Life after graduating isn’t a walk in the park. Three years on and I’m still longing to go back to Sheffield, maybe not so much the studying part, but the social aspect is what I miss the most. I honestly don’t think I could study Shakespeare or Charles Dickens ever again. If anyone’s ever studied Bleak House in depth as much as I did, you’ll feel my pain and I’m pretty sure this resulted in me falling out of love with my English degree! There’s nothing that will prepare you for the life after graduating, it’s unexpected and it’s never what you think it will be.
Finding a job is hard
This has to be number one. You step out of the big colourful bubble you have built yourself for three years, thinking that because you have a degree it would be easy for you to get a job. The getting a job bit, that’s easy, but when you’re trying to get a job in the relevant field you have been studying in, that’s the hard bit. Obviously, I can only speak from my experience, studying English isn’t exactly the vocational qualification that most jobs seem to look for nowadays. My search radius on Indeed was getting ridiculous, I started looking for jobs that were 50 miles away, because I was getting so desperate! The only thing I have learnt is to persevere. Your first job may not be what you wanted, or your second or third, but having an income until you find your dream job is better than nothing. Something always comes up.
I cannot tolerate alcohol as much as I used to
Gone are the days of drinking every night. A night out on the town once a month does it for me, and completely wipes me out for the rest of the month. When did I get so old? This still doesn’t stop me from getting really drunk, something I’m not particularly proud of, but you can take the girl out of Sheffield, but you cannot take the northern spirit out of the girl!
Experience is more important than grades
I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter if you got a first in your degree, experience trumps everything. None of the interviews I’ve had with employers have ever asked about my grade, but have always asked what experience I have. It’s quite deflating, knowing that you’ve worked really hard and no one seems to care, but I do get it. My advice is to make sure you grab every opportunity you can whilst as university, because this is what will set you apart from everyone else when applying for a job.
Moving back to a small city is tough
Living in a huge student filled city and coming back to somewhere where everyone knows everyone was so difficult. In Sheffield, there was something happening every day and so much to do, so coming back to a city where it’s only acceptable to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, that was tough. I’m trying to be positive about where I live and I guess it is what you make of it, however there are only so many times you can go to ferry meadows.. (If you live in Peterborough you know what I mean and you will know that this is the only nice place to go…!)
Budgeting is a saving grace
Working full time and paying bills, you need to budget and it’s something that I never did at university. I didn’t see the point, I had a great time but probably a little careless with money. Now, I budget (try to) and it’s so important. Unexpected things can happen, your car may break down, you may have a dental bill to pay, or you might need a new outfit for an interview, it’s always a good idea to save a bit of money, just in case.
Don’t let knock backs knock your confidence
The amount of knock backs I’ve had since finishing university is ridiculous and for a while it knocked my confidence. The biggest thing I’ve had is being told “the other person has more experience.” Despite applying for an entry level job and meeting all the criteria and having the experience, I think it’s a cop out. I would much rather them be honest and say I sucked at the interview. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if people do make these excuses so easily, then I probably wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. Clearly not bitter at all…!
It’s hard to meet new people
How do you even meet new people? At university, you would meet new people every day but now, I would have no idea where to start. Someone needs to invent an app for people like me, who want to meet new people, that doesn’t involve swiping left or right, *ahem Tinder*.
No more Summer holidays
No more count down to the Summer holidays and a long break, now you actually have to book time off work to enjoy the little Summer we have. Who knew?
Leaving your university friends is hard
It’s true when they say that the people you meet at university will be your friends for life, but who could prepare you for how hard it is! I think spending time with people every day for three years to then go to once every so often, is difficult. There definitely needs to be some kind of counselling out there set up for this as it’s akin to losing a loved one.
Independence was great
Aaah independence, what are you and where have you gone?
How’s everyone finding life after graduating?