So you’ve graduated. Now what?

So you’ve graduated. Now what?

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By Richard Goughie

Unless you have clear set goals and know exactly what you want to do with your life, leaving college or university can be a tough time. For the first time in years, you’re thrown out of the school structure and into the big bad world; it’s exciting, but it’s worrying.

I have only just finished university, so I don’t have the best authority to give advice, but I will give it my best shot. I left university a month ago and recently realised that I have become increasingly unmotivated. I’m far less excited than I was right after school, when I started to chuck all of my notepads in the bin, ready to begin ‘life’. I know others will be facing the same struggle, so I thought I would write a little piece of how to manage after graduation.

When you’re given the chance to plan your life and choose what you want to do, and where you want to be, the last thing you want is unnecessary, confusing advice from people around you. Selective hearing comes in handy when somebody who’s ‘been there done that’ is trying to give you advice. Subsequently you may start to question yourself; it can leave you feeling lost instead of give you direction. Often people think they know best for you, but they don’t realize they’re talking to their younger self– not the individual in front of them.

‘Individual’ is the key word here. With all the social media at our fingertips, I feel people are losing sight of individuality. When you’re looking for a job and time is ticking, the last thing you want to go on is sites like Facebook. To see people write status’ about how they’ve got a job and are ‘doing brilliantly’ can be disheartening and make you feel like you’re the only one who is struggling to find their way. But everyone works at their own pace; it’s too easy to go around comparing yourself to those people online.

To decide what you would like to do, you need to get back to basics. Take yourself away from the computer screen and handwrite your interests and hobbies. This helps to build a broader picture of yourself, and will aid you when you’re scrolling through job lists or talking to a career advisor. I was never keen to see a career advisor, especially at school. Now I feel I was just being stubborn– they are there for a reason.

With everybody around you asking that same old question, “What are you going to do now you’ve finished?” it can feel like life is all a bit of a rush. You still have a good few years left to go! Finding your dream job can take some time. So if you find yourself getting a full time job in a restaurant, forget all the pressures from family, friends and your news feed, and just know yourself, keep in mind your dreams, and stick at it.

 

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