By Kirsty O’Leary, 3rd year Fashion Marketing & Branding NTU student
Preparing for life after University can be both exciting and overwhelming. As someone who is about to graduate myself, I can completely relate to having mixed feelings about what the future may bring. I wanted to share some of my thoughts and advice on how I’ll be preparing for the transition to post graduation life.
Avoid comparing your progress to others
It may feel like everyone has it all figured out, but most people will be in a similar position and not be entirely sure about their next steps. Upon leaving University, everyone will be on a different path and pursue different careers or experiences. Some people may have already secured jobs, whereas others may have no idea what they want to do in the future. I find it important to remember that everyone progresses at their own rate, and so focusing on yourself to discover what you want to do is the most essential part of leaving University.
You deserve a break
For most students, graduating from University is the first time to have left education and have complete freedom about what to do next. University can in many ways be a mentally challenging experience, and so you should never feel guilty for needing to take a break from education or work for a while. It sounds cliche, but we have our whole lives ahead of us to work, so taking some time out now in order to protect your mental health is completely okay to do before you decide on your next move.
It’s okay to change your mind
We change so much as individuals during our time at University, and it could be that you’ve discovered what you don’t want to do, and found new passions Just because you’ve studied a subject at University does not restrict you to having to do this for the rest of your life. It is more than okay to change your mind, not know how you want to use your degree, or feel like it may not be exactly what you wish to pursue. The transferable skills we have developed over the course of our degrees are valuable no matter what we end up doing.
The support systems, friends, and connections you have made during your time at University do not end once you leave. In fact, it is arguably more important to stay in contact with these people upon leaving, to combat loneliness and stay engaged in what friends are doing. Transitioning to life after University can be daunting, so staying in touch with old friends can help to reassure you that you are not alone.
Hopefully this advice might be useful for anyone preparing to graduate and getting ready to embark on a new life after university. Remember to avoid looking too far ahead, you have so much time to work out what you want to do, putting pressure on yourself will only cause more stress.
You’ve got this!
For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
- Support from NTU
- Self-Care books in NTU’s libraries
- Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
- Health and Wellbeing resources
- NTSU Information and Advice service
- Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
- Student Minds or Student Space
- 10 Keys to happiness