So, I graduated. For most people I realised it was the end of a lot of things, living with friends, the independence of studying across the country and having a student loan to fall back on. I’ve got to admit not getting that student loan sucks like a bitch but not much else changed for me. A lot of people talked about post-graduation depression or feeling lost after leaving university but that wasn’t the case for myself. I didn’t miss university, not one bit. My life continued and I carried on working in retail part time, picking up more hours here and there.
The struggle for me came a few months after, getting closer to September when I realised a lot of my class had industry jobs and there I was, still working in retail. I would watch everyone on Instagram and Twitter going off on their 9-5 and having their own desks with all their bits of crap on it and I WANTED THAT.
I wasn’t in the same retail job as I was when I graduated but it was still…retail. I started to feel really lost and a bit insecure in myself about how other people were doing in life. I got quite down and I don’t know if this is what everyone was on about a few months ago with the whole post-graduation sadness thing. But I was feeling down. I applied for what felt like 300 jobs and getting like 5 responses (mint, thanks) but that’s the way this works. I thought I was just a shit writer or I wasn’t good enough.
I stopped blogging after university because to be frank I was unhappy with my writing, I got a 2:2 on my degree and I felt crap about it as no one else I knew had gotten that low, they all had 2:1’s or 1sts. That is when I realised that I couldn’t have been the only one and that people were only posting about their ‘best bits’ some could even have been lying. I told my dad I got a 2:2 and he said he was “proud”, my grandparents cried at my graduation and my boyfriend was just amazing. My degree certificate came and then after that another to certify that I was an accredited journalist, they were soon framed and put in our living room where they have stayed until recently as friends and family visited, pointed it out and said “congratulations”.
There it was, success. The success I had wanted has been there and I realised it again at a family party in October when someone told me they looked at my instagram and said “You are having such a good time, you do so much” In reference to the 4 holidays, countless meals out and apartment pictures I had uploaded without realising how good I really had it.
It has taken me 6 months to stop comparing and 6 months to change the way I use social media, I realised that people will look at me and think I have succeeded just as I look at others and think the same.
Life after graduation has been different but it has not been worse. Every day I either have work or nothing and that day of nothing can be anything I want it to be. I now go out by myself, shopping, for a coffee, or just walk around town. I think about those in my class who graduated and got a job in journalism or writing or PR and I hope they are doing it because they love it and not because it is related to their degree. I won’t say I have fallen out of love with journalism because I haven’t but there are hundreds of jobs out there that I can do and I can do well and I just need to find out what makes me happy.
If you are graduating soon or you are feeling a bit stuck like me, think about what you love doing, what you are good at (and be honest, you get nowhere lying to yourself) and find the perfect job for you. Don’t look at other peoples highlight reel and compare it with your worst days and think about the future but not too far. Things take time and most importantly think about what is best for you.
PS. Working in retail is still a job and it is a job that quite frankly I love