Written by Thia Gayle – Student Writer
“I don’t want to ever leave University”, “I’m scared about the future” are the thoughts that enter the minds of many recent graduates. At University, you had the chance to study for your degree, participate in social events held by the Student Union, join a number of student societies and form new friendships. Now that university is officially over, the very thought of embarking on a brand new chapter is a frightening prospect as you don’t know what is about to lie ahead. The sudden transition from student to graduate of brings huge changes which can make adjusting to your new life after university difficult. You go from attending lectures and seminars everyday and completing assignments at set times throughout the three years to having no structure in your life and nothing to work towards. But as tough life as a graduate may be, it is important to remember that this is just the beginning for you. You are entering the next chapter in your life where you are presented with endless opportunities which enrich you professionally, personally and socially:
Volunteer: You can volunteer for a variety of sectors including research and retail which enables you to build a broad range of transferrable skills. For instance, if you volunteer as an administrator at a local charity, you develop valuable administration skills such as photocopying and scanning. There are also home based voluntary positions such as blogging where you can volunteer from the comfort of your own home! You can choose to volunteer at any time that best suits you!
Gain work experience in your chosen sector: By undertaking relevant work experience in your chosen field, you gain a real insight into working in your chosen field. If you are interested in becoming an information assistant, then working as an information assistant at a children’s information centre for several weeks would be ideal for you. This demonstrates to employers that you have a firsthand understanding and experience of the information sector which will help you fully prepare for working in the information sector in the future. Send speculative CVs to companies you would like to work for and ask whether there are work experience opportunities available.
Engage in lifelong learning: Always wanted to overcome your fear of public speaking? Always wanted to learn how to cook professionally? Well, now is your chance! You can learn new skills which will be useful for life by watching video tutorials, reading self help books, participating in online courses and attending weekend classes. By learning in your own time, you are widening your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. Just because your university studies have ended, it doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning. Education is for life!
Become a tourist in your city!: You can take the time to freely explore your city from stunning art galleries and parks to top restaurants…….. the list is never ending! You will be amazed by just how much there is to offer right on your own doorstep!
Structure your day: You can provide structure to your day by creating a routine that works best for you. For instance, you could go out for a 15 minute walk every mornings, spend two hours looking for work and then an hour watching your favourite television programmes. This will give you a reason to wake up in the mornings, keeps you occupied during the day and will be the perfect break from the dull routine of job hunting!
Join extracurricular clubs: You can join a diverse range of extracurricular clubs where you can participate in activities you enjoy and meet people from different walks of life with shared interests who you otherwise wouldn’t come across. If you are an avid fan of cycling, you can take part in cycling activities where you can socialise with fellow cyclists who love cycling as much as you do! This will add fun and excitement in your life.
As you wave goodbye to university life, it is time to say hello to your new life as a graduate. The door is now open for you to volunteer, gain work experience, engage in lifelong learning and participate in extracurricular clubs. There is a whole new world out there for you to explore. You just have to wait and find out!