A Letter to All Graduates

Dear Graduates,

This time last year I was in your position, waiting in line at graduation. I was terrified, mainly that I was going to fall off the stage, or somehow go the wrong way.

But mainly about what was coming afterwards.

The day was fine. That’s the word I would use to describe graduation, fine. It was a bit of an anti-climax really. I had my photo taken, caught up with friends, listened to speeches and shook a man’s hand on stage.

Once the cape and hat are off, it’s over.

If we’re being honest, Uni finished a while ago really. Your work was handed in months ago. You already know your results. But this is the last time you can really call yourself a student. (Unless you do a postgrad. But you know it won’t be the same).

So welcome to the real world. I bet you’re not as prepared as you should be.

Most people are asking, what’s next?

I didn’t know, most of my friends didn’t know. There are the small few who have jobs or internships lined up, those who are going travelling, and then there are those who are moving back in with the family.

That was me.

Remember that first day of school when you were so scared (I cried)? Or the first day you stepped on campus and you had that strange mix of excitement and nausea?

But it’s ok to go back home. Don’t feel like you’re going backwards. You’re an adult; you can still have your freedom. But you really do need to start looking for a job.

It’s like that first day of school all over again.

There’s good news though. This year’s graduates are the most optimistic since the recession started (hopefully that’s a good thing).

So keep looking. There is something out there for you. And if there’s not, you can always turn to sales (seriously Google sales jobs for graduates there are millions!), or a job where they’re asking for a degree, any degree (there’s loads of them too) until you figure out what you’re doing.

But if you really want a career in something relating to the course you just graduated in, go for it!

You’ve just worked your ass off (sometimes) for that degree. Use it.

If you want to do something totally different, you can do that too. There are so many people who switched careers later in life.

Whatever you do, do something!

That’s the only advice I can give. I spent way too long wondering what the hell I was doing. I was so worried about leaving Uni that I buried my head in the sand and was so unprepared when I graduated.

Ok, so everything isn’t going perfect. But there’s a big wide world out there, and as my parents like to keep reminding me – You have a degree!

Yours Faithfully,

Staffs Uni Graduate, 2012

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