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Navigating Life after Graduation

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Tips from Someone Barely Figuring It Out

If you are anything like me, you left university with a degree in hand, fresh eyes and no direction where you want to go next. Like all other 2020 graduates, there was no graduation in sight and a job market in disarray. Just me, myself, an empty university accommodation and a sheet of paper with my second class (lower classification) on it. Where to next?

Doing a law degree for 3 years left me knowing I had no interest or business doing anything to do with the law. But I wanted to do something that I had a true interest in, is getting paid to do what you love so simple and does it happen overnight? I don’t believe so and this wasn't the case for me. But it does take trial and error, a few tears, many nights in bed with popcorn watching my favourite character fall in love with her boss.

Here are 4 tips I used to get myself up and running again, even though I am barely figuring it out – but does anyone have anything figured out?

1.       Sleep

Catch a few zzz’s. Being able to fall asleep without crying myself to sleep because of a 3,000-word assignment was literally the best thing for me and my mental health.

Sleep is truly an underrated sport.

Not only is sleep good for your body because it allows for the body to repair itself and recharge, without it the brain and the body are not able to function properly and can increase the risk of poor health. Give your body a break, allow yourself to be without stress for a few hours I promise you will feel better in the morning.

Implementing a healthy sleep schedule will be hard, especially if you are home all day doing nothing. You will fall asleep at 4am still binging your favourite Netflix show a few times, but an irregular sleep schedule puts your health at risk by increasing the risk of multiple health issues e.g. high blood pressure. Make sleep a priority to keep your body, mind, and brain healthy.

Sleeping at 10 and waking up at 6 was the best thing for me. Even though I was in the house all day I noticed I was happier when I had a healthy sleeping pattern, I was not sluggish around the house and was not yawning all throughout the day. If you feel like this, maybe creating a healthy sleeping pattern will be best for you.

Like Steven Bartlett once said "Less Netflix, more sleep".

2.       Speak to Other People

It was extremely helpful for me knowing that I wasn’t the only one alone. You are not the only one sitting at home, with no money and waiting for their universal credit money to drop just so you can meet up with a few friends for a 2 for 1 drink. Other people are going through the same thing. Speak to your friends, family, associates, and you will see that a lot of people have felt what you are feeling. Take comfort in the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel and whatever opportunity that you are waiting for will come to you.

Naturally, you can be envious of those around you who are getting work and opportunities. But how you channel this energy into working on yourself will make all the difference in the world. Take the time out to listen to other people’s stories and lean into how to find the motivation and strength to pull yourself out of the rut.

Speaking to my close friend really helped me, as at the time I was one of the only ones who was not working. Watching my friends get ready to go to work while I was getting ready to start a different show on amazon prime was extremely disheartening. But, hearing another friend say they too were feeling how I was feeling even though they were going to work made me feel normal and made me want to find an opportunity that would make me happy to leave the house.

3.       Explore

After being in education for my whole life, I was no longer interested in sitting in rooms writing about things I barely remember. I wanted to enjoy my life and live it. Education is a privilege, and I am lucky to have it, but life is a privilege also and I wanted to enjoy my life to the fullest. It is important to explore everything in life and everything it has to offer. Walk around your area, look at things you never noticed, eat foods you have never tried before, try a social media trend, do a tik tok dance! Live your life likes its golden. Forget about any worries that you might have and take some time to live.

Finishing uni you naturally might want to find a job as soon as possible, whether this is a grad job or something to just make money. Explore other job roles that might be traditional to you and step out of your comfort zone and it might shock you what you are interested in but it may also make your more confident! I found myself looking at digital marketing roles finding that I was better suited for these, as I loved social media and looking at found ways that brands marketed their products fun and intriguing.

4.       Find a Hobby

With all this free time what will you do? That yarn you bought to knit your own clothes is staring at you. Find a Youtuber to watch and teach yourself how to knit!

I always loved to read but doing a law degree ruined reading for me. Leaving uni I decided it was time to read again as it was my favourite thing to do in my spare time, not only did it keep me occupied and allow time to pass by. I have now read 17 books in 5 months and to me there is nothing like reading a book, having a playlist going and just forgetting about the outside world. Find the time to really find something that you enjoy - whether that be adult colouring books, eating (or cooking), going to museums or just having a nap. Do whatever makes you happy.