Finishing University is a time for celebrating, going out with friends and making the most of last few days of what is a truly memorable experience.
However, once the last drinks drunk, the last hungover conquered and you are sitting at the train station heading back home, the reality may start to kick in and you might become overwhelmed with panicked thoughts about what lays ahead. This is an occurrence some refer to as “Graduate Blues”.
A recent study showed that 95% of Students see “Graduate Blues” as very real issue and according to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), it is “extremely common” . It comes from a sense of disillusionment about finishing university and worry about what to do next.
Although it is common, it is also very easy to overcome, just by making that all important next move and although it may not seem so, there is loads of opportunities for recent graduates. Even if it doesn’t mean the first step for your career, what’s more important is not getting into a rut and making the most of your youth.
Whatever you choose to do, it is very important is to not get back into the same old habits that you were in before university. Returning to the mundanity of your home town, rolling back into the same routine and doing the same thing with the same people, should definitely be avoided.
When you see people doing exactly what they always have done, it will emphasis any feeling you have that you haven’t progressed yourself.
Of course, when you were going back home for Summer, Christmas or Easter, it was all banter and good times. However, the last thing you want after a 3 years of broadening your mind is to regress.
It is only too easy to get comfortable at home and this is a huge mistake. There is a whole world out there and now is the perfect time to explore it.
It is a good idea is to start looking at opportunities in different cities or even a different country. Although it may be daunting, it is super easy to meet new people, especially now in the digital age. It will also build character and make you a stronger person in general.
You have already done it once before, so you know you can do it again, bite the bullet and get out.
You could even stay in your university city for a few more months or even a year and find a job there for a bit.
In a student town it is always possible to meet new people and there is loads more opportunities, even if you are just working for the university. Although this may not sound very glamorous, it will keep you occupied and keep mind your mind switched on, as well as help to maintain the invaluable support universities supply.
If you are more adventurous, perhaps even move abroad, not necessarily forever, but at least for a month or two, whether that is travelling or working.
There is loads of opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language across the world, including places like China and Malta, which will give you a taste of different cultures and some superb work experience too.
This is a lot easier than you might think, with many companies around that offer accommodation and even flights, plus there will be plenty of other people there when you arrive in the same boat as you which means making friends is easy.
Another thing you can do to avoid stagnating is set up a travel plan. It is not easy to go travelling at the drop of the hat, but if you have a plan to work towards you will be much more content working in a job you aren’t passionate about if you have a goal.
Depending where or how long you want to go, it might only be a matter of saving up for a couple of months before jetting off. Here you will get a break from the UK for a little while, meet new and interesting people and evaluate what you want to do. It might transpire that even find a country that you fall in love with and never want to leave.
Ultimately, the best of advice to avoid the Graduate Blues is to make sure that whatever you choose to do, hit the ground running and make the most of whatever it is. Don’t get too comfortable and make sure you’re pushing yourself as much as you can, as the late David Bowie once said, “Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting”.