Leaving university is hard. Three or four years spent developing yourself, your friends, improving your education and mostly – having fun.
You spend your days relaxing, studying and seeing friends, going out, having flings…
Then it’s over and reality hits.
You move back home to your parents. Or you move to a new city cause there aren’t enough jobs where your university was. You tearfully say goodbye to your university family and pack up the items which have miraculously survived your time there.
Some try and keep the magic going by enrolling on a Masters. But mostly, we are thrown back into our eighteen year old, pre-uni lives, with only the memories to hold on to. Like it never really happened.
The confidence you spent growing for three years slowly crumbles with every job or graduate scheme rejection email. When you finally get interviews you realise how fierce the competition is and how university hasn’t really prepared you for standing out in the job crowd.
You start wondering whether you’ve had the best days of your life. You start getting caught up in your own life’s trajectory, watching all your friends on social media move on with jobs, new friends or relationships.
Even though you know it’s not forever, you’ve gone from everything you know to facing real life like a slap in the face.
Learning to deal with the loss of your university life will provide you with one of the biggest life lessons.
As I say in The Quarter Life Crisis, during this transition into the ‘real’ world, it may seem difficult to find the positives, so here are some things to remember:
– Going through the quarter-life crisis means you are undergoing an invaluable transformation. It is an opportunity to break away from your old social patterns; you are young, healthy and have plenty of time to figure out your life.
– Take one step at a time. Breathe. If you’re living with parents or unemployed: remember that it’s not forever.
– Think about what you already have – are you living independently? Do you have family and friends who love you? Are you in a successful relationship? Do you have a steady income (even if it’s not what you want to do in the long-run)?
– Life is all about making mistakes, as strange as it sounds – enjoy making them and learning! Live life – don’t dwell on all the bad things: every cloud has a silver lining!
– Don’t get caught up in financial stature. If you have enough to put food on the table and go about your daily life, then you are much better off than many people.
– In the meantime: make plans, exercise, make friends and keep distracted.
You are not alone! Everyone, whether you think it or not, is going through the same transition. And it’s hard, but it won’t last for always – things will pick up before you know it.