Life After Uni: The Stuff They Don't Tell You

18 Jan 2020

It's been around 7 months since I left university and headed out into that big scary thing called the working world. I, for one didn't want to leave uni - it became a little safety bubble and you could easily forget that there was a life outside of uni and that it will all be coming to an end eventually. 7 months later and I still think I'm adjusting but, here's a lot I've realised that they don't warn you about life after uni while you're still there.

Adjusting back to life can be hard

Whether you're moving back home with your parents, back to a different city or even moving somewhere new again, living with different people, adjusting to a different way of living. Since moving to London and adjusting to the 8-5 working life, it's shown me just how different my routine was at uni - I get up earlier than I ever have before to get to work and the commute is now a thing I have to factor in. Even smaller things like when to eat and what to eat; I thought I'd just carry on having the same amount of time to enjoy cooking in the evenings if not more but how wrong I was - now I'm lucky to even want to prep a meal from scratch.

You will miss it (even the bad stuff)

Call me crazy but I miss the late library nights, the exam stress and the complaining about living in a hovel. Uni definitely had its down points but it all seems like nothing now when looking back and wishing I was back enjoying the simple life as a uni student. I loved the people I lived with even through the arguing, I loved where I was living, I loved life on campus. Even going back to York since leaving just instilled in me that I always want to go back there even if not as a student. 

What is this free time and what do I do with it?

While weekdays go by in a blur while working, the weekends are now completely open and free. Gone are the days that you have to spend the weekend in the library, finishing off essays and feeling guilty for thinking about anything that wasn't uni. The biggest shock for me was over the Christmas break - usually the days between Christmas and New Year, I spent catching up on revision but this year I sat there lost. I felt like I was having a crisis with not knowing what my purpose was and not having anything to do. I guess I have had time to focus more on the hobbies I love - reading, knitting, going to exhibitions - but still, I feel like I should be learning! Maybe it's time I start learning a language...

Success doesn't happen overnight

You think having a degree makes you invincible, like the top trump card that always wins but that just isn't true. So many people struggle to find a job after uni - you might have the degree but do you have 2 years experience? While you think you'll just enter into a grad scheme and be earning enough in a year to even get a mortgage, that just isn't the reality. Grad schemes are limited to certain fields (something I really was not aware of and one of my biggest issues finding jobs). Instead, many finished uni more confused as they were to begin with as to what to do next. 

No one cares about your degree (as long as you have one)

It seems that employers only care about you having a degree and not what it's in or really even the classification you graduate with. Most of my interviews focussed on the degree for two seconds if that before focussing more on the experience I have. I think if I'd applied to my job with just my degree and not that extra experience, I wouldn't have even got an interview.

I guess it shows the importance of experience but also highlights the sad reality that a degree is just a piece a paper to show some prestige but after that, no one cares; no one questions what you have, even checks your certificate - they just want to know if you have a degree or not. Then, once you've got your foot in the door of an industry, they really don't care at all.

No one's prepared for adulthood

Something kids are screaming in maths class back in high school, young adults are still complaining about as they leave uni - that's the lack of education and information given to let you out into the adult world knowing what a mortgage is; knowing the best way to look after your money; what the point of a pension scheme is. Even the small things like what do you do when the washing machine's broken. Who's going to move the spiders now your superhero of a housemate isn't around? 

Everyone's in the same position and everyone's a little lost in adulthood whether you went to uni or not but these are just a few realisations I had after uni that I didn't think of or was prepared for before leaving.

Anything you've learnt since leaving university? 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


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