Getting a seat on the bus had become a novelty during my time at the University of Sussex; seeing the double-decker read “sorry bus full” as it drove past me and my ticket that I was ready to scan, or boarding a cramped 25 on my way to a 9am seminar had both become the norm. However, this morning as I sat as one of the few passengers, I was able to gather my thoughts for the day ahead. Having spent months at home throughout lockdown, I was excited that my day finally had a purpose. (That’s not as melancholic as it sounds; there’s only so many times you can re-watch The Office from your bed whilst eating Pot Noodles, so I was glad to be on my way to a real office to hopefully make a real difference). As I made my way across an empty campus , passing the buildings where I’d previously given presentations or anxiously sat exams, my nerves began to mellow and were replaced with an element of excitement as I had been waiting for this day for a very long time.
Around December last year, as the horizon that always seemed so far away appeared to be getting closer, it dawned on me that my student life did, in fact, have an expiry date (just like Pot Noodles, which I discovered the hard way), and I had to make some big decisions. What do I want to do with my life? Now that’s the big question, especially when deciding what to have for dinner is often a source of great deliberation. As I was eager to stay in Brighton and continue my life next to the sea , whilst being unsure of what I wanted to do 5 days a week to fund this endeavor, I visited my university’s career’s center and was advised to take a look at the Catalyst Scheme. I was instantly drawn in as the opportunity to take on a range of different roles was appealing; given the fact that I do not have a specific career path in mind, I feel this will allow me to get closer to that answer. I applied that night, and two interviews later, here I am on my first day.
Upon arrival, I was re-introduced to the very friendly Simon and Eva who took me into a room to begin my induction. With masks removed and distance maintained, I could finally take a deep breath and begin my journey on the Catalyst Team. After a general catch up I was equipped with a laptop and familiarized with the multiple programmes that will help me navigate my time (and life) for the next year. The friendly atmosphere of the office has definitely made me feel more at ease, and as I bring my first blog to a close, I can safely say that nerves from this morning have been balanced out with excitement for the coming months to take on roles I’ve never tried before. This is not just a new chapter, this is a whole new book, and I have a feeling that it is going to be one worth reading.