(image from pinterest)
You count down the days until the last deadline or exam, you can’t wait to finish the most stressful year of your life. Then the day comes and you think to yourself, what now?
Life after university is different for everybody. For me, I knew I’d have to throw myself into job hunting because I was living off the last few pounds of my student overdraft. I didn’t want to jump straight into work life, however, I felt like it was my only option.
I wish I could of travelled for a month or moved away to a big city like many others did, but for me life after university meant moving back home to live with the parents. Home for me wasn’t anywhere cool either, I lived in the middle of nowhere where the nearest Zara is nearly an hour away and I only had a one friend. However, other than having to downgrade to a single bed, moving home wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I get fed and my washing done for me and whilst I do have to pay my parents board, it doesn’t come close to the money I would be spending on a flat if I was to rent. So life at home was okay, the most stressful thing was job hunting.
For anyone who has had to find that first graduate job you will understand my stress, you apply to every job you can, just to be ignored or rejected. It took me over a month to hear back from anybody and this was to invite me for a ‘casual’ interview in a coffee shop, however, this wouldn’t be for yet another month. With my funds running very low, I was starting to get desperate. It was just as I was starting to lose faith, good news dropped into my emails! I had applied for a graduate job at the university I studied at earlier in the year, so long ago I completely forgot I even applied so was very surprised to see the email inviting me to an assessment day.
Assessment days can be very daunting; mine included a group assessment and an individual interview. I prepared as much as I could, but nothing would stop the nerves. You know when you’re that nervous everything just becomes a blur? That was how my individual interview went; I walked out not knowing how I’d answered the questions asked. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long to find out, they were going to ring the next morning and let me know my fate.
I wake up very early the next morning, I’m anxious. I feel that my future is dependant on this one phone call. The phone rings… its good news. I finally have a job after all those applications. I say thank you and then proceed to ring my mum in tears. For the next half an hour I felt so thankful that my hard work had finally paid off but then it suddenly hit me: my life as I know it is over. This may sound dramatic but I was now committed to a job Monday to Friday 9-5, with a long commute from home. I would have to say goodbye to cheap £2 pints at the pub quiz on Tuesdays and spontaneous cheap nights away in the week with the boyfriend and say hello to early nights and my 6:30 alarm. I wasn’t ready to give up these things yet, I wanted to hold on to my old student life for as long as possible but I couldn’t. This is what I found the hardest and even after a month, I still don’t find it easy.
Life after university is different for everyone, I found the transition difficult and still am, but for others the routine and hearty monthly salary might be a relief. I still see myself travelling, and am hoping too next summer but for the time being I’m going to pay off my overdraft and gain some industry experience. No matter what your after university experience is, there’s
plenty of people out there who can relate to your struggles…
Want to read more about my university journey? Click here to see the 4 things I learned whilst at university.