The realities of life after graduation

Published on: Fri, 27 Nov 2020
By: Claire, redwigwam

‘Getting an excellent job after graduation was so easy!’

Said no graduate ever.

Before we start – let’s be clear. Getting a 1st for your undergraduate degree is hard going.

Everyone begins their degree course with a positive attitude. Everyone is convinced they’re going to put in every ounce of effort they have and arrive on graduation day with a 1st.

Great. But is it always attainable?

We don’t want to be pessimistic. But the reality is university tests you.

Of course, you get out what you put in. If you put your mind to it, yes, a 1st is absolutely achievable.

But many students won’t. And that’s OK!

So, you leave university with your degree (1st or otherwise). And with the illusion, everything will suddenly fall into place.

You’ll walk straight into a well-paid graduate job where you’ll start to climb the career ladder. You’re a graduate now.

You won’t have to live in a cramped, smelly, student house anymore – because you’re a sophisticated graduate now.

You’ll feel completely satisfied with your life and where it’s heading – because you’re a graduate – and you’ve done the hard part.



Reality bites

Yes. You’ve worked hard to get your degree. But now you’re facing the challenge of competing for jobs with all the other students, from all the other universities, who’ve done exactly the same.

You’d be very lucky to graduate and just walk into your perfect job, without having to do all the extra work. Research, compiling portfolios and combing through your social media with a fine-tooth comb.

Today’s job market is fierce, with students from all over the world competing for graduate positions

It’s also a vicious cycle of employers not hiring you because you don’t have any experience – but not having any experience until someone hires you.

There will always be someone willing to give you a break. You just have to be robust and determined enough to find them.

Networking is your best friend by the way – during and after university.

The chances are, you’ll end up sharing a house with other post-grads who are also focused on their future. Or you may have to return to your family home to save money while hunting for your perfect job. You will probably still have to work the same job you did during university to pay your rent.

Funnily enough, graduation doesn’t come with a dump of funds into your bank account!

Of course, the positive is your spare time is no longer spent writing essays, so you can focus all your attention into your job hunt.

Once reality bites, you might feel as though your degree – which you should be immensely proud of achieving – is a worthless or a complete waste of time.

But it’s important to put things into perspective.

Many students believe that once they graduate, their life career path is pretty much worked out for them. They think they’ll graduate knowing exactly what they want to do and how they’re going to get there.

In reality, this is not always the case.

It’s graduation day. You’ll probably leave university feeling on top of the world, and ready to brave what’s out there. Only to realise that once you get into the ‘real world’, you genuinely have no clue if you’ve chosen the right path, or if you really want to work in a certain field.

This is OK. University tests us, and we often have no idea just have much we have grown or changed whilst there.

So what?

Well, the point is, graduating from university is a big deal. You worked hard, it paid off and now you have a degree under your belt to show for it. It will open doors for you – just not always the doors you expected.

Life after graduation isn’t a walk in the park.

You need to work hard to find a job – and you will have to face rejection which will leave you feeling disheartened. All graduates have experienced this!

But it’s important to remember this. Just because life after graduation isn’t all rainbows and butterflies – it doesn’t mean it will be any less great or rewarding.

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