Thursday 18th April 2024

Life after graduation: it ain’t all coming up roses


Life, after you graduate, is something you dream of. No more 9am lectures to attend, no more tedious seminars that never quite fill the allotted time and, most importantly, no more deadlines! But is it all Champagne and caviar? Frankly, no.

There is an undeniable lack of support after you finish university, it’s a case of ‘Congrats. Good luck. Bye!’ Albeit there are the lucky few, who everyone knows and envies, who have internships, placements or jobs lined up.

But, for the rest of us it’s either the inevitable move back to the parental home or, in my case, the big step of moving in with my partner.

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There is an undeniable lack of support after you finish university.

It’s what three long, hard years of work has led to and we longed for the day. However, since it arrived, not everything is as sweet smelling as it seemed. Why? Money.

Since moving in with my partner, there have been ups and there have been downs. Trying to fit into his world – where he has a stable job, a housemate, a car to run and numerous other expenses already going out – isn’t easy. For a start I was one of the unfortunate ones who did not have a job, placement or internship planned out for when I graduated so the financial burden fell on him.

Trying to fit into his world, with his stable job, wasn’t easy.

With an already depleted overdraft, lack of savings and little motivation – as it now dawned on me, so this is it, what do I do now? I wasn’t in a position to contribute in the slightest.

It hasn’t just been the lack of money which has affected us, but for me, it has been the lack of independence, which I had built up over the last three years at university. The fact I couldn’t just walk into the city centre, as we now lived 10 miles away from any civilisation, have a coffee or meet up with friends for lunch. I couldn’t just pop into the high street shops to have a browse and accidentally find that gorgeous top that I didn’t know I needed.

It hasn’t just been the lack of money, it has been the lack of independence.

It has been physically draining. At one point it got to the stage where I found it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, boot up the computer and trawl endlessly through job advertisements that I am either, a) overqualified for or b) lack experience in.

To date, I have applied for over 400 jobs (yes I have kept a tally), with three interviews obtained, several rejections and the vast majority not even acknowledging I have applied to them. With still no job secured…

My advice? Stick it out.

So, what is my advice? Well as a big believer in karma and believing everything happens for a reason (although admittedly my optimism in the months succeeding graduation has dwindled, somewhat), I say, with a substantial amount of perseverance, patience (which I also severely lack), endless application forms and copious amounts of tea, stick it out. As they say, ‘all good things come to those who wait’ (so I’m expecting something big!).



Cait Armstrong

Mouthy blogger

Recent Cardiff grad, undeniable tea lover, avid daydreamer and aspiring lawyer.

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