top of page

My Favourite Question - What do you want to do after you graduate?

Written by QCMHA Sponsorship Director, Kieran McSweeney

Blowing out the candles of my 21st birthday cake in the middle of the Sahara desert was a pretty surreal moment. It’s one of those moments where you think life can’t get much better than this. Fast forward to today, it’s almost my 22nd birthday, and my exchange is over, my last summer as a student is over, I’m in my last semester of my undergraduate degree, and the future is looming over me. 

At this stage in my life, I’ve been plagued by a common question, getting asked almost once a day:

“What do you want to do after you graduate?” 

It always brings a smile to my face, just thinking, this is where I’m at, I should have an answer for this by now, but as with each time the question comes, I ask myself, what am I going to say this time? 

We’re always supposed to have a plan, always supposed to know what’s next. But for me, the future holds more questions than answers. We’ve been in school our entire lives, but now I have to face the reality of now what. Up until this point, it’s been do well in school, and good things will come, you’ll be okay. I’ve done that; I’ve made it this far, but now that path is over. 

It forces you to look back and reflect, thinking, why did I work so hard, why did I stress so much, what was this all for, was it worth it? You get to this point of questioning everything, and let me tell you, it's no fun. 

To complicate matters more, there are all the external pressures of life too - my parents spent a lot of money for me to be here, am I wasting their sacrifice? Wasting their hard work? Letting them down? So many of my friends already have jobs, know where their next adventure is taking them, but here I am after 18 years of education, having no F***ing clue what to do with my life. 

And what do I do when I don’t know what to do? I intentionally keep myself busy, so I can’t rationally have time to think about it. I think an important thing for me is that I can acknowledge that I’m in a state of procrastination, where I haven’t been able to accept the truth yet. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my four years here and have loved everything that I’ve learned, but I don’t fall into the bucket of marketing, accounting, consulting, or finance. These past few days, I’ve thought oh I probably would’ve made a good accountant, or I could be a really good lawyer. But is this what I want? Will this make me happy? And to be honest, I don’t know.

I don’t want this to be all gloomy, so on the bright side, here are some things I’ve heard over the past few months that have reassured me about the future - I’m young, have so much life ahead, there is so much time, so why rush to get to the end instead of enjoying the journey. Trying to be present and enjoying the point in life I am at is so important. Another key lesson is that, in reality, no one has it figured out; my dad, at 55, always tells me that he still doesn’t know what he wants to do in his career. 

I don’t think I can give much advice on this topic, as clearly, I have not figured it out myself. But if I could leave you with one thing, it’s okay not to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, enjoy where you are in the moment, follow your passions, and good things will come.

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page