How to Cope with Leaving University

Nina Harris·30 May 2016·5 min read
How to Cope with Leaving University

As the final semester draws to an end, third years are beginning to discuss the ‘post university blues’. The leap from the life of education to the ‘working world’ is a daunting task for anyone, no matter how much work experience you have under your belt. There are several new things to consider: whether that is where you want to be based in the country, how to gain a source of income, dealing with lifestyle changes and moving away from your friends.

At the same time, graduation may be an exciting time. Life no longer revolves around essays and exams, and opportunities are coming your way left, right and centre. Without wanting to sound too philosophical, there really is no prescribed route through life and it is okay to have a year or two to think about the type of work you want to go into and where you want to base yourself in the country.

Here are a few tips on how cope with the big leap.


Ease the Transition for Yourself

The majority of students are based in a city far from their hometown and moving may be one of the anxieties about leaving university. Depending on the job opportunities in your university city, it is not uncommon for students to stick around for a few years while they figure things out. It may be an option to move in with a few friends from university while you get a part time job and find various internships. It may even work out that you land a job in the university union or start studying a masters at the same institution. Whilst it is clear that one day the university bubble will have to pop, keeping the continuity going for a few months is really important to adjusting to the transition.


Keep in Touch

If you want to return to your hometown, try living in a new city, or even move abroad, keeping in touch with old friends is one of the most important ways to manage missing University. Many of your friends will have been hugely present in your life for the past three or four years, so don’t delete your uni WhatsApp groups too soon. Most graduates are in the same boat and will be really eager to keep in touch as well. It is worth contacting people to find out whereabouts they live in the country post-graduation as you may find that many of your friends are moving to larger cities like London and Manchester, and you may want to do the same.


Carry on University Activities

For many students, studies came second place to the wider activities university societies offered. Whether that was sport or charity work, there are plenty of opportunities outside of the university bubble where you can do the same thing. For instance, if you enjoyed campaigning at university, there are nation-wide charities to get involved in where you can make friends as well. Equally, most towns have local sports teams for adults – if you can accept considering yourself an ‘adult’, that is.


Improve Your CV

Although you might not want to hear it, improving your CV and gaining work experience will actually ease the transition from university as it keeps you busy. Even if you are not quite sure on the type of work you want to go into, anything broadly related to your interests is a worthwhile experience. Try and use any connections you might have to gain an insight into industries and contact any previous employers. It may be worth going to a job-centre or CV advise service to improve your prospects. It is common for students during the year after university to combine a low-paid part-time job with internships. It is not abnormal or counter-productive, therefore, to spend a year or two figuring out your career options so try not to rush into choosing a ‘career path’ too soon after graduating.