Graduating from University is a weird milestone. It's liberating, sad, scary and exciting all at the same. Confusing, I know. It's one of those things that I never thought would happen to me. In school, my thoughts were: I’ve got to do my GCSE’s, A-Level’s and actually complete 3 years at University before anything and now all of a sudden, I graduated nearly a year ago.
I think that's because we had an educational system we could follow from a young age, it leaves us feeling panicked when decisions are exclusively ours. I know we had the choice of our GCSE and A-Level subjects but it's still very influenced by the system if you ask me. So, when thinking about graduating, I used to panic. (I'm still panicking inside).
I had no idea what to expect in graduate life. You have all these questions flying about in your head: Do I move back home? Do I move out? If so, where to? London? Another Country? Stay here? When do I start looking for a ‘normal’ job? Do I get a part-time or full-time job whilst trying to get Acting work? When’s the best time to go travelling? And so on...
Post-Uni blues are definitely a thing. They are basically holiday blues, but endless. Strong nostalgia 24/7. And I'm warning you; the question, 'so, what are you doing now then?' becomes way too familiar. I hate that question. I don't know. I don't think anyone knows. It makes me feel like I should have a really cool and interesting answer. Another familiar question: ‘Why don’t you just get a job on EastEnders or Coronation Street now?’ I mean, I would if I could!
I find myself day-dreaming about an exciting life I once lived. That is probably over dramatic. Life is still very exciting. It's probably more exciting now than it has ever been. You can pretty much do what you want. If any of you are graduating this year or will be in the next few years, BE excited!
Here's a few things to expect on 8 topics you're probably thinking about.
What to expect:
1. Graduation Day
The ceremony itself is pretty boring. My university, the Arts University Bournemouth, included a creative reel of some of the amazing work we had all achieved. That was great. However, the 2 hours that followed of endless talking, names being called, and clapping was tiring. Before & after the ceremony is the best bit.
2. Becoming a 'graduate'
I suppose you could say your graduation ceremony is the day you become a graduate, but it doesn't really feel like this. It's like a birthday. When you don't feel 21 instead of 20, you just are that age. I only really feel like a graduate when I call myself one in conversations.
3. Job Hunting
If your an Actor, like me, this part never stops. It's hard to not get excited by a job you apply for when you know you'd be great at it, but I've learnt to switch this element off after I've applied for one. So, it's only an exciting surprise if you get an audition or meeting slot come through. Job hunting can be mundane after a while, but there are
loads of job opportunities everywhere. Twitter is a good place for this. I see no end of casting calls and job opportunities being shared around.
4. Seeing Friends
I was worried about this part because I don't live that close to any of my University friends. Realistically, no, you won't see them as much as you did before. But, it makes group meet-ups and when you do see each other even better.
5. Moving Home/Out
I was dreading this part. I really didn't want to move home (sorry Mum) because I was so used to living independently and on my own accord. BUT, I really enjoy being back at home. It's also really great if you want to save some money and/or move out eventually.
Once I graduated, I felt like I was on a short time scale in which I would have to achieve things. But, you're really not. Don't feel like you have to have your life sorted out within the first year of graduating. I keep forgetting I'm only 21 and have a lot of time still to achieve what I want. Then again, don't sit around waiting for stuff to happen like you have all the time in the world. Just don't forget: you're still young and it doesn't matter if you don't achieve what you thought you would by next year.
7. Everyone Else
It's different for everyone. Some people already live in London. Some people do get a great job straight out of graduating. Some people go travelling. It's hard to not look at what others are doing and panic that you're a million miles behind. Remember that people might be looking at you thinking exactly that. It's the same for everyone. But different.
8. The Future
The World is your Oyster. Cliche. But never more true. Be excited. Graduating is exciting because you can do anything you want. If you have all these questions in your head and you have no idea where to start, just pick a thought and run with it. It might work, it might not. It's the only way to find out. Apply for a new job. Apply for your dream job. Aim High. Start saving up for your own house. Or don't. It's stupidly unaffordable. Rent in a new place. Go on holiday. A loooong holiday. Travel. Have fun.
I'd love to hear what other graduates have been up to since graduating. Hit me up!