Graduating from college or university is said to be one of the landmark moments in your life.
You’ve accomplished what you set out to achieve. You’re now fully qualified (at least according to a piece of paper) in your field of preference and ready to jump into the career you’ve been longing for (or dreading).
But what changes when you graduate with your degree? Do things change? Of course they do, silly – this would be a rather pointless article otherwise, wouldn’t it? Below are six realizations that will become perfectly clear to you once you’ve graduated – and trust me, I’m a graduate, ok?
1) You become more anti-social
What do people go to university for? An education? Yeah, right (that’s sarcasm in case you missed it). They go for the partying. They go for the independence and the chance to meet a ton of new people. Well, at least I think that’s why people go.
Anyway, I’m starting to stray from the point I’m trying to make. When you graduate, the partying becomes less. Going out on a weekday is no longer socially acceptable – you’re not a student anymore. Socialising with friends will now only likely commence for one day a week at a maximum. Oh, and then there’s the money aspect (which I’ll go into about detail later on). No more student loans to fund those alcohol-fueled benders.
2) You were crazy for thinking 3am was an acceptable bed time
Sleeping patterns can become slightly disjointed during a prolonged stint at university. Your threshold of what becomes an acceptable bed time will tend to get later and later. You know it’s a sad state of affairs when going to bed at 2am becomes an “early night” and arising at 3pm in the afternoon is classified as a “lie-in”.
3) Living with parents is very annoying
For many, graduating will mean a return to your former house of residence and back to staying with parents. In theory, this living arrangement can have many advantages. No cooking, cleaning, ironing or washing – if you’re lazy anyway.
However, the reality is usually much different. Now you’ve graduated, your parents will be constantly nagging you to get a job, clean your room and just generally get under your feet. You’ll instantly crave the independence that you were afforded at university and the chance to live with your own rules once more.
4) You have no money
Even if you took a part-time job during your time at university (this is coming from somebody who did, so trust me, yeah?), the end of your course will provide you with a very glum and startling realisation – you have no money. Those student loans can no longer fund your existence and living off Mum and Dad’s back pocket is no longer a viable option.
5) Getting a job is hard work
So you don’t have any money – meaning that you’ll need to get a job, right? Ok, that shouldn’t be too difficult with a qualification like yours, should it? Well, you may be in for a surprise.
Getting a job – at least in a sector you’d like to work in and not just the local McDonald’s – can be tricky and requires patience. There are hundreds – thousands even – of graduates all after a job and in the same boat as you. Graduating will make you realise that it isn’t your qualifications that will make you stand out to an employer – it will be your practical experience. Speaking of which…
6) You may have to work for nothing
To help separate yourself from the vast crowd of graduates out there, working for free may be your only option. Look for work placement and short-term internship opportunities. Yes, they won’t pay you (although, if you make the right impression you never know), but they’ll offer you the experience required to make a significant difference to your CV and open the door to more lucrative employment.
You’ll realise a lot of things when you graduate. Not all of it good, unfortunately.
Author Bio: Matthew Wood is a regular blogger and former graduate who is afraid to say that these realisations are indeed completely true. Matthew has contributed this guest post article on behalf of Britannia Training who offer practical training for professionals in a vast array of different fields.