Career journey is a mountain to climb
And so it's official, that moment that has seemed to exist as a parallel world for the past decade. As I wave goodbye to my four-year undergraduate degree, my 20-odd years as pupil and student reach a timely conclusion.
It's hard to believe it was only four months ago that I, and my fellow primary BEd students, began aimlessly Facebooking the news of our last placement allocations in an attempt to deter the "final placement blues" soon to commence.
Yet despite all concerns and apprehensions evoked by the "rumours" of final placements, the 12 weeks passed without a pinch, in a whirlwind of creativity, kids, questions and . placement folders.
I would say the whole experience had a bewilderingly positive influence upon my classroom confidence. Maybe I was just lucky? And yet, as I soaked in the glory of passing final placement, the haunts of dissertation began to loom up on the horizon, becoming the next "obsession" within my undergraduate life; all the while, I remain naively oblivious of the accelerating finish line.
Now, as history repeats itself - you think you will never get there, but you always do - I sit at my computer the night before my hand-in, perhaps in an act of defiance, and Facebook my achievement. How fast these past four months have crept by, I barely even noticed. Yet despite the triumphs and turmoils they have brought, my feelings of "conclusion" and "endings" are overpowered by what lies beyond the mountain that is formal education - and I am about to be pushed right off the edge.
I may be graduating, but it didn't take long to realise that the "hoop jumping" continues, and probationary year is shaping up to be the hoop of all hoops.
Back in the early months of fourth year, ticking the "preference waiver box" appealed as an exciting adventure, an easy decision. However, as I now wait with my fate in the hands of the GTCS gods, the realities will soon be upon me.
As a native in a digitally connected world, the temptation to google is fierce; and last year's TESS statistics affirming Highland to have the highest proportion of probationers are unnerving, yet utterly liberating.
The jury remains out on whether ticking the box was a wise decision: come June, I'll have a new home, class, school and life away from all that I know. As daunting as this sounds, the freedom and challenge of the experience was just too tempting to turn away.
Until then, I guess I will continue to google the entire landscape of Scotland in an attempt to drown out the apprehension.