At university, I had no thoughts or expectations about post graduate life because I was so focused on what was going on at that time. Everything I focused on was about getting to the point where I would graduate, then actually graduating and beyond that I had no expectations. Suddenly, I had graduated, the day was done and I had no plans for what was going to happen next.
6 months down the line and a lot has changed.
Finding a job straight out of university can be a long process. I had never had a ‘proper job’ before and all anyone had ever told me was that “work will take over your life”, or that it was a “means to and end”. Admittedly, finding a job was not the most enjoyable process. From sending out the cover letters and preparing for interviews, staying motivated was the main thing. However, I can safely say that getting a job does not have to take over your life and although it does take up a lot of time, that is not a bad thing as long as you enjoy what you do.
Compared to university, having a job makes me feel so much more motivated and productive. In university I left everything to the last minute and was a serial “all nighter” kind of person which made me feel like none of the work I was producing was honestly my best. I had so much time that I didn’t utilise any of it properly and I wasn’t getting anything done. Now, having a job means that I am getting things done and I have a proper schedule to follow to keep myself on track.
In short, don’t let other people’s opinions or experiences of having a job cloud your own expectations.
It is definitely safe to say that now I have a job, I am in a better financial situation than I was at university. The extra stability that comes with finally being able to manage my money properly, without relying on a loan, makes me feel a lot more comfortable than I ever did with money at university.
The main thing I’m still working on now is trying to figure out what to do with my finances long-term. Just because I now have more money than I did doesn’t mean that I would consider myself financially stable.
After I graduated from university, I moved back in with my parents. To say that aspect of post graduate life was a slight adjustment would be an understatement.
One massive advantage is being able to save money on rent as it is a lot cheaper to pay rent to my parents at home than to move out straight away into my own place. The current plan is to try and save up a deposit to buy a flat, but that might take a while. In the meantime, it’s a big adjustment moving back into my parents house and having to lose a lot of my independence. I have always enjoyed having my own space and losing some of that has not been ideal. But, after living with a lot of different people at university I know that is it far better for me to live with people I know instead of moving in with people that I don’t know.
I know that buying a place of my own is what I really want and it is definitely possible, it just may take a bit of time.
When I was younger I used to think I was an extrovert but over time I began to realise that I actually hated being bored and being around people stopped me from being bored. First year of university was great for me because there was always something to do and people to hang out with. Now that I don’t live with friends anymore and I don’t have anywhere near as much spare time, it is harder to factor in spending time with people. It also made me realise that I need to find more hobbies and things that I can do by myself because even if I have time to hang out with my friends, it doesn’t always mean that they have the time to hang out with me.
Due to the time and distance restraints, the social aspect of things has definitely gotten harder since leaving university, but it does make hanging out with my friends something that I really look forward to and it means that we don’t waste the time that we do have.
Overall, I think when I left university, I was very ready to leave. I was finding myself more and more bored and I was just not enjoying myself anymore. Now I’ve graduated, I have a new motivation to achieve what I want to achieve and to start planning for the future. I don’t feel as restrained and I think that is what makes the biggest difference.
Obviously, not everybody has the same experiences at university or leaving university. Some people dread leaving, some people love leaving, everyone’s circumstances are different. For me personally, it has been a big mixture of positives and negatives, but I know that I am much happier now than I was this time a year ago.
For anyone coming up to graduation and not looking forward to it, there are definitely opportunities to embrace the life you want. If you aren’t sure what you want then that’s ok as well because there is a whole lifetime to figure it out. Post graduate life is just the next step after university.
Now that I’ve graduated, check out some of the things I like to do in my spare time.