Throughout school life, especially towards the end, you are told university is the be all and end all. Once you step over that education bridge, that is your life sorted. Ok. So university does present more opportunities, in the grand scheme of things. And university is good fun. It can be in a plethora of ways. New friendships. Independence. Security. Something to focus on. If you take away mental health issues that a lot of students suffer. But no one talks about what happens after uni? No one talks about the fact that your mental health can deplete even more so. That university isn’t the end of your worries. The strong feelings of no purpose. The overpowering sense of being lost. The sudden realisation that it is going to be incredibly hard to find a job, and now where can you place yourself on that career path? We are wrapped up in safety blankets for most of our academic journeys, and although university almost leaves you to your own devices, it still holds that support network for students to absorb, maybe ignorantly and naively.
Post-University Depression is a thing. and in this day and age, where it is almost impossible to afford a mortgage, get on the property ladder, and where we will be retiring at an older age, life can be a little bit daunting. In your final year of your degree, you finish the strenuous haul of writing, researching, sweating, crying, fighting tiredness and eventually your dissertation is all handed in. You then have that long, anxious wait to find out if you have passed or not. You passed? Great. Now what?
Searching for jobs is difficult. It always has been in this modern world we know now. But out of thousands of applications, only a small percentage acknowledge and respond. It is off-putting and disheartening, and then you realise you have to apply for jobs that you could have done without the degree, and then you question, what was that 9 grand a year for?
More support is needed for post-graduates to ensure we all still have a purpose and a chance to progress in whatever we want to do, and a thorougher understanding between employers is vital. Because after the curtain is drawn, the graduation parties have come to an end, and the celebratory glasses of prossecco are drunk, what’s left? Not only a bitter taste in the mouth, but a bitter view on the world. And it shouldn’t be like that, because 1. you have been through tough times, you can get through these hurdles and setbacks, and 2. the world is only becoming more accessible for us to leave our mark on. We need to remember to support our peers, they are going through the same purgatory-like situation. You aren’t alone. Let’s get out there and do it.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.