I left university June of this year. That was probably about 4 months ago, but who’s counting? Ever since leaving school, I have experienced a lot of things from school withdrawal syndrome to post-uni life crisis where I can’t really figure out what’s the next step.
So if you’ve just finished school or are finishing school, this post is for you (to sort of let you know that you are not alone!).
1. Realizing you’re still ‘on holiday’ while everyone’s back in school
Nearing the end of your final semester, you will feel excited for what’s next and happy that you will never look at another assignment or test paper ever again. When the new semester starts however and everyone starts posting pictures of them in school, complaining about assignments and exams and finally, posting pictures of their final days in school, you will start to feel completely left out.
You start to miss your time being in class; all the fun conversations and debates that you had, ahh those times. You try to engage in similar conversations that you had in your class with your parents and friends, but it’s not the same. You realize that everything will be the same in school even when you’re not around and that pretty much sucks.
2. Visiting school and feeling excited about meeting friends.
After weeks or months of not going to school, you finally decided to visit. You said hi to friends that you barely say hi to, only to have them look at you weird. Then you wonder to yourself, “Did they not know that I left school? Well, this is awkward.”
You go to the same place that you and your friends go to every lunch time only to find out that they moved to a new spot with new friends. Things feel weird, you feel weird.
Occasionally, you do bump into friends that you haven’t met for ages and who were once very close to you and always, their first question would be, “What are you doing here? Haven’t you graduated already?” To which you respond with a smile and some witty comeback.
3. The big old question of “What’s next?”
Many of us have figured out to do next in our lives. If you are one of those few people, good on you! To those who haven’t and are slowly panicking as the pressures of answering questions such as “Are you working now? Oh, why not?” slowly get to you, know that you’re not alone.
You’d imagine that you figure things out by now, and you haven’t yet. However, let’s be honest here. Deep down, you are waiting for your big break, we all are. You want to be careful with your job choice, you want your first major job after university to be THE job for you for the rest of your lives or perhaps, be the right job for you to land your next job.
However, slowly but surely, reality will start kicking in and you realize that you can’t sit around any more. You need to take charge or you’d be too comfortable not doing anything and the next thing you know, friends will look at you weird and you’d be depressed seeing your other friends scoring some big gigs and doing some massive things and here you are, waiting for that big break.
Half a year, one year or 10 years from now, you’d be looking back and thinking to yourself, if only I did that small internship gig at that place, at least that could help catapult me to my next job.
You need to start moving now, honey.
4. Being jealous of your friends
Friends who have pretty much figured everything or have pushed themselves out there are great inspiration to motivate you. But sometimes, not all of us are motivated enough to push ourselves or perhaps, there may be things holding us back to reaching our dreams.
As in the meantime, as they go about doing their adult jobs, you are stuck at home spending countless hours catching up with your favourite TV shows or scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. You get jealous looking at how successful your friends are and how they have figured things out for themselves. You are happy for them, but are jealous that they are bold enough to take control.
However, don’t let the successes of your friends depress you, be happy for them and let them be your inspiration. Sometimes things go to you at a slower pace and that’s okay. But for now, why not throw yourself out there more? Do something about it. Take control of your life and your successes.
5. Figuring out about who you are and what you want to achieve in life.
I think the most exciting yet scary part about leaving university is figuring out who you are and what you want to achieve in your life. We all want the best in our lives so choosing the right path is crucial as it would determine your future.
I guess the best thing to remember is that you are not alone in this and that many others before you had been through it. If you ever feel that you need a little guiding, then talk to friends, colleagues or family who have been through it before. Ask them for some advice and let that advice guide you.
Most importantly, know that things happen unexpectedly so even if you’ve created a path for yourself, know that you can alter that path. Shit happens, it always does. Don’t be afraid to take a different route if it’s a better route for you, you deserve the best :)
Good luck and congratulations!
You’re done! Let’s party!