Next month marks an entire year since I graduated university. That day I honestly believed I would be stepping forwards into a hopeful and promising year of opportunity, learning and fun.
In the spirit of full disclosure and transparency, I was wrong.
This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. Getting a job, any job not even graduate positions, proved harder than my optimistic self expected. I have not seen my university pals as often as I would want; they each have their own lives, jobs, successes and hardships to navigate. As a result I have spent the last year feeling frequently useless and alone.
(I have written about this before, see here! (the last time I updated, oops), but here are the details and the update since.)
Back in August or so last year I signed onto JSA and had to log thirty-five hours a week of proactive job seeking activity and attend a weekly meeting with a work coach. While my coach managed to always have a positive spin on things, the whole experience and constant application rejection application rejection knocked all my confidence and had a big impact on my mental health.
By October I was not in a good place.
When I wasn’t reading through rejection emails or attending a compulsory customer service course plus unpaid manual labour “experience” through the job centre I was hiding in my bedroom, compulsively reading through the endless Facebook status updates of everyone else’s success.
Eventually I managed to get a Christmas job at M&S and was kept on in the New Year. This could not have come at a better time as it gave me some sort of purpose and reason to get up and out each day, as well as the wonderful women I worked with having such pearls of wisdom and hilarious stories to tell. Since my contract there ended in April, I have in all honesty hit another lull.
I am yet to work out my true niche in life.
Having always been the girl who knew what she was aiming for, since graduation I have walked through fog never knowing exactly which direction I’m facing. But there are more of us out there than we realise.
So I ask for your patience and understanding.
On the positive side of things, I do have an unconditional Masters place for September and a mini-internship at a social marketing company (yay), so I am at least moving forwards.
Are you struggling with life after graduation too? Give me a shout with your tips and tricks for those bad days on my Twitter!