While you may have been tearing your hair out/crying/panicking/wanting to quit all the way through third year, when your university life comes to an end it is, in a word, shite. You spend your 3 years taking the lay ins for granted and if you want to bunk off uni and have a duvet day you can and won’t get any agg from your parents because they won’t know. Though you may have those family members that ask you ‘What are you going to do when you finish uni?’ every time they see you, it doesn’t really cross your mind a great deal.
Going back to reality is a huge shock after leaving uni, here are 12 things all graduates wish someone had prepared them for.
1. The freedom or lack of
You know how at uni if you want to spend all day in your pjs watching netflix/numerous x factor auditions on youtube/animal videos you can, well when you try and do this at home suddenly your family think there’s something wrong with you, like it’s not a normal way to spend a Wednesday afternoon… (before later getting ready to go out of course.)
2. Missing all your friends
Although it’s easier to stay in touch through social media etc these days, when you’ve lived round the corner from people for 3 years it’s sad when you can’t just arrange last minute things with them. No more spontaneous nights out on a weekday, now the only times you’ll see them is when a weekend is arranged way in advanced. It’s hard to get your head around the fact that those times are gone for good and some people you will undoubtedly never see again. Which just adds even more sadness to the whole situation.
3. Moving back home
Parents, we love you. We do. But when you go from 3 years of seeing them only on nice occasions, either when you’ve popped home for a weekend or at birthday’s and Christmas’, to seeing them 24/7 again, it can be a struggle. You can’t leave plates laying around to clear up tomorrow and you can’t sit downstairs in the living room to watch a film at night, oh no, because mum and dad will want to watch Eastenders. You are questioned on what your life plan is and when you’re just not having a productive day that can put you in an awful mood. You can’t invite the guy you’re seeing round whenever because it would be weird introducing him to the fam so early on and if you do in their eyes he’s automatically your boyfriend. Day to day has to become a job hunt, if you’re not ‘working on your CV’ or ‘looking for jobs’ online when your parents walk into your room you feel like a disappointment.
4. Student discount
Gone are the days of going into Topshop and whipping out your student card for a nice 10% off. Oh no, that student card has expired and even though you are now probably poorer than you were at uni, you are no longer allowed the discount. CHEERS.
5. Having to act like you know what you’re doing with your life
When those family members/friends look at you with gleaming eyes and cheery smiles and say ‘So what are you doing now!?’ It is okay to feel like saying ‘I don’t have a bloody clue yet!’ If you’re allowed to be confused and lacking direction at any point in your life, it’s after uni. Even if you chose to do the most specific degree in the world, it doesn’t mean you should have left uni knowing which job role you want to go into. A lot of the time, studying something for 3 years makes people never want to think about it again. You’re young. It’s okay not to have your life 100% on track.
6. No more Greggs everyday for breakfast
Or whatever your university campus canteen had in it. Strolling into uni as the hangover sets in wearing an outfit you threw together when you were still drunk and ordering a sausage, bean and cheese melt was the start of every day. That hot, beany, pastry was your life saver before a lecture you were potentially going to fall asleep in.
7. Getting a job
That bit after graduation where you have nothing uni-related left to cling onto and you have to admit to yourself it’s time to get a job in the real world. You begin to find out it’s not actually that hard to get a job, but getting one you love straight away is unlikely. You’ll look at people who didn’t go to uni and be jealous that they’ve been settled into a job for the last 3 years and are earning a decent wage. You’ll be offered jobs and first of all think ‘Great!’ Then realise that you actually have to do that job that bores you to death and sit crying wishing you were back in your chilly little house up north.
8. Being unemployed
Being unemployed is on par with having a job you hate. There is only so much you can do in a day when A) Most of your friends are at work, B) You have zero money, and C) The weather is getting worse by the day and so is your mood. When you’re at uni 3 months off for summer is a dream, a little part time job helps to tide you over then it’s back for freshers come September. After third year is exactly the same…except September comes and goes and you’re still at home wondering why you haven’t moved back to uni.
9. More financial worries
As if you didn’t have enough of them throughout uni, you still have worries and no money. Without the student discount and the lack of a job, your shopping habit has no choice but to dwindle. You’re at an age where it’s not okay to ‘borrow’ from your parents (even though you might try) and you’re running out of activity ideas that don’t involve munzz.
10. Endless house parties are no more
If it’s one thing parents hate more than their unemployed 21 year old, it’s their house filled with unemployed 21 year olds, drunk on a Friday night. Back at your shoddy little uni house there was no one to wake up (except the neighbours but they were fine…) there was no one to ask for permission to have a house party and any mess which was made would eventually be cleared up over the next couple of days/weeks/months.
11. Making new friends every week
Yes I’m talking about those girls in the toilets you meet on a night out and are instantly best friends with. You’re all smashed and you bond over complimenting each other on your hair/make up/dresses. You’ll probably hug, tell them you love them then never see them again but that was the fun of weekly nights out in your uni town. Whatever happened to all those girls? I miss them.
12. Things will be okay
If reading this has made you even more down in the dumps about leaving uni, do not fear. Everything will be alright in the end. If you’re a determined, proactive human being you will get there eventually! It might take you a while to adjust and you might shed a tear every time you have to say goodbye to your uni friends after meeting up but there is always something new around the corner and remember…