Why confusion is a blessing for fresh graduates!

Around this time of the year, I often hear final year students saying they are confused about
what to do next after graduating (which can be more accurately articulated as what they
SHOULD do next). I tell them that it is a great place to be as they can investigate what they
really want to do. They may want to find a job in the field they studied or they may wish to
take a ‘gap’ year and travel and explore the world now they have ‘completed’ their formal
education. Some of them want to continue further in studying their subjects so that they
can expand their skills and knowledge.
A good proportion of these students, however, want to be told what they ‘should’ be doing
next after graduating. It’s as if their life is not their own, rather they are living an automatic
conveyer belt type of life from school to college to university to work. “That’s life isn’t it?” I
hear you say. Or is it? Have you ever wanted to do something but never did it? Have you
ever wanted to do something spontaneous? Have you ever questioned that belief?
Since studying the SEJ I question my own life and my own ‘expectations’ of life. I have also
asked myself a question ‘should I know everything?’, I don’t of course know everything and
when I realised this as an educator it was truly liberating. This gave me permission to be
‘confused’ and it gave me space to be open to possibilities outside of my limited
expectations. The key to why it worked for me is due to me asking if these
beliefs/expectations are true or relevant to me, specifically, at a particular moment.
So why does this relate to students being confused? My role as an educator is to put these
questions back to them, giving them space or rather the permission to ask these questions.
As I give them permission to ask questions, it gives them an open space to explore their
expectations challenging them to see if they are relevant.
The realisation that they are both the question and answer is a true gift which we can give
them in any one moment. So, if a student comes to you looking confused it is an
opportunity for you to share the SEJ with them, encouraging them to go inwards and ask
themselves these questions so they can find their own path. How does the student go
inwards? The SEJ is the tool within which they can do that easily and effectively.
Dr M Howard-Kishi

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