Illustrated by Abigail Dannatt

How to Figure out What’s Next

Graduating from university marks a significant milestone in a person’s life. It’s a moment of pride, accomplishment, and anticipation for…

Graduating from university marks a significant milestone in a person’s life. It’s a moment of pride, accomplishment, and anticipation for what lies ahead. However, as the graduation cap is tossed into the air and the celebrations subside, many graduates are left wondering, “What’s next?”. Deciding what to do after university can be both exciting and daunting, but with a thoughtful approach and self-reflection, you can begin to navigate this transition with confidence.

Self-Assessment

The first step in determining your path after graduation is self-assessment. Reflect on your interests, passions, and values. What subjects did you enjoy studying the most? What activities bring you joy and fulfilment? What modules were most enjoyable? The goal is to try and identify your strengths and areas where you excel. Consider how these elements align with potential career options or further education. Taking the time to understand yourself better will help you make informed decisions and choose a path that resonates with your true aspirations.

Research

Research and exploration are essential components of discovering post-graduation opportunities. Take advantage of the universities career counselling services found in the library, online resources, and networking opportunities to gain insights into various industries, job roles, and educational pathways. Attend career fairs, informational interviews, and alumni events to connect with professionals who can share their experiences and offer guidance. Engage in internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs related to your fields of interest to gain practical exposure and determine if a particular career path aligns with your expectations.

Embrace Lifelong Learning

Embrace the concept of lifelong learning. Your journey doesn’t end with a university degree; it’s merely a foundation upon which you can build your future goals. Explore the possibilities of further education, such as postgraduate studies or specialized certifications, to enhance your skills and open doors to new opportunities. Additionally, seek continuous growth through personal development, reading, attending seminars, and joining professional organizations. Stay adaptable and open-minded, as your interests and goals may evolve over time. Remember, the key is to remain proactive, curious, and resilient as you carve your own path in the post-university world. The university provides various alumni events which are perfect ways to stay engaged with academia even if you are no longer a student.

Embracing the unknown

As you embark on a new journey after graduation, it is important to remember that success is not always linear or immediate. Be patient with yourself and embrace the process of exploration and self-discovery. It’s okay to take detours, try new things, and make adjustments along the way. Stay connected with lecturers, friends, and fellow graduates who can provide support and share their own experiences. Trust that each step you take, even if it feels uncertain at times, is an opportunity for growth and a stepping stone towards something meaningful and fulfilling in the future. Embrace the unknown with enthusiasm, stay resilient in the face of challenges, and trust in your ability to navigate this exciting phase of life. You have already done so well and got so far, so you should not place too much pressure on yourself even if it feels hard at times.

Graduating from university is an exciting transition that brings with it many possibilities. By engaging in self-assessment, conducting thorough research, and embracing lifelong learning as well as the unknown, you can confidently navigate the choices that lie ahead. Trust yourself, be open to new experiences, and remember that the journey after graduation is a chance to discover your passions and pursue a fulfilling and purposeful life.

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