Things Nobody Tells You About Life After Graduation
The iconic image of yourself throwing your graduation cap in the air is something you envision all throughout your time at university. It motivates you during those long all-nighters stuck at the library in front of your laptop, trying to figure out what the combination of letters you see before you mean. Now, with your results in hand, that once far-off ceremony is here. You’ve graduated! Congratulations! You’ve managed to get through all the stress and workloads that accompany university. The world is your oyster!
And, then it hits you, the big question: What’s next?
After finishing your degree, what do you do next? It is an extremely daunting decision which, quite frankly, overwhelms a lot of students.
Any decision you make is fine.
That’s right! Whether you decide to take gap year before you start your masters, travel the world, do volunteer work, send CVs to big companies, apply for a master’s or focus on your hobbies; it’s the CORRECT path.
This decision will not make or break your future. See what is best for you at this point in your life and work from there. You have time to decide. You are still young. The decision that you make now is just a starting point for your career and your journey after university.
What do I do, though?
It is great to know that you can do anything you want now. But the next big question is: Which option is best for me?
You have to see what YOU want to do with your life and work to ACHIEVE that. List all your options and work out the paths you can take to achieve your goal. There is no single right path to get somewhere. Your journey is not a marathon and certainly not a sprint. Get advice, do some research on Google and see what is best for you.
Remember, if Plan A does not work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet. Or 204, if you go off Japan’s kanji!
Life is still fun after university.
After speaking to adults in their 40s, I’ve found that a lot have said that the best time of their lives ended when they got their degree. But that’s not true at all! Find all the positive things in the paths that you pick in life and surround yourself with people who love life. Saying “a job is just a job” is nonsense! In any job you have – even if you’re just doing it to pay the bills – you should try to find what made you want to apply for it. Your weekdays DO matter.
Your first job may not be what you expected.
If you decide to start a new job, keep in mind that your first job is (probably) not going to be in your field at all. But that’s a minor problem. You have 50+ more years to gain enough knowledge and support to be able to get a job in your field. Your first job is just the gateway to success in your career.
Your 20s might be lonely.
Being in your 20s is extremely glamourized in the media. You will find yourself on a Saturday night binge watching you favourite TV show and wondering, “Should I be out right now?” The answer might be yes, but it’s okay to have time for yourself. During university, you are surrounded by people of the same age who are all specializing in the same area. But suddenly, now, everyone is scattered and making friends might be hard. Fight the urge to stay at home and change your faith. Meet up with old friends and chill at your local bar. University may be over, but you can still enjoy the best years of your life.
You’re young and you’ve just graduated. Although you might want to save up to pay off those student loans, you should take calculated risks. You do not have house mortgages or other big responsibilities yet.
Do you want to travel for a year? Do it! Start a business selling hipster sunglasses? Do it! Start writing? Get a pen and paper and scribble down notes. Just do it!
What’s the worst that could happen? You have got the rest of your life to play it safe! The world is at your fingertips and you can do anything you deem is fit.