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Post-grad Blues.

West Yorkshire, UK 13/09/2016
Post-grad blues. I cringed even as I wrote it. I mean, its a title that practically screams 'entitled middle class whining', isn't it? Like, ughhh, my life is so tough now that I've graduated from the high-ranking university I was fortunate to go to. Get the violins out lads, the trouble is real. I feel like Kim Kardashian when she's complaining about loosing her diamond earring in the pool and Kourtney's like, "people are dying, Kim." Where's the perspective, Rebecca? Get a bloody grip.

But in all seriousness, I'm pretty certain the post-grad blues are a thing. I mean, I just compared myself to the Kardashians in a blog post. Clearly, there is something very strange going on with me. Whilst people were quick to tell me how worthwhile university is (and as a graduate, I can't say I disagree), no one ever really prepared me for how tough the transition would be. My older and wiser friends offered tentative warnings, but I was not quite ready for the sudden cliff dive into reality. That's not to say that university is some sort of alternate reality (we all know how much that notion grinds my gears), but it had it's relative comforts. The option to seek help from someone or somewhere was readily available, be it a tutor ensuring you that you're doing okay or the careers department offering CV screenings. Then there was always a sense of purpose and direction; you'd work, study, probably drink too much, but everything was focused towards securing that degree. Then you graduate and that security disappears. The mortar board is prised from your head and the gown ripped off. You're left alone, clutching your degree transcript, tossed out of uni to figure everything out for yourself. The goal you'd aimed for three years has been accomplished and it's up to you to find a new purpose and place in life.

That's a pretty high-pressure task.

I'm having a bit of a tough time with the transition. I think it all stems from the uncertainty. I'm not certain what direction my life is heading in, or, if it's even heading anywhere at all. It's that uncertainty that has thrown me into my post-grad blues. I'm racking my brain constantly, over and over, trying to formulate a plan. Shall I teach abroad? Go back and do a masters? Give up, work in a chippy and live for the weekends? Basically, I have no idea where to go from here and that uncertainty brings the stress, and the insecurities, the sadness, the pent-up frustration straight to the forefront. Add that all together and whaddya have? Ah, The post-grad blues. Told you it was a thing.

It just seems like everyone else's post uni life has fallen into place with no fuss, whereas I feel like I'm back at square one, trapped in some state of stalemate. I watch as friends go travelling around the world. I congratulate them on securing that lucrative grad job. I look on in jealousy as they begin their training courses and masters. I smile when they get their own houses or apartments. I look on at their progress, their achievements and then I reflect upon myself. In comparison, I just feel... well, pathetic. 

It's not as if I'm particularly hard done by. I'm surviving. I've got money coming in, a free roof over my head and a good group of people around me. I'm going to a ball this weekend for Christ's sake, that's pretty bloody exciting. Yet, for some reason, I still feel like I'm ten streets behind everyone else in my position. I'm working a 9-5 job that I am incredibly grateful for, but isn't exactly a career starter. I moved back into my parents house into a room I no longer fit in. I lust after holidays and extensive travelling whilst knowing I can't go for fear of sacrificing my steady income. Masters courses or extra training seem like an impossible dream due to finances. I feel a bit...stuck. Whilst my friends are swanning around South East Asia, I'm just kind of plodding along (literally plodding, I'm carrying a fair bit of post-graduation chub.) 

Rational me knows my current situation is a needs must. I have to take this time off persuing journalism to earn some dosh. There's no two ways about it. I have an overdraft to pay off, qualifications to pay for and on top of that, its pretty much a given I'll spend a good chunk of time writing for free. Not everyone has the finances to be able to dive straight on toward their dreams. The sad fact of this country is, that it's always easier for the wealthy to crack on with their lives and I unfortunately, do not fall into that category. And I accept that (very bitterly, of course). However, that rationality doesn't make it any easier to live through. I know that taking a year out to earn is the responsible decision. My dreams aren't dead, they're just nestled between some necessary drudge work. I know that I need to be patient and that my time will come but, well, patience isn't one of my virtues. If it isn't on Amazon prime then it isn't on my radar. Soz. Rational me tells myself this on a daily basis, but it's hard not to feel defeated and hopeless when you watch everyone else's lives heading off in the right direction. It seems like everyone else has their shit together, is walking off into the sunset and I've tripped and fallen headfirst into a ditch. 

So yeah, Post-grad blues is officially a thing. It's happening. You'll probably be hearing a lot about it.

2 comments

  1. I'm not in exactly the same position as you as I decided to leave uni due to health, but there's definitely a feeling of being unsure and a little disorientated after stopping uni! I think it's because it's so full on there and going back to normal life and adulthood is really different and very scary. But everyone has it and manages to get through it, you'll be fine <3
    http://www.britishmermaid.com/2016/09/a-pom-nose-dress-and-finding-who-i-am.html?m=1

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  2. Oh my goodness, I am so glad I came across this post. I am in almost the exact same position and it is driving me absolutely insane to the point where I can't sleep properly at night. My life feels like it is in a total limbo. My only consolation is that I'm one of the first of my friends to graduate, so at least I don't have people to compare myself to. At the same time, it feels so isolating to not have people my age who I can talk to and who will understand me. At the moment they are all too keen to say how lucky I am to have finished University, with no more essay deadlines and looming exams...I almost envy their position. As someone who thrives by being productive and having meaningful jobs to do, I feel so overwhelmed, but am trying to incorporate daily activities that will keep me motivated. So yeah, I feel you big time. But it is so reassuring to know you're not the only one who is going through such a weird transition period.

    I wish you all the best. Something is bound to come up for the both of us!

    xx Carina

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