Life After Graduation

Hi everyone!

If you don’t already know, I graduated university this summer and life has been pretty hectic ever since. I started blogging again, after a long year of just focusing on my studies and now I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.

If I’m being honest, I thought I would have a job secured by now, but finding a job is so much harder than I thought it would be, especially because I’m interested in so many different things so I’m not exactly sure what I want. But I take comfort in knowing it’s a shared struggle that many people are going through and we’re all figuring it out together.

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However, university does not prepare you for life after graduation. There are so many unspoken expectations that you’re never told about. You need to have experience, even when you’re applying to an entry-level job and sometimes being secretary of a society isn’t enough. You have to be passionate, which is hard if you don’t know what you want to do and no one is giving you the chance to figure it out. And you need to have a certain personality that fits into a particular office culture. Sometimes, you’ll get called for an interview and you think it went well, you receive fantastic feedback, but in the end, they decided to go with someone else, why? Probably because they already had a particular personality in mind.

Despite this, I had a fantastic time at university and wouldn’t change it for the world. I think it’s really important to be honest and open about life after graduation, so I spoke to three graduates to see what their life has been like since graduating from university. It’s a journey and everyone’s experience is different.

Abbi

simplyabbi.com

@_SimplyAbbi

Age: 23
Degree: Media studies at the University of Brighton

How did you progress from university to your current job?

I decided to stay at my job in a pub for a little while before going into the big, scary job world and actually, this was really beneficial! I got to improve my confidence, my customer service skills and many other things you don’t initially think about. When I felt it was time to move on, I started looking at internships and completed nearly two months at a PR company in London where I realised what I really enjoyed in my industry and what I really wanted to go for! From that, I just hunted and hunted and hunted for jobs and managed by complete chance to find the current job I have in my chosen field! University didn’t actually teach me what I wanted to do, I learnt that from actually getting into the field and seeing what it’s really like!

What advice would you give to your younger self in your final year of university?

Final year is really hard because you have so much to juggle but if I could re-do it, I would have looked into more career advice that was being offered, but I ignored due to being busy. In hindsight, I wish I had researched more into my industry outside of university and really thought more about what was out there and taking advantage of the services that my university offered! But, I’d also recommend taking complete advantage, one last time, of the fact you are at uni. It will seem completely stressful but there is still time to socialise and go out. One hundred percent do this because you don’t realise how hard it is to catch up with your friends outside of university once it’s all over and done with. Just go for it!

Sabrina

arcticsabrina.com

youtube.com/arcticsabrina

@ArcticSabrina

Age: 22
Degree: HBa in History, specialising in Military History at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario

How did you progress from university to your current job?

I do not currently have a job, I’m technically working freelance as a writer, but I only have one job going right now. I’m moving overseas as an expat on the Youth Mobility Visa to the UK (Edinburgh), and I’m going over next week with no apartment, and no job, and hoping I can get some things to fall into place when I get there. Really there’s not much I can do to achieve those plans other than to do all the leg work to get the Visa and set myself up for success over there – get a flight, Airbnb, apply for some jobs. Right now I can’t get anything since I don’t have a UK phone number or address, so it seems kind of sketchy to potential employers. I’m kind of stuck in limbo until I get there.

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What advice would you give to your younger self in your final year of university?

In my last year, I got really caught up in going to grad school because my friend wanted to go. I never planned on going to grad school because I took history, and even though I love it and would do anything to become a historian… well let’s put it this way: out of all of my profs in the four years I went to Lakehead, only one was actually hired full time by the university. The rest were hired contractual and paid appalling wages for the amount of expertise they have and work they do. So getting a MA would be fun, but it doesn’t really help me out in terms of getting a job that would be able to pay off the debt. Still, I got caught up in the hoopla of it!

I applied only overseas since I was still set on moving, so when I got into Dublin and Edinburgh I was SO happy, but then heartbroken when I couldn’t afford to go. I had gotten all of the ‘high achieving’ scholarships and awards, I graduated Dean’s List, and I still couldn’t do my Masters because I didn’t have anyone who would co-sign a loan with me (since they knew, as I did, that history is a dying profession). It was just a sort of kick in the teeth that, in a way, I asked for when I applied. So my advice to myself would be my all encompassing advice to the general public: trust yourself. Push yourself to do better, but know when you need to trust your gut.

I knew that graduate school wasn’t something that would fit for me, not because I didn’t want it badly enough, but just because it wasn’t right for right now, and I still tried to force it to work. Now I’m just letting the wind take me and I’m going to spend the year doing a whole different kind of learning, which was my original plan. I would have saved myself a lot of heartbreak if I had just stuck with it right off the bat, but at the same time, maybe I needed to have that disappointment so I didn’t wonder ‘what if’ about grad school.

Zara

copperpoet.com

@_copperpoet

Age: 25
Degree: Medical Genetics

How did you progress from university to your current job?

I went from my undergraduate into a PhD. I expressed an interest in research to my lecturers so they emailed me about positions that were open and I was able to interview for them. Making a good impression on your lecturers is kind of important as they will be your reference for future jobs.

ian-schneider-66374-unsplashWhat advice would you give to your younger self in your final year of university?

If I could give myself advice when I was in my final year, I would say to study hard and try not to worry too much. You feel like you should have your life together and know 100% what your next step is, but plenty of people around you won’t be sure what to do next. It’ll fall into place in time.

Thanks to all my fellow bloggers for sharing their life after graduation stories. I really hope this helps anyone going into their final year of university or even if you’re just starting out, it’s good to be informed! If you are a university graduate, share your own life after graduation story in the comments below ✨

follow me on twitter: @notesatdusk


9 thoughts on “Life After Graduation

  1. SO true! Life after graduation is so hard, especially to secure a job and they don’t warn you or tell you about it at all. I graduated 2 years ago and have not got a proper job in the industry yet, so heading back to do postgrad to hopefully secure a job after that. Best of luck with the job hunt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A really great blog post. It’s really well written. I like the interviews. I really agree with what you and the other girls said, that university doesn’t prepare you for the real world. A really interesting and informative blog post. Awesome work! 😊🌸xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much! I tried to give people a realistic outlook on life after graduation, it’s bleak but unfortunately it’s the reality for most people. Thanks for the comment! 🙂 xxx

      Like

  3. Wow…that’s an interesting article. I knew it was tough out there, not that tough through !

    How are you managing, I see you’ve not posted for a while, so hopefully something positive happened ?!?! I think the determination you have all shown will eventually result in a job (even if it’s just a starting point, take it).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! Sorry it has taken me a while to reply, I haven’t checked my blog much. I am actually still trying to figure out what I want to do, but I am keeping busy whilst I do that so things are looking up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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