The Graduand pt. 1

People warn you about the post-uni blues. As the term comes to an end you start to stuff the days with last minute meet-ups, spontaneous daytrips and leftover parties to try and dim that looming image of you sat amongst your bags in your childhood room muttering 'well that's that then'. It's not that I thought I was immune to disappointment but I believed myself better equipped to combat it. I am, after all, no longer staring into a prolonged abyss, just a temporary one. 

It's not just the deflated feeling that grates but everything else that comes with it. No one tells you how poor you will be when you finish university and how impossible it feels to find a job that will tie you over until the next chapter. Despite your oh-so-shiny degree and a plethora of kitchen, waiting, bar and childcare experience, it appears that you are completely unemployable. Everyone comments on how tired you look, how you should rest, go on holiday, recover from the slog of final year. But your bank balance just won't play ball and so you have to content yourself with following the intermittent sunshine with a camping chair in the exotic suburbs of Bracknell Forest (I have managed to get a little bit of a tan!) 

They also don't tell you how time seems to stand still and yet race forward simultaneously. Kids whose nappies you used to change are starting secondary school and the friends you grew up with are busy reproducing, getting married and calling their girlfriends/boyfriends 'partners'. It's not that you feel older, just ageless. You look at the teenagers and feel disconnected rather than wiser. Your peers and other adults seem so grown-up and sorted. You are floundering, a big child, a young adult, not a girl, not yet a woman. Everything makes you cry, simple things are good news. There's nothing to do but read and exercise and spend 9-5 on the computer looking for jobs and sprucing up your CV. You feel like your parents' guardian because they come home from a busy day to you cooking dinner and doing the housework and yet you still rely on them for the train fare up to London. It's a topsy turvy time, it's frustrating and humiliating, but it's important. If anything can sand down the arrogant edges of your character and the sense of entitlement that comes with getting a degree, it's the graduand existence. This time is defining, it's the space where all the learning, all the life experience and all the memories of the last four years start to consolidate and become useful. It's how you use the empty days that speaks the volumes of character. It's what you do when you realise that you are not actually as important, significant and necessary as you thought you were. How we deal with the weight of the millennial predicament when it is felt in its entirety will ultimately decide our collective future. Let's not despair.


  1. Aw man, I am graduating next year and scared shitless because of this.
    Studying film and media does not really help because it makes finding a job even harder.
    "Let's not despair".

  2. I feel for you, post uni is scary and overwhelming. I graduated and went straight back into uni to do a postgrad because I knew I wouldn't get a job otherwise. Keep your head up, everything happens for a reason and always at the most surprising of times. We have to be pulled back in order to go forwards!
    Nina from little nomad