Let’s talk life after university, post-graduation. You would think that this would be the best moment of your young adult life, you’re done with education and you can live your life stress free and successful, right?
For me it has been scary. For those who leave not knowing what the next chapter in the book is for them it is extremely daunting. You feel immense pressure to throw yourself straight into work or further education. – You feel lost. All of these feelings can build up and leave you feeling anxious and depressed. Like you need a plan as soon as possible forgetting that you have just been through 3-4 (sometimes even more) years of intensive education.
Give yourself a break
One thing I had to learn post graduation is that it is okay to do nothing for a little while. It’s okay to stop and think before rushing into making important decisions. For me, It was trying to find a path that I was going to be happy on. I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a job that I dread waking up to every morning. In addition, I also didn’t want to be in a financial struggle. I had spent my entire life in a single parent family where we always just managed to scrape by. Borrowing money, cleaning toilets, food banks, living on beans and toast… I went to university because this was not the future I wanted for myself but I’ve never really known what kind of job I wanted – I still don’t.
That’s a lie my inner self exclaims. I know exactly what I want to do. I’m just too scared to take the risk. And so I battle with myself trying to decide whether to take the safe route or take a risk and be doing something I love so much. Essentially what I am trying to say is, yes the big educational door in your life has closed but in reality, the journey has only just begun.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for this potentially difficult time:
1) Careers Office? – go see them! I made the mistake of not going because I felt like I needed to know what I was doing first. Don’t make that mistake, go anyway! They are there to help you find the right path too.
2) For all you Pre Uni students out there – take some time to think. Schools can really pile on the pressure to herd as many of you into universities across the country as possible. Really think about the possible career paths you want and pick a degree accordingly. If you struggled, like me, to know what you want for your career pick a degree that is open and leaves you some freedom of choice. For example if you do a Midwifery degree then decide you want nothing to do with the birth of children you are a little bit screwed in the job department. Something like Journalism, History, Sociology, Philosophy – they teach you transferable skills highly valued by employers while also leaving you lots of open doors for career choice.
3) Save some money – It can be so easy to splash all your student loan on nights out or fancy food but if you come from a family that cant financially bale you out you will need some money to survive on post graduation while you are planning your next course of action. The financial burden can add to the pressure to throw yourself into any job that you aren’t truly happy in.
Are you feeling the post graduation blues? Comment down below, I’d love to hear from you all about your own experiences on the topic.