Not having your life together after uni is okay

Summer is quickly approaching, and for many third year and postgraduate students this means the worries of finding a job, picking a career, and sorting your life out. Until recently, I was stuck in a loop of worrying about getting a job, how I’d manage it, and deciding what I want to do with the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I looked at the career paths of those closest to me that I realised I don’t have to have everything figured out straight away.  

Should I do my master’s straight after finishing my undergrad? 

Many students will feel like they must jump straight into a postgrad degree after graduation, however it can be a good idea to take a step back and do something else for a year. This could be finding a ‘filler’ job to work in and earn some money (maybe to help get out of your overdraft!), or even travelling for a year. By doing this you’re allowing yourself time away from education to really consider what you’d like to do your masters in, and whether you’d like to study it full or part time. It also gives you the chance to gain experience in a work environment if your CV is a little sparce, many companies in Lincoln regularly hire graduates and you can search for roles in Lincolnshire or closer to home using the Universities Careers website.  

What if I’m not sure I want to continue education? 

This is something I used to worry about a lot – what if I decide I’m done with education but still have no plan? Truth is, that’s how a lot of people feel at graduation. You’ve been learning since you were about four years old, you’re now in your twenties and ready to take a break. The good thing is your degree isn’t going away! If you take a few years out and then change your mind, you can always come back and do your master’s degree then. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you take some time to work and decide you really don’t want to re-enter education, then you’re already on your way to making a career for yourself.  

Will I ever be too old to come back to uni?  

To put it simply, nope! I’ll use my family as an example here. My sister didn’t study for her postgraduate degree until 2 years after graduating from her undergrad, and my mum has just started her path onto becoming a university student!  

So why am I worrying? 

Society and social media pressures us to have everything figured out, but even if we had a set plan for how we wanted our life and career to go, I could almost guarantee that it wouldn’t happen exactly how you want it to. If you need some extra help and guidance, speak to the lovely people at the careers centre in the library, they’ll be more than happy to talk you through your options after university and help you with your CV and applying for jobs. 

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