Life Post-University: Graduate Anxiety

graduate anxiety

University brought wonderful things into my life, but I also developed anxiety especially as a graduate.

I’d never really had anxiety beforehand, not like I’d experienced at university anyway. And I always managed to control it, because my main anxiety would occur before an exam but then my philosophy of whatever happens, happens, would pipe my anxiety back down again.

At university this technique didn’t really work because a) I had no idea what I was doing and b) I felt like I never improved or more accurately hadn’t been taught how to improve.There were some basic grade boundaries, the odd hint or tip, but that was the extent of the help really.

But I was not prepared for the anxiety as a graduate, as everyone began to ask, so what’s next?

There’s an expectation that you graduate from university and immediately know what you want to do, have a graduate job, know where you want to live. But it does’t work like that.

A considerable amount of my friends experienced the post-university, new graduate anxiety, as after years of planned structure to their life, it was now all uncertain.

I’m also terrible at putting additional pressure on myself. I thought at 21 I’d have more of my life together than I do. Spoiler, I don’t think life ever comes together in the way you think it will and you never feel like you know what you’re doing.

The thing is, I had no idea what I was going to do when I left university and yes I felt some anxiety as a graduate but it was also so exciting.

Then things began to come together, miraculously. I mean during this time I did have numerous interviews that didn’t work out, but I now have a job and a place on a Masters course.

I think a bit of anxiety is actually good, despite how overwhelming it can be when you finish university. It’s hard to navigate through the uncertainty, but hold onto the fact that you have only just graduated, your dream career won’t happen overnight.

For me, I’m just going to keep working hard on things that are important to me and that I enjoy and hope for the best.

Good luck to all the other graduates about to face the anxiety of chasing their dreams, getting out of debt, and generally trying not failing at life, I feel you.

Have you experienced any post-university or graduate anxiety?

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