Leaving university this year?

If you are coming to the end of your studies, you might find that life will be changing in many different ways. You may be returning to live with your family, job hunting, or about to start a new graduate job. Even if you are staying in a job you have been in for a while, you may well be wondering how this will change now that you are a graduate. 

If you are finding the changes difficult, or are feeling low or anxious, thinking about some of the following may help: 

Change can be good!   

You will probably be going through a lot of changes right now, from leaving behind your daily study routine and adapting to a new working life or job hunting, or, for some of you, leaving behind old flatmates and friendship groups. This can feel unsettling, and it may at times feel as though you no longer fit in one life or the other. It’s natural to grieve your old life a bit, but also think of all the new opportunities coming your way (even if they are not clear to you right now). 

A chance for a reprieve  

If you have returned to your old job, or moved back with family, remember this is likely to be a temporary measure, and gives you the opportunity to rest, eat and exercise well, and take a bit of time before your next step forward. It can sometimes feel like a step back but sometimes you just need a bit of space to gather yourself before your next steps forward. 

A time for new habits   

This is your time to leave behind old habits and take on some new positive ones! Whether it is to exercise regularly and/or take up a new interest, now is a good time to get started. If you are starting a new job, you may well find that you are tired and short of time but try to keep yourself well in body and mind. And if you are returning to your family home, try not to slip back into any old negative ways in your behaviour around the house or in relationships with family. 

Be realistic 

Whatever your plans, whether to progress within a career, buy a house, or go travelling, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to get it all done at once. Often it takes longer than expected to find your first job or to save enough money to move into your own place, and the previous two years have shown us how the best laid plans can go adrift! Hold onto your dreams but be kind to yourself if things don’t work out quite as planned. 

Don’t compare yourself to others 

Until now, you and your friends may have had a similar journey, entering university at the same point, and leaving together. However now is the time when your paths may diverge, and it’s all so easy to look at what others are doing and compare yourself unfavourably. But remember, we all have our own paths to tread, and everyone will have their highs and lows at different times. Be patient, your time will come. 

Reach out 

The first few months after leaving university can feel quite lonely, particularly if you are no longer around your old network of friends. It’s quite normal to feel lost at this time of your life, and at times you may be feeling down and anxious. Keeping in touch with old friends as well as making new connections can be helpful at these times.  

There are also a range of professional services that may be able to help you if you feel you need a bit more help. More information about anxiety, depression and several other areas can be found on the Counselling & Mental Health Service webpages.

Careers and Employability can offer your support for as long as you need it. See the Graduates Careers pages. All bookings and job vacancies are still through myCareer, you just have to re-register yourself as a graduate first.