University was one of the best and most important decisions I made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I mixed with people from different backgrounds and cultures, met some of my best friends and learnt new things from the lecturers. Living away from home for the first time was scary, but also liberating and I loved doing what I wanted, living with friends and seeing who I wanted to see. We could party all night and sleep all day and not feel guilty about it, mainly because our friends were doing exactly the same thing. The academic side was pretty good too, you learned a lot and as long as you handed in your paper or project in on time, you could split your time as you wished.
Opportunities to travel arise and you think ‘cool, I’ll just work abroad and start a new life’, which is great if you have a lot of money saved. You’ll have to buy a plane ticket, possibly a visa and all the other necessities you might need and then you come to the realisation that you have to have money to do that and you’ll have to get a job to get money.
A popular choice among students, after graduating from College or Sixth form, is to go to a University. In every University prospectus it will say something like ‘After graduating, 95 percent of our graduates find work within 2 months’. Which is completely ridiculous.
Whilst most of my teaching and nursing friends have been lucky enough to get some work in their specified field, people, like me, who didn’t do a service degree are either unemployed and applying for basic, often unrelated work or are going back to jobs we did before uni, like cafe work, just so we can get some spending money. University promises that you’ll do your degree, graduate and then find your dream job a week later. This is not the case and if I’m honest, they should also probably put that in the prospectus too. Whilst looking for work, do something in your spare time that will look good on your CV, like freelance writing, drawing, or some voluntary work.
For a lucky organised few, you may have gotten together with some of your mates and found a cheap(ish) flat somewhere, where jobs are plentiful with a bar on the corner to boot, allowing you to progress and continue your new found freedom. For most of us however, this is not the case and we have to move back home to where it all started. Our parents house. In most cases, this feels like a step back, not least in our own mind but also because surrounding media suggests that after we have flown the nest, we stay out of that nest and only visit during the holidays.
To all the mums/ dads/guardians out there, we love you, we do, we appreciate the occasional home cooking and laundry service, but the reason we are hiding in our bedrooms catching up on Skype with friends instead of watching the the News with you, is because we are used to having our own space, because our rooms at uni sort of represented our own little flat, which we kind of miss.
If you became close with someone whilst at uni, chances are that you would see them nearly everyday and they would live either around the corner or a short bus ride away. Now you’re both on home ground however, it’s probable that they don’t live around the corner or a short bus ride away and that its more of a long train ride where you only see each other every other weekend, if you’re lucky. Because of this, some decide to take the plunge and move into a flat together and some, unfortunately – and mainly because of location – decide to break up. It’s hard, but if you and your significant other care enough about each other, you’ll make it work, so don’t lose faith!
As well as your love life, your friendships will change too and whilst it’s nice to catch up with your home friends, you’re bound to miss your uni mates too. All my uni friends live all over the country, so whilst its sad that you can’t pop round to your mates house when you feel like some toast and late night gossip, we’re lucky enough in this day and age to have technology to help us out. Skype calls, texts, calls and social media keep everyone better connected. Top tip: if you and your uni buds live all over the country, the best way to see everyone is to choose a central location that is easy enough for you to all get to and arrange a reunion every few months. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, you’ll have tons to tell each other and it’s a nice thing to do.
It’s tough, but remember that time goes on and your future is yours to with as you wish and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.