You used to laugh when your aunt would go on about how her time spent at university was the “best of her life”, but now your time studying has come to an end, you’ve realised an uncomfortable truth – that she may have been right… For many of us, graduating university and returning back to our hometown can feel like a bubble has been burst. After three years living with friends, your house suddenly seems depressingly quiet – and your friends don’t judge you over your 3pm naps like your mum does.
After uni, it’s as if your support system has been completely taken away from you. This is it; you’re an adult now. It’s time to start saving up for a house, wear days of the week socks, and get a serious 9-5 job that you’ll spend the majority of your life complaining about.
The post-uni blues is becoming a more talked-about topic, but many people still feel alone after graduating. If the thought of life after uni seems dull, hopeless and lonely, then take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.
Thousands of students feel lost after graduation, and often, all it takes is for one person to talk about it. It might feel difficult right now, but you’re eventually going to come out the other side. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help:
Keep In Regular Contact With Friends
While you may be feeling like you’re the only one who’s struggling after graduating, it’s likely that at least a couple of your friends are feeling the same way. Remember that social media is only the highlights section of someone’s life – and you can actually find out a lot more about how somebody is feeling by picking up the phone and talking to them.
Why not schedule in a weekly phone call with your uni friends – or if you live a little closer to each other, you could even arrange a weekly coffee date? Your friends are probably missing you just as much as you’re missing them, and making sure you still put aside some time for them can give you that little bit of comfort that you’re missing from uni.
Tell Someone How You’re Feeling
Chances are, as soon as you mention any difficult feelings you may be having, your friends will probably agree with you. All too often, people get caught up in pretending that everything’s fine – when in reality, they might actually be struggling. Just the simple act of sharing your feelings can make the weight seem a whole lot lighter.
You should also let your family know how you’re feeling – especially if you’re living back at home with them again. They will then be able to support you in the process of adjusting to this new stage of your life.
Take Some Steps Towards Adulting
While you don’t have to do everything at once, taking some steps towards adulting can actually help to build your confidence and get you excited for the next stages of your life. If you’ve moved to a new town, make sure you’re signed up for the doctors, dentist, library, and anything else you’ll need to make use of.
For those who don’t drive, you could also consider booking some driving lessons. Now that you’re no longer focused on your studies, your brain may be craving the learning experience again – and there’s no better time to put all your efforts into learning how to drive.
Before you book a lesson, make sure you find the perfect instructor. Driving schools such as Pass 4 You, who are based in Milton Keynes, offer quality driving lessons with experienced instructors, with the goal of getting you passed first time. For more information on pricing and availability, you can take a look at pass4you.co.uk.
Take A Late Gap Year
Finishing uni doesn’t have to equate to boredom and routine. If you never took a gap year either before or during uni, then why not take one now? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of living abroad, or perhaps you’d like to backpack around Asia.
A gap year is perfect if you’re not quite sure where your life is headed yet. Travelling helps to broaden the mind and boost your confidence, while at the same time leaving you with lifelong memories.
If you’re thinking about travelling, then gather up all of your courage and go and do it! There’s never been a more perfect opportunity to do so.
Look For A Career (At Your Own Pace)
While you’re still adjusting to the huge life change that involves finishing uni, possibly moving back home and no longer seeing your friends every day, it’s completely normal if a grad job is the last things on your mind. Many people feel a sense of comfort from returning to their old, pre-uni job for a while, or continuing with the part time job they had while they were studying.
There’s absolutely no rush to get a ‘good job’ based around your degree after uni ends, so try not to put pressure on yourself. Your 20s aren’t just for getting your life together – they’re also for having fun, figuring out what you want out of life and trying new things. If you landed your dream job, house, and partner at the age of 21, what else would there be left to do?
Trust The Process
On that topic, make sure you’re not comparing your life to your friends’ lives. Your 20s is undeniably a confusing time; some people your age will be traveling the world, while others are married with children. No matter what path you’re on, it’s the right one for you – so trust that everything is unfolding as it’s meant to be.
If your friend secures that amazing grad job, then congratulate them. If you’re still happy figuring things out then you don’t need to feel guilty or ‘behind’ in life.