Graduating University: From someone who should know
We asked Bridget, Marketing Manager of Leicester Bright Futures Society to share her thoughts on how it can feel to graduate. She tells an authentic account of how graduating can sometimes me more daunting than first assumed, but how this is okay...
"You've just finished your degree and maybe you are overcome with bittersweet feelings. There are no more trips to the library at unsociable hours, you’re no longer panicking about oversleeping for your exams or missing deadlines for your assignments. Although all of this pressure has been lifted and you can binge watch all your Netflix shows without a care in the world, you may not feel totally at peace. Perhaps the source of your worries is which way to go for the next stage of your life. Perhaps you entered university with plans to take over the world and jumpstart your career as soon as you finish but now you feel stuck. If this sounds like you then this blog might be just what you need. I know… that sounds cheesy. While we may not be able to map your future out for you, we can certainly try and help you by starting somewhere
First of all… take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back
You have survived university! You were resilient and overcame the challenges that university threw at you. You may not know your results yet but you survived, you finished and so you should congratulate yourself. Give yourself a high five… kidding… only losers high 5 themselves. Now that's done, let’s start planning that future *screams internally*
Write a list
Make a list of all the amazing things you have done over the last three or four years while at university, from societies to part-time jobs. Think about what these experiences have taught you and the skills you have developed. You’ll start to realise that you have probably achieved more than you think. This may be a good place to start to help alleviate some of those worries. All experience is good experience so long as you can pin point the transferrable skills. You might be thinking how will a part time job at Costa help me land a graduate role? Well, maybe you learnt how to manage your time effectively whilst balancing work and studies. You developed communication skills whilst working in a team! These are all good traits that the majority of employers will be looking for. This is the part where you take a deep breath because the future isn’t as scary as you think.
Tips tips tips!
You may already have an idea of the kind of person you are and what potential careers you might want to pursue but unsure about how to apply and where to look for available job vacancies. The most important tool for this process of figuring out your future career is that much dreaded R word: research! Most employers are using personality tests as part of the recruitment process of late. Try the Myer-Briggs test and find out your personality type. After completing the test, you can find potential career paths. Whilst this test isn’t 100% reflective of you as a person it will give you some idea of where to start with what your strengths are and what motivates you. Once you know how you work best then you can research into these careers.
Finding your career or what to do with your future is really important but as we stated earlier, it is important to celebrate the fact that you have survived university! You don’t have to have all the answers right now, you are still young and it’s okay to make some mistakes along the way. As much as planning for your future might be important, it is also just as important to use this time before taking the leap into the adult world to enjoy this time and be open to all the opportunities and routes you can take. As cliché as it might seem, you have worked hard for three or four years and whilst you apply or prepare for graduate jobs or further study its important to remember to enjoy your summer. Be kind to yourself and celebrate how far you have come!
And, if you ever feel alone in the graduation crisis - know that you're not! It's common to feel lost, but just rest assured that you will find your way and make sure you have fun while doing it!"