A short but sweet letter to all graduates who are worrying about ‘what’s next?’

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Dear fellow Graduates,

I see you are confused, perhaps frustrated and even a little scared now that you have finally received that scroll and worn your cap and gown.

Your university journey is officially over and I know that is daunting, I myself am absolutely terrified, but there really is no need to feel so stressed about your next step. You are in an amazing position right now; you are fresh out of university, motivated and ready to kickstart your career. You are eager to land that dream job and finally start putting your new found knowledge to use. You are determined to do this a s a p.

Yet, this next stage of your life could begin in six weeks time or maybe six months down the line. This is where things get tricky for some graduates. The recognition of others who have already begun their graduate schemes or are commencing summer internships straight away will most likely cause you to be so much harder on yourself and your personal progression. You should not be comparing yourself to others though, because whats the rush? Your post-university story is your own and has its own timeline. So ignore how quickly or slowly someone else’s success is happening, because your success is waiting, it’s just following a different, and perhaps a slower course.

The hunt is on and right now, every single graduate is fighting it out for jobs and trying to figure out what they want to do, where they want to be and who they want to do it with. A lot of questions need answering but the thing is, you don’t need an immediate answer whatsoever.

Lets take my post-university situation for example and look back to just three weeks ago when I was preparing to move back home, perhaps become jobless and have to apply somewhere local in the mean time and leave my beloved Oxford behind, including my boyfriend and best friends. Despite being extremely close to my family and a total home-bird at heart, my hometown felt so far away from me now and the only truly exciting thing about returning home for me would have been finally being back with my loved ones. I was prepared to apply for city jobs in Liverpool or Manchester which are places adore, finally get round to taking my driving test, re-decorate my childhood bedroom, start up a YouTube channel to somehow try and entertain myself and most importantly, accustom to a long-distance relationship.

Now, with only a week to go until I move out of my third year student house, my situation has changed entirely.

As luck would have it, me and Andrei have been given the most amazing oppurtunity to move into a flat together. I now have the oppurtunity to stay in the city I love, apply for my dream jobs in London where I could hopefully one day commute to and just keep enjoying the life I have made down South (despite always being a Northerner at heart though. God bless Gogledd Cymru, ) Yes, this means I’ll be sticking with the same retail job that I’ve had for five years for a bit but despite everything, I know I’ll be happy there as I love my work team and I know that it is merely the means to an end before I achieve my next job prospect.

What I am basically trying to say here, is just how quickly everything can change when you least expect it. Within three weeks your entire career could change for the better or an amazing oppurtunity could come your way. However, as I said, it could not only happen within six weeks but maybe six months time, but whats to say it will not happen eventually?

There is no rush. You have just spent three years (or more) working incredibly hard and you should be extremely proud of that, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Just remind yourself of that when you start to panic after not hearing back from a job you’ve applied for or being rejected after a nerve-wracking interview. It will most likely happen a couple of times at the least as it’s a competitive time and realistically, set backs are expected in life, but should always make you stronger and more determined.

Something that also springs to mind during this time of my life and something I will continue to remind myself of everytime I start to worry about my career is how my Grandma used to always sit and brush my hair, singing ‘Que Sera, Sera’ to me before putting me to bed. The song could not be more true right now. We really do just have to wait and see what the future holds because whatever will be, will be.

Yours sincerely,

A graduate who is just as worried as you are.

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