The day you graduate from university can bring up so many emotions, hope, excitement, and, most likely, fear. What do I do now? Where can I go? The transition from full time education to full time employment can be a shock to the system. The security of having your life structured (or not, depending on how regularly you attend lectures) to a timetable, the many social functions you were able to attend on your last morsel of cash. The endless parties. Oh, the parties! And now you have to abandon that in order to go and work for a living? The prospect is never that appealing, especially when there are things like council tax that need to be paid. Here is an open letter to the students reading that have concerns about starting the next chapter of their lives.
Your graduation day is wonderful, enjoy it.
Don’t spend the day panicking about entering the so-called big, bad world. I’m speaking as a graduate of drama, where the prospects of gaining long-term employment is as likely as buying a pint in the union for over £3.50.
No doubt your parents are proud of you, regardless of how you plan to live your life. Enjoy the photos, laughs with your friends and the fact that your dad is wearing a tie.
Where to live.
After leaving university, you can feel that the freedom you’ve achieved means that you could never go back home. Living with mum and dad can feel like a step back, but sometimes it can be a necessary stop gap while you gather your thoughts and consider the next step.
There is always the financial concerns that loom.
If you were very frivolous during your time at uni, buying rounds that were “not a problem, just got a credit card” (note: credit card = not free money!), you may have debt in different areas. If that is the case, secured debt consolidation loans help round up the debt into one manageable loan you can pay off without needing to keep track of every little one (and some you may have forgotten about until the reminder letter comes). If you are struggling and don’t know which way to turn, Citizen’s Advice can give you a wealth of information about your options.
Take careers advice.
No doubt there are people around you that have questioned why you even went to the trouble of getting a degree when it hasn’t got you where you wanted to be. You may even question it yourself when you’re sat in that office six months after completing your degree in marine biology. There are tests you can take online, the careers office, and most helpful is the careers guidance in your university. Schedule some time for them to help point you in the right direction.
University is a once in a lifetime experience.
Don’t forget that. You will learn about things about yourself that you would never have living at home. Leaving university is just the next step, and you will learn so much more about how you fit into the world. So keep your goals in mind. If you needed to get a job on the phones to pay the rent, make sure it is just a stopgap. Focus and perseverance pays off. That’s how you managed to obtain your degree, so apply what you’ve learnt.