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How To Prepare For Life After Uni

Beat the post-graduation blues

BY Agnes Amondi

Sep 21, 2021, 01:25 PM

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The season of graduation is upon us. My Alma mater will be holding its commencement ceremony, which is just a fancy term for graduation, on September 25th. The run-up to this day is often very hectic with rehearsals, shopping, relatives arriving and all the craziness. One thing that’s rarely talked about, is life after all the confetti and hats have settled.

It’s quite natural to be very upbeat about graduation. It marks the end of a significant chapter in one’s life. But it’s also worth contemplating what's coming next. And this should start even before you leave uni.

One of the most practical classes I had on campus was called - Senior Experience - which we abbreviated to Senex. Throughout the fourteen weeks, we were introduced and engaged in real-life issues. And this should count for support that probably most people would argue usually lacks. 

Here are things you can do to make the transition easier.

Lay The Foundation

Most university students hope to get a job after graduation. In this very competitive job market where the number of jobs is smaller compared to the pool of applications, you need to make sure that you are ahead of the curve. Take advantage of the seminars and career events your university hosts. Go for those talks, even if it's not really about what you are pursuing in uni. The idea here is to build a network with those who are already in these industries you want to go into. 

Also, find work experience. You know that one-word employers keep banging on about to job seekers? Experience! Experience! Experience! So, don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend you don’t know this. Don’t try to use the phrase that “I have just graduated” no one buys this anymore. You are just digging your hole deeper. Face the hard and cold reality. 

Steer Clear of Comparisons

It’s so easy for you to look at the other people you graduated with and make comparisons. It’s always easy to think that everyone else has their lives sorted. Even if a friend or a couple of your friends have found jobs and you see their social media posts wearing nice clothes in offices, sitting beside all those people you’ve always looked up to, don’t despair. The assumption is that they are greatly networked but they might just have had their fair share of job rejections and finally landed one. 

Focus on your journey. Focus on the things you can control. Make this time worthwhile for you. Keep yourself busy to avoid this very damaging and potentially destructive behaviour. 

Stay Healthy

Most people experiencing post-graduate blues will tell you that trying to stay healthy might prove to be quite the challenge. What do we mean by healthy? Well, eating a balanced meal, eating three times a day, doing some exercise here and there. When you kind of don’t have anything or people to look forward to, it’s very easy to just give in and be lazy and do nothing. Why would you bother putting all that effort to look and stay good? After all, you probably find yourself in the house for most of the day, weeks and months.
Resist this urge. Maintaining your health is vital. You will feel good about yourself and have a positive outlook on life. Being religious with these small acts will give you things to look forward to.

Keep Your Options Open

Most of us know that one person who was very stiff as far as their career plan is concerned. They refused to do anything else apart from what they studied. So they weren’t flexible enough to explore other options. This is a loop that you really don’t want to find yourself in. Just try and explore other opportunities outside of your desired career path. It doesn’t mean you won’t get a job in your preferred field. It just means that you are willing to adapt to the situation. 

Being open-minded and realistic about your career prospects is very crucial. There are so many people who've ventured off in jobs or careers away from their academic pursuits and have done well. You can too. So keep your options open.