you think you’ll enjoy.”
Don’t worry about what will look best on your CV – I know you’ve been thinking about Oxford but you’ll realise eventually that you don’t want to go there – hardcore academia turns out not to be your style and you defo don’t want to do a pure English degree. Luckily, Cardiff do a course that combines your passion for English Literature with two other things you’ll find yourself becoming passionate about in due course: Journalism and Media studies. You’ll throw yourself into your degree and after a slightly bumpy start you’ll enjoy every second. You get a lot of freedom over your modules, so you basically get to specialise in certain areas of each half of your degree. Its great! You aren’t forced to read Shakespeare, thank god. I know, I’m relieved too.
Guess what? You make friends! The people you meet in halls are some of the best people you ever meet. You have a blast first year, and you all stay close through second year. You absolutely love living away from home, and despite halls being an awesome experience, you really love living in a
student house with some of your best friends in second year. But there’s more! You and the girls from college never drift apart. You see each other really regularly and they’ve even visited you a few times.
You talk almost every day, and despite all the new friends you’ve made, they’re still some of the closest pals you’ll ever make.
You start a new hobby at Uni – you get into radio presenting with the University station. You finally have a new fun fact to break the ice with new people! You hosted a show every week for a few months before lockdown and you’re now on the exec team. It makes you feel pretty dang cool. You’re
pretty sure you want to go into the radio industry when you graduate, but you’re thinking of doing a masters next year first. You’re also toying with the idea of going into the publishing industry, or potentially marketing. Your university course has left quite a few avenues open and you’re just pretty
glad to have an idea of what sort of direction you want to go in, rather than having absolutely no idea.
Just keep on keeping on, younger me. You learn to cook and keep yourself alive away from home. Washing machines aren’t actually that terrifying. You enjoy this freedom so much, you feel like a totally new person a lot of the time. Its worth powering through the stress and worry just to get where
Oh, and that C in Sociology isn’t the end of the world. Stop freaking out.