Walking onto the stage to collect your degree is at the peak of your aspirations, it’s the mountain top you’ve been trekking up for years and the moment is somewhat of a blur (mainly because you’re focussed on not face planting in the heels).
Everyone is excited/anxious/sad to be closing the wonderful chapter that is University, but what happens then?
Sometimes you get a killer job and you love every second of it.
Sometimes it takes you a while but you find a job you like.
Sometimes you try multiple different internships to see what you fancy doing and pick one after.
Sometimes you get your “dream” job straight away and then get made redundant after 2 months (sup, that’s me).
Sometimes you go travelling.
Sometimes you go straight into a Masters.
Sometimes you take a little while to realise that, actually, you weren’t done with education yet (also me!).
Sometimes, within a year of graduating, you have a career change (me again!)
Sometimes, it seems like everything falls apart and nobody wants to hire you (yeah, this happened to me too…)
Everybody’s experience is different.
I don’t know if this is reassuring or simply terrifying to new graduates (which is something I’m very conscious of) but, for a lot of people, it didn’t all go to plan.
In fact, it went the complete opposite way.
Graduates don’t always find it easier to get jobs, we don’t automatically get paid more (even though we got hella debts to pay) and we don’t always feel “successful” straight away.
But it is OK.
If you’re feeling any of the above – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I remember feeling like everything that could have gone wrong, did. I remember doubting every decision I had made. Whether it be the choice of degree or the amount of things I got involved in during Uni (should I have done more?) – but two years on, I’ve figured out this is a waste of time.
Even now, having almost finished my extra year of further education I ask myself every day: “What the heck am I doing?”. The answer is, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel that moving to London was a bad idea, that doing further education was a waste of my time, that the career I’ve chosen wasn’t right.
But at the end of the day, we’re all just doing our best.
And I’m happy. My current job makes me really happy, it doesn’t pay massively, nor is it the job I think I’ll have forever…
You don’t have to have it all figured out.
I don’t have much in savings. I don’t have a mortgage. And yes, I sob a little bit when I watch the extortionate London rent go out every month.
But I have a job I love.
I am so happy living in London.
I am so glad to be living with Jack.
I am rich in so many ways and for now, I’m just enjoying where I am.
Graduate-Me would be surprised at where I am today as it was NOT part of the plan (it’s a far stretch from marketing in the cosmetic industry). Despite it being tough at times, it’s fun and that’s what this stage of my life is for.
If you’re about to graduate, whatever happens, it will be OK. Some of the best experiences in life come from things you didn’t intend to do.