You’ve spent the past three years in a secure, yet bizarre university bubble. In the real world, spending all day in bed is frowned upon and having a pint with your breakfast is certainly not the norm. It’s the small things like witnessing a smurf doing the walk of shame across campus, or having pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner that you will miss. Leaving university is heading into the unknown - so here’s a rundown of everything that will happen...
No more lectures
According to Urban Dictionary, a lecture is ‘the art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either”. Sounds pretty accurate. The good news is upon graduating you can say goodbye to lectures. Whilst you will continue to learn and may even take professional exams, it’s unlikely you’ll attend a lecture ever again - hooray!
You will move back home
Whether it’s permanent, temporary or just a fleeting visit, at some point you’ll end up at home. Time to quit daytime drinking, switch up your pot noodle diet and actually tidy your bedroom every once in awhile. Whilst living with your parents can be a terrifying prospect after years of independence it’s a great way to save money and get on your feet. To avoid still being there when you’re 30, go back with an exit strategy - put a time limit on your stay and be proactive with your job or property search. It will be enjoyable at first but eventually the rules will become tiresome - you can’t stumble in at 5am, throw up on the sofa and expect your parents to be cool about it.
Everyone will ask you what you’re going to do with your life
The relentless questioning is likely to trigger a quarter life crisis where you will contemplate your life choices. Friends, family, neighbors, stranger on the street, there is no exception - every man and his dog will want to know what your career plan is. It’s advisable to come up with a standard spiel that you can perform on demand.
You’ll envy everyone with grad jobs
There’ll be that one hardworking friend who becomes ridiculously successful (and rightly so), another whose parents have good ‘contacts’ and one who falls into a place on a prestigious grad scheme with no viable explanation. Even worse, the people that don’t have jobs are off gallivanting around Thailand on an elephant whilst you’re working part time at Tesco. Can they not.
People will expect you to know everything about your subject
Having an undergraduate degree means you will have greatly expanded your knowledge in a subject, however, some people won’t have grasped the fact that having a degree doesn’t make you a leading expert in the field. If you’re involved in a discussion even vaguely related to your degree you will be expected to contribute great insights. Being an English Literature grad doesn’t mean you’ve read every book ever written, just like studying psychology doesn't give you the power to read minds.
You won’t see your uni friends as often
You had great plans. Weekly Skype sessions, a group holiday to Ibiza and an epic road trip around the UK to visit all your uni pals - none of which have happened. But don’t worry, it can be difficult to find a time when you’re all free and with everyone living in different parts of the country reunions will be less frequent - but when you do get together it will be like you’ve never been apart.
Even though the majority of your friends have also left university you will still feel like you are missing out. Every time photos of the latest night at your favourite clubs are uploaded on Facebook you can’t help but look. You wear your university hoodie with pride and pretend you are still a student. Now you’ve graduated and revision stress is forgotten you start to think that doing a master's can’t be THAT BAD - living the student life for as long as possible suddenly seems like a feasible option...
You find out you need experience to get experience
Searching for a graduate job isn’t easy. You realise experience is key, but getting some proves elusive. As self-doubt creeps in, your life becomes a laugh or cry situation. That being said, try not to become disheartened during your job search, having a good degree is sought after by many graduate employers as an essential requirement - you’ll get there eventually!
Say farewell to your student loan
Perhaps the most heart-wrenching of break-ups is that between a student and their student loan. Unfortunately, it will still be with you in the form of debt...