So you have just finished university. You’ve graduated, you did it! Firstly, congratulations! It’s such an amazing achievement, and you really should be proud of yourself! This blog post is going to cover some of the feelings that graduates don’t often talk about, but I can guarantee you are all feeling.
You worked your whole life for this moment. You worked at school to get into college, at college to get into university, and now all of a sudden you’re finished and there’s nowhere for you to go apart from the big wide world of work. That is, unless you’re going on to do a masters or other postgraduate course, in which case you get to escape these feelings for another year! All of a sudden everything you have worked so hard for all of your life is finished and it’s time to go and use what you’ve learned. Daunting? Absolutely!
You’ve finished uni and all you have is a piece of paper with your degree on it. You also have so many memories, and it’s the people you’ll probably miss the most. Especially if, like me, your uni friends have spread themselves out around the country and therefore seeing each other will become a rarity. That’s tough, to go from living with or seeing people everyday to only managing to schedule a FaceTime in every couple of weeks! It’s okay to miss these people, and just because the dynamic of your friendship will likely change, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends anymore! That’s the best thing about uni- friends for life!
Okay so on to the actual job bit. A lot of people that I know went to uni to do a subject they enjoyed, unsure whether they wanted to work in that area, but knowing that a degree would help them out regardless. So how on earth do you work out then what you want to do?
There is so much pressure when you finish uni to go straight into a job in which you are using your degree. Most of these jobs require experience, which is difficult to get when you’ve been working so hard to complete your degree. One thing I would say though, is not to underestimate those transferable skills from non-degree related experiences. See my previous blog post on this. If you’re reading this as a current university student- if you can get some degree related work experience in alongside your studies, I would definitely recommend it!
One of the best things that you can do when you’re feeling this pressure is to sit back and look at the bigger picture. There is absolutely no rush at all! You feel the pressure from everyone, I understand that, it’s natural. However, the last thing that you want to do is rush into something that you hate, just so that you’re using your degree! Sit back and look at the bigger picture! It’s okay if you don’t have long term goals, or if your long term goals have changed so many times that you don’t know what they are anymore! Take some time to sit back, consider your options for your next step and don’t get overwhelmed with the steps after that. Just think about what you might want to do next, and don’t rush into applying for things that aren’t quite right for you. After all, your experiences now could shape the rest of your career.
So please graduates, slow down. Don’t give in to the pressure, and know that it’s okay to feel completely overwhelmed! I promise you, you’ll get there eventually and when you do, it’ll feel amazing!