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The Graduate Diaries: Part One // Why I'm Happy About Graduating

17 Jan 2016

Let's call this one: Why I'm Happy About Graduating

It's a really tricky one to guess, but The Graduate Diaries is actually going to be a series of posts all about graduating. Surprise!!! It might be three posts long, or it might be thirty posts long but the aim of the series will be to discuss different aspects of graduating and entering into the job world, while trying to make light of the stress that I'll be facing with the amount of competition and pressure out there because let's face it, final year is m e n t a l.

I'm hoping to discuss my experience with job applications, what I hate about being a soon-to-be graduate, what I love about being a soon-to-be graduate, travelling, comparison, competition and motivation. I just brainstormed this all so I'm sorry not to be more specific, but you get the vague concept. I'd also love it if anyone at University now would like me to talk about anything in particular regarding studying, working, etc, etc, then let me know!

I doubt it'll be smooth sailing but let's just hope to dear God that I do find a job I want eventually because everyone loves a happy ending, right? And maybe if you're all rooting for me then I'll get something?

The prospect of graduating in just over six months is a weird one. My University experience has been such an up and down rollercoaster of emotions and grades that a part of me is just so, so, done with it all. Most of the time I feel like I'm more than ready to move on and I'm weirdly excited about the prospect of a full-time job. This probably isn't normal because about 90% of my friends couldn't be less excited about work, a lot of them want to continue studying and the rest of them have no idea what the hell they want to do. I guess I'm quite lucky in that I've had an idea of what I'd like to do since I was about 16, and although I'm not sure if it'll still be what I want to do a year into the career, I'm feeling positive about giving it a go.

If I'm going to be completely honest with you, then I'd have to admit that I'm so, so fed up with University. I do enjoy learning, I work hard when needed and I'm currently on track for either a high 2:1 or a First for my overall degree, but the motivation I get from being sat in a classroom comes nowhere near to the motivation I get when earning my own money and working with other people all day. I love teamwork. I can work on my own, sure, and I can certainly see the benefits to working independently. But working in a team? Thriving off other people's qualities as well as my own? Work AND bants at the same time? Yeah, that's the one for me.

Now, before this ends up looking like a really cringe-worthy cover letter (not that I would ever use the word 'bants' in a cover letter, even ironically), I've written a little pros and cons list of my thoughts on graduating. I mean, it's not like one of those lists where you weigh out the positives and negatives and then make a decision because I'm not exactly going to decide not to graduate, but yeah. I wrote one anyway.

The Pros:
- I'm actually really excited about entering into the job world
- Meeting a heck of a lot of new people
- Being challenged every day
- Finding out more about myself (lol)
- Building confidence
- Earning money
- Getting a fabulous new work wardrobe
- No longer racking up student debt
- No longer worrying about grades
- Having holidays that are actually holidays (& not revision time)
- No more French conversation classes about awful & useless topics

The Cons:
- Finding a job in the first place
- Probably having to live like a pauper in London because rent is SO HIGH
- Or having to wake up at 5am and commute every day
- No longer being on an amazing uni campus
- Leaving my uni friends
- Having to start to pay back the 45k+ in student debt
- No longer being able to go out on a week day evening
- Having far less time to relax
- Getting 25 days holidays instead of a month at Christmas, Easter, and the whole of Summer

So, I guess the lists aren't actually as one-sided as I thought they'd be, but I'm clearly feeling pretty positive about graduating and starting off in the big scary work world. I'll probably look back at this in 2017 and be like 'what the hell was wrong with you, Imi?' but hey, no harm in being enthusiastic is there?

Are any of you feeling nervous or excited about graduating? And for those of you who are in full-time work, what was your experience like?

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Please feel free to leave a comment, it really makes my day! Imogen x