Just graduated? Read this.

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Just graduated? Don't panic! Seriously, now is not the time. In fact, it's probably one of the worst times to panic in your life, ever. You don't want to enter the big bad world of reality suffering from heart palpitations, anxiety and manic depression, trust us.

To get you through this hell hole, we’ve marked out the rough journey you’re most likely about to embark- or are now embarking- on, and some little coping mechanisms. Hang in there stud, you’ve got this. 

Expectations:

You pack your bags and move home, sad it's over, but a spring in your newly BA'd step. You think, "Oh my God, this will be amazing, I don't pay rent again, I don't have to wash up all the time, I have freedom, I won't argue with my parents because I'm a graduate now- I'm mature and intelligent and too good for that- I can see all of my old friends again, and catch up with my uni friends at least once a month, it's going to be INCREDIBLE."

Reality:

Your old friends now have new friends, and/ or boyfriends, full-time jobs and generally a whole life that hasn't really included you all that much for the past 3 years. People forget to invite you to things because they still think you're at uni. You don't see your uni friends because they all live at other ends of the country and you can't travel. You have no job, no money, nothing to do and nowhere to go. 

You cry because you spent the last 6 months of uni feeling stressed af over how hard the final project was but in fact, this is so much harder. You snap at your parents because you hate life and they ask you about absolutely everything you have going on, and you're sick of seeing them every day again already. After unpacking everything, the first week of occasional catch-ups and family celebrations, you realise that there is only so much E! one can handle, and you already watched everything on Netflix at uni, remember?

How to cope:

  • Sign up to a temp agency: It's summer and loads of people with actual jobs are on holidays just loving their employed lives, so companies need experience-seeking graduates to step up and cover. If you do have some plans and/ or can’t afford to intern unpaid right now, this is such a great option. You'll earn money (generally for easy-as-piss work) and still have flexibility, should you wish to hit that festival, Ibiza, or just buy something nice. Note: definitely try and save a little bit of money for what happens after this next 3 months (most likely interning for free or being paid next-to-nothing as we reach the dead of winter). 
  • Intern (duh): If you’re not going on holiday for summer and can afford to do some unpaid work then by all means, get to it girl! Think of the extra 3 months edge you’ll have over the people currently off sunning themselves somewhere fancy, with that summer internship on your CV. Take a look at our Jobs Bible for the latest vacancies. 
  • Exercise: This free time is a great chance to burn off the uni carb-and-alcohol calories and get a hot bod. Join a cheap gym (The Gym and Pure Gym are good options), and hit that gym between 11AM and 3PM, when all of those employed suckers are at work, and every piece of equipment is available and sweat-free, just crying for you to use it. Or, get a fitness DVD, and work out in the living room with no shame for free, while your employed family are at work. Other than this you can always you know, go outside for a run or bike ride or whatever. All that matters is you get fit, and release endorphins, to stop you getting all depressed. 
  • Do stuff: Keep yourself busy. We know this is an obvious one but take it from someone who knows, emerging yourself in every box set made by man is a fast-track to isolation and depression. Bake, blog, sew, run, draw, sing, play music... whatever you do that helps you find your “flow”, you do it and you do it well. 
  • Buy some candles and feng-shui the shit out of your room. Literally clear out everything that you haven't used in 3 years, and everything you have hanging around from your uni house that you never want to see again. Take down the old-school posters and photos, scrape the blue tack off the walls, and re-decorate if you have to. You're a graduate now, you need a space that you can relax in, and pretend you're not back to living with your parents.
  • Make goals: When you're not in a depressive state (maybe after your exercise is the best time for this one) write a list of what you want to do and where you want to be. Set timescales (realistic ones, this is not designed to lower your self-esteem or make you feel like even more of a low-life than you already do). Look forward, not backwards.

And whatever you do, in the words of Mike Skinner, stay positive. We promise you, this is going to work out.

Keep your eye on our future posts, we’ve got loads of interning advice and jobs coming soon… 

FL x