Newly graduating is both a cause for celebration and time of distress. You have just walked across a stage in front of your entire course and accepted your degree, you are embarking on a completely new journey, but this means change, big change and in the face of change there is always unease. These are the stages that every graduate goes through before finally coming to terms with being a new graduate.
Relief that it’s over.
Let’s be honest, the first realisation of every graduate is that there will be no more stressing over assignments, no more last-minute revision for exams and most importantly, no more bloody dissertation. This, of course, is a wonderful feeling as the relief that you are no longer tied down by university commitments leaves you feeling giddy.
Excitement for what’s to come.
Now, we’ve all dreamt about our prospects for the future and the coming weeks after graduation is when the realisation that these dreams are in closer reach sets in. You are suddenly able to embark on your own journey or create your own story! You begin daydreaming about your perfect career, perfect family and perfect life without actually working towards any of it.
Celebrating your freedom.
This is when all of the graduation gifts, parties and dinners lead you to forget about what being a graduate actually means. You enjoy your summer, as you should; having your own adventures as you go off on holiday and explore the world.
Realising that you haven’t actually prepared for anything.
It happens to the best of us, losing yourself in the enjoyment of summer but then realising that you haven’t actually planned what you are doing after, you haven’t applied for that internship you told yourself you would, or that job you thought was perfect for you. You are forced to begin thinking about what exactly you will be doing next year.
Panicking about your future.
All of your worries and anxieties suddenly come to the surface as you feel lost and hopeless about what is to come. What if you don’t get the job you want? Are you ready to venture into the world of work? Are you really a match for the talented individuals you are now in competition with?
Moving to action.
This is when you really begin to change things up, you speak to your friends about your anxieties and realise that they are all in the same predicament as you. You decide that you don’t have to have everything about your future planned to the T and so you simply ask yourself what you are going to be doing this year. Are you going to see the world? Are you going to go straight into work? Do you want to go back into education? Little steps but nothing too grand.
Accepting your title as a graduate.
Finally, you realise that graduating doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be ready for your future, it is simply a milestone in your life. You have time. You may still feel anxieties about what is to come but you are at ease knowing that you can still be unsure about your career choices. You accept that this is the time to experience life properly and not to fully settle for anything yet.