Many of us will be facing a lot of (frankly terrifying) unknowns and unanswered questions about life after the safety net of university, but, as the inevitable comes ever closer for third years, it’s easy to let the stress set in. My first piece of advice would be not to panic. However, this is much easier said than done; to not contemplate life outside of education and dread the responsibility that comes along with it. Think about it for a moment though, you’ve made it all the way through university, looked after yourself, got all your work done, managed all this on top of a social life, part-time jobs and everything else not mentioned. So,I wouldn’t stress too much. You are more than capable to deal with whatever comes your way and as deadlines come to a close and dissertations are sent off, it’s the perfect time to start looking into what’s next for you (if you haven’t already decided). Postgraduate Study Do you feel like you still want to learn more? Then look no further than a Postgraduate course. The University of Lincoln offers a massive range of both Postgraduate courses for any undergraduate looking to take their studies to the next level. It’s not just about going through the whole process of a normal degree however, as PG courses tend to last for another one or two years with a focus on enhancing your knowledge or improving your research. The great thing about this route is that you can choose between two different types of courses. One being a taught course, wherein you will be attending lectures and workshops. The second are research based which follows a path similar to your dissertation where you will conduct a research project under the guidance of supervisors. If you want to have a look at the many courses available, be sure to visit the university’s website. Graduate Schemes Maybe it’s time to bring your student career to an end and step into the wide world of employment, but, you don’t want to dive in headfirst. This is exactly where graduate schemes come in. Mostly offered by the big businesses in fields like finance, retail management or communications, although certainly not limited to these subjects, graduate schemes provide recent university leavers with the opportunity to ‘learn on the job’. They can last from three months to three years depending on the contract, but they are certainly a valuable experience for anyone looking to have a taste of life in the business. There are many graduate scheme search sites online so you won’t be struggling to find options. You can also look at company sites as well if you have something specific in mind. The University of Lincoln also has a Careers & Employability Centre located on the ground floor of the university library open 9 am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday where you can stop by and ask the team any careers queries you might have, including help with graduate schemes. Part-time and full-time employment Sometimes graduate schemes are simply not the right path, but instead, it’s all about getting into a part or full-time job. As mentioned previously, the university has an amazing Careers Centre so there is never a lack of help available should you need your CV checking or a look over your job application. Most of us have probably been through the daunting process of applying for jobs and doing interviews, but it can feel like a whole different ball game when it comes to a job for your future career, but, don’t be deterred. Three years at university certainly counts for a lot of hard work and dedication to a subject you are interested in. You have plenty of work to show for it, new skills under your belt and a wealth of knowledge to take with you. Don’t sell yourself short and start creating that stellar CV! You can begin your search for vacancies from the universities own Job Shop, or you can utilise the many job sites online, LinkedIn, or company sites to search for your dream role. Gap Years and Travel Likely the most appealing of the options, graduates may find that the time following graduation is perfect for getting out exploring the world. Gap years are never solely exclusive to pre-university and it does not always mean that you are required to spend nine months trekking across the continents. Following a very long couple of decades within education, what better time to take a step back than post-university. It’s not a requirement to fall straight into a career or further learning. There is always the issue of financing travel, since it is difficult to be able to pay for a year off and travel as well. Perhaps a small part-time job would be most beneficial, giving you time to do your own thing and earn at the same time. If you are interested in travelling abroad but want to do it at a cheaper price, have a look at my other article on student travel. As my own time at university comes to a close, I would certainly tell my fellow and future third-years to remember to back up all your work, collect all your contacts and most of all, make sure these last few months are ones to remember because there’s really no place like university. As each of my years of university have come to a close, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on my experiences; you can have a read of my first or second year posts on the blog.