Jeremy Jenum, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Post-Graduation Blues

Jeremy Jenum, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Think of it like yoga: bend your body at a ninety degree angle, hands firmly on the mat shoulder width apart while balancing on your tip toes. You are in downward dog position and now the pain comes. While tiptoeing push your heels as far down as you can with the hope of placing them horizontally on the mat. The stretch is a killer from the calf muscles all the way up the legs. The burn is agonising but you do as you’re told. In the moment, it may be painful, but in the grand scheme of things, yoga relaxes you and revives your body from debility into a state of new-found energy. Over time, the health benefits and general state of well-being outweigh the pain felt in the moment.

As a final year student, the dread of figuring out your life post-graduation sets in. Beforehand everything had been planned out for you and you had followed the prescribed way of life. You’ve always lived with your parents and had someone to rely on. You went to nursery, reception, primary school, teenage-drama-filled secondary school, college and then, finally, came uni. All the steps are logically tied up into a nice little bow and you continue progressing through each stage of life. Up until college, perhaps you had followed through with the game plan because it’s what you were told to do. But when you hit 16, suddenly the world was your oyster and if you chose to proceed to college then what you did was up to you. You chose your four A Levels with meticulous precision – picking something you enjoyed but also something that would be accepted on your chosen uni course. The same goes for uni, picking what you want to do with the rest of your life is a hard pill to swallow but we all do it. Hopefully, it is with passion and not just financial incentive in mind.

The three golden years that are the pinnacle of your youth at uni fly by and suddenly you’re left with the gloom and doom of graduation creeping up on you and spoiling your fun. You have to figure out what you’re doing next. The ultimate fear intermingled with excitement. Are you applying for grad schemes, taking a year out to do internships, or applying for a master’s? Maybe you are one of the lucky ones and you already have a guaranteed job.

For those who took on the plight of being a humanities major the prospect of searching for a job is daunting. There is usually no guarantee and you are left to your own devices to figure it out. The application process is enough to elicit a premature ‘I quit!’ from anyone. Extremely lengthy and often unsuccessful and, what’s worse, is that the employer tends to ignore your application efforts completely. If within four weeks you have not been successful then we are sorry but on this occasion, you have been unsuccessful. No condolences and no blunt rejection. According to them ignorance truly is bliss. To top it all off, your job search maybe impeded by the eternal paradox of ‘experience’.

This yoga may be beneficial for the health but maybe you did not expect quite so many challenges. Well all that can be done is your best. Send out a million applications and let yourself be ignored because chances are, eventually, one will reply with a big fat yes and you will prove them all wrong. In the interview scenario, learn to banish your procrastination vices and do your homework. Be the best prepared candidate in the room. Then you will show all the ones that dared reject you and, most importantly, you will show yourself. You’re a tiger – go get ’em.

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