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How to Adapt to Life After Graduation

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Finished university? Check! No more lectures? Check! Higher education diploma? Check! Graduation ceremony? Also check!

OK, but now what?!

We all pray for the day to come when we won’t have any more exams, coursework and assignments ever again… but when that moment actually comes we simply don’t know what to do any more. We have gotten so used to ‘student life’, which is sort of independent but not nearly as full of responsibilities as we will have now.

Adapting to life after graduation can be very stressful for many, but it is yet another step on the ladder of life. Of course life after graduation is not necessarily going to be worse, but it’s normal to fear the unknown… And to be fair, there is no ‘Guide for Survival in Real Life’, no recipe for a successful future or a “happily ever after”. From now on everything depends on us – the choices we make and on the paths we embark on. Having said that, there are things we can do to make the transition easier and smoother. So, fear not! Here are a few useful tips on how to adapt to life after graduation:

Take time out to travel

Having difficulties adjusting to your new lifestyle means you need to occupy yourself as much as you can! It is true that you need to be more responsible now, but who’s to say you can’t enjoy yourself a bit? Take some time off to travel, see new places, visit foreign friends perhaps… real life can wait a bit, don’t you think?

Keep in touch with your course mates

It is a good idea to stay in touch with as many of your former course mates as possible. After all, you are in the same boat and can easily relate to each other. Maintaining connections with your university community might make the transition to life after graduation a little easier, and show you that everyone else is going through the exact same stages as you. The friendships and professional networks begun at university are also often likely to be some of the most important you’ll form, often lasting for life.

Enrol in some independent study

If you simply can’t get used to the idea that you are not going to have any more lectures and seminars, and feel like you are never going to learn anything new again… well, you are wrong! There are plenty of independent study options out there – just decide what interests you and sign up! You can enrol on a MOOC, listen to lectures on the internet, read whatever takes your fancy… There is always so much you can learn, as long as you want to, and now you have the freedom to actually explore what interests you the most; don’t let your brain get lazy – keep exercising all those independent study skills you’ve spent the last few years acquiring.

Find an internship or a work placement

After graduating from university, you do of course need to think about your future career. It is a good idea to find an internship or a work placement of some sort. A good diploma is important, but real work experience is often just as valuable. Even if you can only find an internship which is unpaid, or voluntary work, my advice is: take it anyway, because now is the time to experiment with different positions and build a strong CV.

Attend alumni events

Most universities have alumni events you can attend, every few years or so. This can actually be a very good way to answer the “what should I do with my life?!” question, because alumni events provide the chance to meet people who are the same age as you and have attained a similar education. Get inspired by them; share your experiences; exchange advice and discuss ideas… at some point you will realize that you have actually achieved a lot since leaving university; you’ve finally adapted to life after graduation!

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Written by Vyara Pancheva
Vyara is a journalism graduate from the University of Westminster in London and currently an aspiring writer and blogger. She has produced a couple of video documentaries and has written pieces for several websites. Originally from Bulgaria, she is now living in London and loving it a lot! Rock music, sci-fi movies and travelling are amongst her biggest passions.

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