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Back To The Future

As I enter my third year of university, I am struck by two things.

1. I only have nine months left of study, communal living and cheap cinema tickets.

2. Where the hell have the past two years gone?

If you are a student in your final year of study, or have recently graduated, I am sure you will appreciate where I am coming from when I say that third year is drastically different to my previous university experience. Don’t get me wrong, I knew this change was coming- my friends in the year above warned me about it repeatedly. In retrospect, I don’t think I completely understood what they meant. I thought third year would bring an increase in workload and a diminishing of my social life. And, to some extent it has (and by that I mean that my guilt levels have increased and instead of going out we spend more time in our pjs, drinking tea and watching tv). But it isn’t the workload that makes third year so different. It is the overriding and overwhelming thought/ dread (delete as appropriate) about what comes next.

All of a sudden, everyone is thinking, talking and stressing out about life after¬†university. You cannot have a conversation with a third year student without it finally circling back around to the big question: ‘What are you going to do after?’ This question is normally met with a look of utter panic, or one of complete certainty (NB, if the latter is you, we all hate you a little bit). However, the options are endless, although some options are infinitely more appealing than others. Further education, graduate schemes, gap years, moving back in with and sponging off your parents, full-time employment, part-time employment, no employment for that matter. I know that when I graduate I will have some form of employment: the company I work for are providing¬†hospitality¬†staff for the Olympics… but after that, my future is a rather large, and rather scary question mark.

I feel so much pressure to graduate university and slide straight into full-time work. Hearing about a friend who has landed a job in London earning mega bucks, or the other who has a place on their dream Masters course. The thought of moving back in with our parents are three years of total freedom. All of these things add a sense of pressure and expectation. After two years of the introspective uni lifestyle, we are finally looking out, and the big wide world looks pretty intimidating.

But it doesn’t have to be… there are so many options available for graduates and there are still months before we are throwing our mortar boards into the air. Take advantage of the careers office while you still have a chance: update your CV, learn how to write a decent cover letter. Apply for everything under the sun- you never know, that Grad Scheme may not be in your degree field but it may end up being the perfect job. Call people, email them, persuade them to give you that internship. Or, if you feel you just need a break, start saving for that flight.

In my quest for What To Do After Uni, I have found these websites invaluable…

Have a look, see what grabs your attention, but most of all, stay positive.

The BEST holidays

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