If you’re reading this then congratulations!!! This means that you have probably finished university and graduated successfully. Be proud of what you have accomplished no matter the outcome, completing university is not easy. Many may have given up or dropped out for other reasons, but you finished the race! Enjoy your moment, because at some point……it will come to an end when reality hits. Well done on kicking uni’s ass but now you have an even bigger challenge, tackling life. There’s a lot that goes on after university and it can either make or break you. A lot of these I guarantee nobody told you. Based on my personal experience, I have managed to put together a list of 10 things nobody told you about life after university;
1 – You May Be Broke and Have to Do a Job you do not Love
If you went to university thinking that you were guaranteed to come out with a high-flying job, newsflash for you……It is not always likely to happen although some are lucky. Currently, jobs are very hard to come by especially graduate jobs or jobs that are at degree level and higher. The reality is that if you have moved back home after university and are now looking for a graduate job, you may have to jump through a lot of hoops to get by no matter how well you excelled in your degree, sometimes life sucks like that lol. With that being said, you are likely to be in a position where you need the money and although I believe in trusting a journey, there’s no way you can sit at home broke and not being able to get out (unless you have someone paying for your lifestyle feel free). At this position, almost any job will do, and the truth is there is nothing wrong with having to do minimum wage jobs temporarily to get by until something better comes along. The truth is it will come, but sometimes you must crawl before you walk.
2 – Your degree may not be useful for you
No offence to anybody but, what I mean by this is that whatever you studied at university, although very amazing and it may carry its prospects, you may finish university, wanting different things than when you started. The job market for your desired industry (which you most likely studied for) may be competitive and may not be for you. You could also find yourself in a 9-5 where a degree was not required but rather experience. Not everybody uses their degree.
3 – Independence: Bank of Mum and Dad?? Forget it!!!
Your parents are not going to fund whatever lifestyle you thought you would be living after university. Whilst I do respect that everyone’s home dynamic and post-university journey is different, I’m talking from the common perspective. You may have moved back home after uni and chances are you’re 21+ so it’s time to be independent. Get a job. You want to take trips and vacations three times a year?? Go ahead, just don’t expect your parents to pay for it. I know it is not always easy to get a job but understand that after uni you’re an adult and though you’re still somebody’s child, you’d be expected to be doing something with your life as you didn’t study all those 3-7years to be sat on your dad’s couch eating Doritos and watching Netflix all day. You may receive Bank of Mum and Dad to invest or help you out with big things, but I’m talking about the basics and luxuries you want such as; travel, going out and partying, clothes and shoes. Those are things you’ll have to earn for yourself as it adds to your independence and level of maturity. It also gives you a sense of freedom.
4 – You May Go Through a Period of Depression or down days
*DISCLAIMER* – I am not a therapist, advisor, psychologist or a certified counsellor for you to entirely trust my view on depression or mental health issue.
Life after university can be stressful and it is not easy when you’ve gotten used to something for three years to face the possible reality of coming home from uni and everything not being sweet and rosy for you. You’ve applied for jobs and been to countless interviews but still no luck! That can affect a person’s spirit especially when it seems as though your age mates are doing much better than you. Personally, I was not depressed after uni, but I went through a short period where I had no income, no odd job or some form of stability, but just days going by. It happens, but the thing to remember is that time is a wonderful thing because it passes, it is just a phase. I would only advise that if you do find yourself in this position, do talk to someone about it and get some form of support. Do not let pride get in the way. Pride almost killed my progress in life in many instances, don’t go down that road!
5 – It is going to be okay
No matter how hard things are post-university, you are going to be okay so long as you have a support system in the form of family and friends as well as other services and professionals (if required). One thing to remember is that no matter the journey afterward, it is not only you that is facing challenges, but you also are not alone. The grass is not always green on any other side.
6 – You may not see your friends from university as much
This one may be hard to swallow and though it is hard, you must remember that life itself is a journey and there are times and seasons for everything. Seeing your friends daily, studying and socialising together was always going to come to an end eventually. It is hard but you’ll be fine. After university everybody is in the same boat and comes from different circumstances, family backgrounds and upbringings. As graduates, you all have goals and dreams which may mean less time socialising apart from the odd weekends and seasonal holidays. It is okay, and the good thing about it is that there is always social media and telephones so you can always communicate with them. It is also best to treasure the friends you have outside of the uni bubble so that you do not find yourself socially isolated.
7 – It is okay to not know what you want to do with your life
This may be the best position to be in and this is because you have the opportunity and the chance to try many different things and gain from it as you do it. Do not just mope around not knowing what you want to do, figure it out! Try some new things. These things will bring knowledge and drive some sort of inspiration into your life. As old as you may feel you are still young and there’s still time. It is worth being happy with that time. Professionally and conventionally I am still somewhat in that position but I’m figuring it out and if you’re reading this you will too, so go out there and get your adventure!
8 – A lot of jobs don’t care about your degree
Personally, I felt like that, when applying for jobs, some tend to bypass the fact that you have a whole degree and ask you about your experience. It’s tough but that’s the game with most jobs in certain specific industries. There is a reason why a lot of degrees have placement years and encourage internships during summers. It is so that you have an edge. Experience is the best teacher and jobs would rather not spend money on training, but rather hire someone who has some idea on what they are doing. This does not mean your degree is worthless because it is worth a lot. However, depending on the industry you desire to work in; you may be surprised when they ask or are drawn to one’s experiences.
9 – Schooling > working??!!
Or vice versa? If you are blessed to have gotten a taste of work-life, then you may find yourself contemplating which one you like the most; schooling or working. You may miss the university lifestyle and want to study more. You might want to never school again and work for the rest of your life because you enjoy working, because of the benefits it brings financially.
10 – Student Finance are not bailiffs
Student finance are not going to demand their money back the moment you walk out of uni. A lot of people have this notion of student finance being on their backs for their money back when the reality is, you’d have to be earning a certain amount before they deduct from your pay. The amount deducted is very small when you’re earning 4 figures a month. Do not worry about student finance England. You may have worries if you received loans from a private company. I would advise speaking to that company and arranging a plan that is convenient for you based on your financial situation.
I hope this has helped put in perspective the possible realities of life after university. I know these are not all positives and not all graduates may fit with any of these 10 things, but I hope either way you have learned something valuable.
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