All good things have to come to an end and I left Worcester last week on the morning that our house contract expired, bound for Surrey in a car that seemed to be packed full with ten times as much stuff than I arrived with. My university adventure has sped by, and despite often getting away with the bare minimum, my moth-related dissertation went down surprisingly well with the powers that be, and I've come away from it all with a first class honours degree in Conservation Ecology.
Moving home after three years of university and knowing that I have nothing separating me from the working world feels unsettling. I'm gutted to be leaving Worcester and all the great people I met there, but as has been reminded to me by the inevitable "so what are your plans?" conversation starters, now is as good a time as any to start considering possible paths to follow post-graduation.
I've got a few ideas in the works. The Natural History Museum's ID Trainers for the Future programme has intrigued me ever since it was first devised back in 2014 and I'm keen to apply for the final year of the scheme, even if it will be immensely sought after. Ecological consultancy, particularly as a seasonal field surveyor, is also something I'm looking into pursuing in the short-term, but if all else fails, postgraduate study is still on the cards if I can find the right Masters course for me. I'm already knee-deep in debt, so further loan accumulation won't be a shock to the system and I doubt I'll be in a position to start paying it back in the near (or distant!) future.
Ecology is my passion, but turning it into a profession is going to take persistence. Spilling out the ideas that have been whirling around in my head into a blog post is somewhat reassuring to my conscience that I haven't hit a loose end, and that there are opportunities around the corner. In the meantime, I'll carry on doing what I love. Wildlife will always provide me with endless fascination, and I'll try as hard as I can to make a living out of it.
In other news, the south-facing slopes of the North Downs can be extremely productive for moths at this time of year, as I found out when I stopped off at White Down back on Thursday.