I don’t know what exactly I expected after finishing my degree, I guess I thought a whole world of new opportunities that I could easily grasp, and why not? I do have a degree after all. Filled with confidence as I now have a higher educational qualification I decide it is time to enter the real world of full time employment and start applying for jobs. Application after application, I was met with rejection after rejection. Turns out I do not have enough real-world experience, not just that I do not have 6 months experience within a specific setting. Confidence not yet knocked, I aim to gain as much experience as possible.

I apply for volunteering roles and other roles such as support work, health care support work, bank staff work. Again, I do not have enough experience. Now this begins to get frustrating. How on earth can I gain experience when I do not have experience to gain experience? It is a struggle and a battle. But during this struggle I continue to earn a minimum wage in a part time job. This means I can no longer afford to live in a rented house. After three years of freedom, living away from the parents, a taste of true independence it comes to an end. I have to move back in with my parents.

Think this story is similar for many other graduates, my friend has been a graduate for almost a year now, and being the first to graduate out of our friends, I think she struggled with knowing what to do. But she told me, go and get experience as soon as possible and stay positive. She has chosen to pursue a masters as she has not been able to get any experience. She studied human biology and wants to cut up dead bodies for a living, so getting experience in that has to be hard, almost impossible right? I have a lot of admiration for her, as she has emailed around twenty funeral homes and twenty hospitals looking for experience. Her efforts paid off and she was allowed one day within a funeral home embalming bodies. One day after contacting 40 establishments. Better than nothing. But this just shows how difficult grad life can be.

It isn’t the end of the world moving in with your parents but they expect you to be earning now. Expect you to do more than is actually achievable, this creates a hostile environment which is frustrating for both parties.  The world is not full of opportunities anymore, there is only a few options available to a post grad. One either has to obtain a part time job whilst volunteering to gain experience, or obtain a full time job in hope that it is within the domain of your degree (unlikely, unless your super lucky and blessed), or return to education and grab yourself a masters.

After being in education for many many years, doing another year may seem daunting. Plus, I kind of just want to be employed and earn money and feel like a true adult.  The first few months after graduating are exhausting, stressful and emotionally draining. My only advice is to be resilient, stay positive and confident, it can only get better right?

This is going to be my last summer as a care-free fresh graduate. I am going to spend it drinking, seeing my friends and trying to gain as much experience as possible by volunteering. I hope my last student loan can last me through the summer, I mean that’s what it is there for right?

I guess the moral of the story is stay persistent and confident. If anyone has advice for someone who has recently finished their degree I am open to suggestions.

Published by Katy-Jane Pitt