By Caitríona Ní Chonaill
You’ve received your results from your degree – congratulations! You’ve put the work in and you have the numbers on the piece of paper to prove it. But what now? With your relatives asking you “what’s next?” and the existential dread creeping in, here’s how you can try stave off the dip that comes with leaving your university life, jobhunting and navigating the world of adulting.
Jobhunting is a notoriously draining process, with researching roles, sending in CVS and cover letters, waiting for a response from the employer, and then getting onto the interview process (if you’re lucky!). The ping of an email, only for it to start with “I hope this email finds you well. We were very impressed with your interview, but unfortunately…” and to be told that you haven’t been given the role is like a little dagger to your self-esteem every time, and it can be very difficult to keep your spirits up after every failed application.
It can help to remind yourself that you are not the only one going through this process, it is a common occurrence after university and you are not alone in trying to find a job, particularly in today’s world!
Also, do your best not to compare yourself to your friends and acquaintances who have already landed roles. I can confirm, they are not in the majority and so many of the people you know from college are also in the same situation as you.
One of the other major changes transitioning from university to adulthood, whether that means living on your own for the first time, moving back home or possibly taking a job that is not necessarily your dream career just to pay the rent. There is no more lecture timetable to give you a routine and also the ready made community from university courses and extra curricular activities is no longer a constant in your life. You now have to make a concerted and consistent effort to keep in touch and arrange to meet your friends who, not even a few months before, were only a walk away, or were even living with you. This is a hard transition to make and can be an isolating and lonely experience for many. My advice would be to keep in touch on a casual basis, send memes, ask how each other’s day is going, and plan trips or group activities.
Another thing I have had to come to terms with in the post university period is that you have to get comfortable with spending time on your own, so keeping yourself occupied becomes a priority! Things you can do while by yourself, such as reading, journaling, knitting, crocheting, going to the gym, at home workouts, or finding a new show to bingewatch are all great. You could also try a new class or activity, such as pottery, dance, Zumba or yoga, to get yourself out of the house and meet new people at the same time.
Keeping yourself occupied and entertained while dealing with the transition is a very difficult line to tread, but hopefully this advice will help you navigate it!