Each episode is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. As the world emerges from pandemic paralysis, are our Class of 2021 feeling inspired or inhibited, glad or gloomy, chaotic or calm? In this episode we meet Linguistics graduate Wing who shares her story and her insight.
Welcome to Season 2, a little bit of the same but quite a lot different. Each month we meet five more graduates from the Class of 2021. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about life, the last 12 months and future plans.
All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh.
Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.
Music: Since When by Mise Darling from freemusicarchive.org
Artwork: Vector created by redgreystock from www.freepik.com
Sonia 0:09 This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season two, class of 2021. A little bit the same, but quite a lot different.
Wing 0:21 I just realised this is the first time I've introduced myself as a graduate, so I hope I don't mess up. Hi, my name is Wing. I studied linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and I've just become a recent graduate. I feel like I'm a bit stuck between two places at the moment, because currently I'm in Edinburgh, I'm in the process of moving back to Macau. I've just applied for the settled status. So I should be able to work here, but I'm also going back to Macau, because of the pandemic. I feel like I really can't plan too much ahead. Because I don't know if I'm going to be working in Macau, or working in the UK, I have been applying for jobs in the UK. Not too successfully so far. Feel everyone around me is doing something. So I definitely feel like I should be doing something. I did end my exams quite early and all my assignments, I think I finished at like end of May. So there was a solid period of time where I wasn't doing much. So it was like I could be just casually applying to things. It's not too much pressure. So far I've attended a like week long workshop talk, I think organised by Pan Macmillan. And it was just a week long workshop, how to get into publishing. Definitely opened my eyes to some other jobs that weren't really in the spotlight. Because before I feel like people only think about editorial things. It's mostly the same things that people will be doing any other job. So it's opened my eyes up to things like that. And I've been following a lot of people on Twitter, hopefully trying to get more connections and being seen. So it's very funny because every time I apply to certain things in publishing, say, for children's picture books, I will go look at picture books I like and then Tweet that. And then I was applying to Verso Books and it's like a political, like radical publishing house and then I'll go look at that and I'll follow a lot of things just related to that [laughs].
I haven't really asked my parents for much help just because I feel like they've been pressur-- not pressuring me, but they've been asking me like, Wing, what do you want to do with your life? And I'm like, I'm working on it. I'm working on it. I did this and this, why didn't I get this job, and my mum is like, well, it doesn't have to always be about your credentials, it could be about how you fit within the workplace, maybe there's already someone like me, that's within the team. And they need someone else, which is, I feel like quite a, quite a crummy truth. But it's good to think about it in that way and not just measuring myself up against people and stuff like that. My parents obviously don't want to pressure me in to anything, but I think they kind of want me to stay in Macau for a bit. So I'm assuming they're gonna want to encourage me to work in Macau. But the job market is very limited there in terms of things that I want to do anyway, because it's quite a small place. They focus mostly on hospitality, tourism. I'm also quarantining for 21 days in a hotel. So that's a lot of time to reflect. And I know my parents wouldn't really want me to go back to the UK. To them, it's a lot safer in Macau, so they definitely want me to stay until everything blows over. But I feel like that, that puts much more of a pressure on me to find a job in Macau.
I was very interested in speech therapy because that was something that I could get into if I got a Master's. That was definitely what I've been telling all my family when they were asking me what I could do with it. And I was like, well, I could do this or I could go into AI, say if I specialised in it to just kind of calm their nerves a bit. And that's what I've been telling my family and my friends still definitely do these things. But I feel like I definitely have to take a step back. As an international student as well when the fees are so high. I feel like I can't just throw myself into another Master's so readily, because I've got another sibling who's going into university soon.
I feel like deep down, I look at that plan, I wasn't gonna do-- I feel like I'm a lot more sure myself. Sometimes I still think about it, me in high school I remember being really, really, really caught up about what people are thinking of me. Just trying to keep up with appearances trying to really fit in but stand out, in a cool way. Worried about obvious things that really don't matter. And I feel like universities really, really made me more, more sure of myself. It's been a beautiful like four-- like four years of experience in my life.
I've worked, I've worked a part time job at a restaurant, nearby uni, Koyama. That was like my first part time job, where I had to like deal with people. Got a significant amount of money. I've opened up so much more, I've been more able to speak to people I don't know if that makes sense. And I'm like, the delegated like phone caller. I feel like it's a lot of tiny things. I really stopped caring about what people thought about my life so much. Last year, I was the president of the Makeup and Special Effects Society. That was, that was a really, really fun time. And sometimes, I lack initiative, sometimes, sometimes initiative comes up in bursts. My friend, she was my flatmate before last year, she actually encouraged me to go to these makeup soc events. I only started doing makeup once I got into university, really, because I got a really strict High School dress codes and stuff. I was like, I'm not sure if I'd be able to do that. But she was like you really should. And everyone was so supportive within the committee, these girls that I barely know, they were really sweet to me, the former president was like, you know what, Wing, I think you should be president. I never saw myself as the president. I feel like I'm pretty happy to follow along. With this year, my fourth year of uni, is really when I've seen my leadership skills come to light, if that makes sense. Because I, I've been to many meetings, just trying to keep everyone calm, on the same ship during the pandemic, I was the lead tenant for my flat. So I'm surprised that I've managed to pay rent [laughs] every month on time, correspond with people. Yeah, I feel very, a lot more confident in myself and seen a lot of things that other people see me, that I never saw in myself before. So that's very nice.
Time goes by so quickly, I can't imagine this is like my four years done, four years of my life is really strange to think about when I reflect on it. And like, I've formed so many amazing friendships like, I definitely will hold on to them. And I recommend people do because if you think about it, these are the people that you can see, for like a good three, four years of your life. Like, I'm away from my family, but these are the people I've been seeing solidly. Everyone's been telling me that once you graduate, there is going to be a transition period, like few and far between people get a job immediately upon graduation, and everyone's on their different path like so really don't worry too much about it. I'm not going to worry too much about it. I've been asking people, when is the time when I should transition from recent graduate to unemployed, and people say like a good year or so. So that's a good like, cooling off period and I, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get some sort of job then, so.
Sonia 8:34 We also asked our graduates to share a place, somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.
Wing 8:42 Can I be cheeky and choose two places? Two of them are kind of plugs. I would love to meet everyone at a makeup soc event at the University of Edinburgh. It's a very supportive place. It's a beautiful creative outlet. And it's, it's a very nice and safe space for me. We do a lot of inclusive things, body positive things, inclusive things. We do a lot of workshops and tutorials and it's always been fun. Everyone's super lovely. Definitely, definitely do come to that. And the second one I was thinking really hard on what to recommend people and I'm actually going tomorrow, is the Castle Terrace Farmers' Market. Actually stumbled across it when, when restrictions were really tight, it happens every Saturday. So my flat and I made it a personal mission to go every Saturday. It was the one constant in my life, which I could depend on. And everyone's really lovely. They're supporting local business, they have amazing produce. I've actually, every time anyone I meet for coffee now has been asking what I've been doing, I've been droning on about these markets and people have been going. And they've been like messaging me like, Wing, I went. And we made a salad with these vegetables and this is the best salad I've ever had Wing. And I'm like I told you so, these things are so good, so delicious.
Sonia 10:19 Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.
Kate 10:38 I hope you've enjoyed meeting members of our University of Edinburgh community. To connect with more join Platform One, our online meeting place for students, alumni and staff of the University. To find out more search Platform One Edinburgh.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai