Anelia Thomas explains what the highs and lows of #GRADUATELIFE is really like.
So you’re finally done. Your final assignment has been handed in, you’ve sat your final exam and you’re nervously anticipating your final results before being able to enjoy the hedonistic celebration that is your graduation day.
But what next? What does Post – Graduate life actually mean? Suddenly there is this vacant space, void of responsibilities or commitments and all of a sudden you’re wondering how to fill that void and what with.
But statistically the decision has never been harder and it seems as though we are constantly reminded by the media that Generation Y graduates are being confronted by the mammoth task of having to navigate a quandary of 21st Century problems. Think high unemployment rates, saturated job markets and rising house prices, which is enough to make you suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome as you offer to recoil and wish you could relive your university days.
But you needn’t feel disheartened by the depressing nature of It all. Yes, the journey will be difficult; navigating the tightrope to Adulthood is no small feat and damn right full of hazardous and obstacles. Whilst some of us adapt to maturity well, others can find taking the first step unnerving. But as the saying goes, anything worth trying is never easy.
So here’s what you have to remember before embarking on this new phase:
1. Take Time Out
After 3 years of assignments deadlines, heartache and change Uni life is a tumultuous one so remember to take time out for yourself. After all, you’ve worked hard and there aren’t many moments in your life where you can just take time out to breath and reflect on your success.
2. Live in the Moment
Sometimes not knowing what happens next breeds new and exciting opportunities. The spontaneity of it all is what creates new paths, new encounters, new relationships and this sets you on the right path.
3. Deciding your Career Path
Remember there is no pressure to walk into your dream job tomorrow. Only 43% of Graduates will find a role in their desired career path after graduating. So if you feel undecided about how to put your degree to good use, that’s ok. Take some time out to think about what your good at and what makes you happy – but try not to take years to decide as its easy to get comfortable doing nothing. Going to graduate events and recruitment fairs can help provide you with more guidance so take advantage of these.
4. You’ve Decided what you want to do but what next
Once you know what you want to do, getting your foot in the door can be difficult and exhausting. But applying for internships and graduate schemes is a great way to practice, increase your experience and build up your contacts within your chosen industry so always be on the lookout for roles that will give you exposure and try to throw yourself into as many opportunities as many as possible.
Yes this is a trademark of post-grad life but seriously, if you can take the opportunity to travel the world do it as you will probably never possess the luxury of time and independence in the way that you do now. So whether you decide to Interrail across the European terrain, visit temples in the Far East, or watch the sunset at Ayers Rock, remember to enjoy every moment of it all.
6. Home Life
After 3 years of independence and not having to live by your parent’s rules, the prospect of moving home often creates anxiety as you’re worrying about how the new you will fit into the old ways of home living. But truthfully, adjusting to home life is actually easier than you think. Yes, you may get nagged about the state of your room, but remember your parents know you’re a young adult now, and more often than not they will respect and understand the change in dynamics.
We can all admit to being financially ambivalent whilst at Uni. We’ve all made a decision to go into our overdraft so that we could go on a night out. But whilst it seemed like a good idea at the time, you need to start thinking about clearing your overdraft. Especially if you had a student account as this usually means that your account will soon be changing over to a graduate/standard current account and the interest on your overdraft will be higher.
8. Brace Yourself for Knock Backs
One thing you will learn very quickly is that nothing is easy or sugar coated. So expect criticism and setbacks but build a tough armour and use it as a source to motivate you.
Being away from home for 3 years usually means that you’ve accumulated a group of friend’s that have almost acted as a second family and breaking up your domestic utopia is never easy. It’s painful and hard to say goodbye to the people that have meant so much to you. You will probably make an effort to see each other as often as possible once you leave in an eager bid to get your friendships going. However, in many cases friendships tend to fizzle out as real life sets in. So it’s important to make an effort as much as you can but also be aware that friendships can change.
10. Don’t ever compare yourself
All too often you’ll feel content with your version of post-graduate life and the one day you’ll scroll through Facebook and notice that one of your classmates has just landed the perfect job along with the perfect guy to match in what seems like a matter of minutes and you’ll begin doubting yourself. Don’t. Everyone progresses at their own pace and comparing yourself to someone else is never productive. Instead, you need to set yourself personal goals and measure yourself against your own perception of success.
Finally, it’s important that you remember that as a Post Graduate you are the architect of your own life and the decisions you make have to reflect what you want. There are no right or wrong ways to navigate the transition and whilst things will go wrong and plans will change, there are so many exciting opportunities and experiences that lie ahead.
What are your tips for surviving post-graduate life? Let us know on social media