Graduation has probably been a few weeks ago for you if this was your year!
It’s meant to be one of your most celebrated days as you officially receive the document proving your hard work has paid off. However when the celebrations of the day fizzle out, and realisation sets in that you’re no longer a student with one main focus, you can be left feeling a little lost in limbo.
The first thing we want you to know is that it’s alright to feel this way.
Some of you may have a plan for your next steps: a job, travelling, catching up with friends/family, or simply take a break for some time to yourself.
But the truth is, most of you won’t. You won’t know what your next move is, what you want to do with your life, or what life may look like now you’re no longer a student.
Be kind to yourself.
You may become overwhelmed with decisions.
What do I do now? Where shall I live? What do I want to do with my life? I don’t have a plan!
Stop and breathe.
You don’t have to have it all figured out right away.
Here are some tips to survive until you do:
- Make a list of your passions
Maybe this will help you look at what you’re motivated by. You could use these to find a job or make a plan that will reignite your passion for life.
- Voluntary work
If you’re not sure what field you would like to start a career in, voluntary work can be a good way of testing the waters. You might find what work you love doing, or on the other hand it may not turn out to be as great as you hoped. Voluntary work is usually flexible, and you can give as much or little time to it as you’d like before making a commitment to a career path.
- Don’t isolate yourself
You can feel deflated after the elation of living with friends for years who all have the same focus of staying. Just because your studies are over, there’s no reason why you cannot still look into living with friends. On the other hand, if you choose to move back home or live alone, maintaining relationships with friends and family is essential so you don’t become isolated in amongst being overwhelmed by the chaos of too many options before you. The internet and other technology is such a great tool to stay in touch with friends across the country or even the other side of the world.
- Talk to others
Friends and family usually know you the best, so use them. Talk to them. They may have some suggestions that you’ve never even considered!
- Structuring your day is essential
Plan your next day in advance so you have a reason to get up. Go see a friend or family member, put time aside to research what opportunities are out there. But don’t forget there is no rush!
- Part time work?
The career path you take straight of university doesn’t have to be the one you stick to forever. Part time work can often give you time to research into other things, or volunteer, whilst working enough to sustain you financially.
There’s not on right way to handle life after graduation.
Everyone will find their own balance of how they adapt to such a different lifestyle, but if studying is where your heart still lies, there’s nothing stopping you from heading back to university to further study or chosen field, or focus on something completely new. There are often bursaries or sponsors you can reach out to for support!
Most importantly it’s alright to feel deflated and at a loss, but with these top tips to get you through, the world is your oyster, and if you’re determined enough, nothing can stop you!
We’d love to hear how you get on!