Wait... No more Monday night beers and scoffing £40 worth of Dominos with your friends?! Are we really entering the dreaded REAL life?! I'm afraid we are, but here are some tips to make sure it isn't all that bad...

 

Whether you’ve secured that dream job, plan to go travelling, or are still unsure, there’s a lot to think about now that your time at uni has come to an end. This can feel like a lot of pressure, especially if you’ve not got anything set in stone and are unsure about what you want to do. And it’s not just about jobs, there are a lot of practical ~life skills~ that uni just doesn’t prepare you for. Lucky for you, we’re here to help, with a list of handy tips that will have you sliding out of uni like you own adult life.

1. Talk it out

The pressures of your family, friends, professors, and just about anyone who crosses your path can make this part of your life even more difficult, as you find yourself going to extreme lengths to avoid having the dreaded “after uni” conversation. The trick is to keep calm, which may be easier said than done. Make it clear to those around you, as politely as possible, that the most important thing right now is to focus on your degree, and the rest will come with time. It’s much better to talk it out than end up completely avoiding contact with all human beings, and perhaps facing up to the inevitable dread may actually help you figure out what you want to do. At the end of the day, people ask after you because they care.

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2. Figure out what “makes you tick”

Stepping out into the adult world can be really disheartening for many, as you start having nightmares about getting a job you hate just to pay the bills and spending every minute outside of work stressing about taxes and household chores. However, it doesn’t have to be this way at all, and you can try converting the dread into excitement: as much as there are a lot of mundane, scary things heading your way, so is a world of opportunity, and that should be something to really look forward to. Always wanted to be a chocolate taster? A garlic bread expert? A meme creator? You’d be surprised at the absolute wealth of weird and wonderful jobs that the world has to offer, and now’s your chance! Two words: pursue happiness.

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3. Figure out what you lack

Knowing what you’re good at is the first step, but knowing what you’re not-so-good at can also be an excellent way to prepare yourself for adult life. There may be some areas in which you need to take a course  - IT is particularly common - as although you've done a degree, a lot of jobs require other knowledge that a lot of uni courses don’t teach you. These days self-teaching is so easy with the internet, so take a couple of days to familiarize yourself with that alien field, enhance your job prospects, and learn something useful along the way!

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4. Update your CV

It may sound like a really boring task but now’s your chance to show off everything that all these years of uni have taught you. It’s not just studying that counts - part-time experience, volunteering and hobbies are all valued by employers, so whether you were on the rugby team or president of the Birdwatching Society, get it written down! Use everything you’ve got to sell yourself to those future employers.

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5. Prepare for a discount-less world

Soon the days of ASOS student discount will be gone, so it might be time to think about budgeting and saving (not without having one last post-exam spend, of course - you deserve it, and hey, got to make the most of student discount whilst you still can). This doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds - take a trip to your bank and have a chat with them about your account, since most student accounts convert automatically into graduate accounts once you finish uni. Do some research on the best options out there, check the facts, and speak to those who have been in your position before. This will save a lot of stress in the long-term when it comes to searching for housing.

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6. Take a risk

Whilst some have their hearts set on a dream job, others are drawn to a certain place. As I said before, the aim is to pursue happiness. If you’re still undecided, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with living with your parents whilst you try to figure it out, and if you’re one of those people who enjoy their freedom, this will be a great incentive to do so! If you loved studying, why not consider a post-grad? If you went on a year abroad, why not consider emigrating? If you have loads of awesome ideas, why not talk to the financial and careers services about setting up your own business? Grab life by the horns and give everything a go - you’re only in this position once so you may as well make leaving uni a new, exciting and positive part of your life, rather than getting caught up in all the pressures and expectations.

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7. It’s okay to not be okay

Student life can be a huge comfort blanket, and having that slowly lifted away from you as time ticks on can be extremely unsettling. If you’re struggling with your mental health and feeling pressure from all angles, reach out to someone. Now’s the time to make the most of the university services that are still there for you. It’s okay to take some time out. It’s okay to need a rest. It’s okay to not have a concrete plan! Your health and happiness come before everything else.

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8. Don’t panic

Take each day as it comes, focus on the now, and take small steps towards preparing yourself for life after university. Leaving uni may be a daunting prospect, but little by little, you can learn to embrace adult life. Ultimately, this is your chance to carve out a new path. The world's your oyster.

 
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