Each episode is a snapshop, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. Season one talks to our 2020 graduates about how things are going, or not going, for them. In episode four we meet Sociology and Politics graduate, Sally.
Each month we meet five more graduates. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about this weird and unpredictable time.
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This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak peek inside the minds of our graduates. This is season one: Class of 2020.
So my name is Sally Stewart. I studied sociology and politics and I technically graduate this year. I'm very sad to have left uni. That's the only thing I can really come away [laughs]. Really make the most of it 'cause like it is the best four years of your life, so far anyway. So far. But yeah, who knows? Maybe I'll be back. Maybe I won't.
I am in my parents' house in Aberdeenshire. Yeah, I've just been here for the last six months, and probably for the foreseeable future. But we' shall see. I'm used to coming back at Christmas time and for like a couple of weeks, but uh not to be back for a long period of time, so my room actually I painted it in lockdown. I switched up all the furniture. So it all feels different, apart from I still have my child curtains that are covered in flowers. But you know, other than that, I've tried to make it a bit less childish. I don't know, like the home environment doesn't feel like it's changed even though it's been like four years since I've been here for a prolonged period of time.
So in the beginning, once I had, like, submitted everything, and I was officially sort of finished with uni, I was applying for jobs, which was always the plan. And I still am now, but it was-- I was obviously a lot more enthusiastic back in June. It's been okay, it's a bit demoralising, 'cause you have to sort of plough through, I guess, a lot of applications before eventually, you'll get somewhere. But I'm feeling better about it now than I did at the beginning. And also like being away from all my university friends who I didn't really say bye to either. Um that wasn't great either. But now I feel better. And I've told myself, I'm probably going to be home until at least Christmas. And like accepting that makes it a lot better, sort of, I've got part-time job now. And that's kind of helped me go the house a bit more as well. So it's going okay. You can't do anything half-heartedly, really, in terms of like employment and things like my degree was very broad and vague, which I knew from the beginning, but I just really wanted to go to uni and do the four years and have a good time, which I did.
Before all of this happened, I didn't really have a set plan. Um I had a couple of ideas. And my backup plan was always that I wanted to go travelling, because I've done quite a bit of that in the summers between years at university. Um and I really wanted to get my PADI open water diving thing and go and do that. So if I wasn't successful, like looking for jobs or anything, so I wasn't-- I'm still not really entirely sure exactly what I want to do. So then that was sort of like the backup, well I can go and do that for a bit. And that could be quite fun. But obviously, it's not really that possible at the moment.
I have like a kind of-- more of a vision than I did in the beginning. So I kind of want to go more into sort of digital marketing type thing. And I'm doing a short course right now on that. So that's what came out of my thinking and stuff. I'm now, like, trying to take steps and doing that. I did a lot of overthinking of being like oh, this is a disaster, why, what's happening? But we're out the other side of that I think.
I went back, it was the tenth of September, just to see a few friends. I had to like pick up things I'd left, the places and I realised because I got-- Snapchat has these memory feature on your phone. And I got a memory being like this day, four years ago, was the day you went to uni. I was like wow, isn't that some weird circular metaphor thing? So yeah, that was the first time I'd gone back and it was weird. Like getting off the train and not having-- like going to my flat or having like a place to call home there really. I find that quite hard to come to terms with because it was all so sudden, and we haven't had like a ceremony or anything. I just got an email being like, you've done it. See you later, maybe. But then if I had the ceremony I would have been like, that's the end point and I've said my goodbyes. Like I didn't even say goodbye to so many people, which is weird anyway because I would do before the summer.
I was part of the running club at Edinburgh and I know a lot of people there and quite a lots of them I would call it my close friends. But there's quite a few people who I'd just see once a week on like a Monday run. And I would chat to you for an hour every Monday but like I haven't seen them in ages and haven't spoken to them because-- I mean you also don't have time for so many people. But yeah, leaving all like the random people behind and not knowing when or if you will see them again really.
We also ask our graduates to share a place, somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.
The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, which might seem very random, I am half Irish. And my grandparents live at the end of the tram lines which lead to the causeway. So almost every summer, I guess we've gone to Ireland, we'd always do that walk. Um along the tram lines or like get the-- there has a-- they have a steam train, you can get steam train to the Giant's Causeway. And I don't know, that's like, a very memorable place to me, because I've been with so many different people and different family members. That's like, various points in my life. And, like I don't know, I guess I've changed over all of those years, but it's quite comforting to think that the land has stayed mostly the same. And it's a lot slower at doing that. So going there is like quite peaceful for me, I suppose 'cause I went there to begin with when I was very young, and like, nothing mattered. And it was fine. And there's a story about all the stones at the Giant's Causeway because it's all made up of these like distinct hexagonal shapes. And there's like a story about a giant who challenged another giant in Scotland to a fight and they'd made a bridge with all like-- throwing all these stones, made a bridge to Scotland. They met in the middle and this other giant of Scotland was too big. So he ran back and broke all the bridge behind him. And that story stuck with me. I mean, I'm sure there's a scientific reason for all this. But that's less fun, and I can't remember that. So, yeah, that's, like a place of peace, I think, is how I would describe it in my memory. So yeah, I'd like to take people there because it's very pretty and yeah, very important to me.
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.
Kirsty Roche (Careers Service) 27:05
You're not on your own when it comes to planning for your future. Your University of Edinburgh community is here to support you. And this includes ongoing support for recent graduates from the Careers Service. Why not take a look at our website to find out more about how we can support you get the future that you want, go to www.ed.ac.uk/careers to get started.