by Clare Evans
If you’re currently in the middle of an “oh my god I’m never going to hit the word count on my dissertation” university stress, this one’s for you.
Being at uni is like being in a bubble of booze, work, and more booze that always feels like it’s *just* about ready to burst at any moment.
SPOLIER ALERT: it doesn’t and you’ll be MORE than fine, trust me.
Having graduated from university in 2011 – that’s SIX whole years ago – I reckon that makes me more than qualified to share some of the life lessons I learned from coming out the other side. I hope this helps gals!
1. Hangovers DON’T get any better. You just get better at hiding them
Remember the days when you’d rock up to a lecture, hungover AF with massive shades and rest your head on the desk? You can’t do that at work. You’ll still feel as rough as you did after Thirsty Thursday – you just get better at pretending you feel fresh. Illuminating primers are the secret to that “I’m fresh, I promise” face.
2. Budgeting is both real (and necessary)
When you graduate, no-one gives you free cash handouts anymore *sob* and you have to start spending your money more wisely. There’s “grown up” things to save for and grad jobs don’t always pay the best. Learn to be good with money at uni (and save while you’re there if you can!) and it’ll be much easier when you leave.
3. Leaving work ‘till the last minute is NEVER a good idea
All-nighters suck at uni and while you might just be able to scrape a pass now, you won’t be so lucky when it comes to work. Letting everything pile up and trying to do it all at the last minute will not only make you look pretty rubbish to your boss, but it’ll also make you super-stressed and cause you to burn out. Master working on projects as they come in at uni – you’ll need to juggle when you get to work!
4. You’ll never have a good answer to “Tell me something interesting about yourself?”
It’s the ice breaker we all have to face at uni and, I hate to break it to you, but you’ll never find a decent answer when you graduate. You’ll be asked in every job interview and team building day from now until the end of time so pick something and stick to it. My default? James from Busted follows me on Twitter. See? It doesn’t *actually* have to be interesting.
5. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and having goals
Ambition is NOT a dirty word. Aim for the stars. Always. It’s what will push you to move on to bigger and better things. Whatever your goals are, keep them in your mind.
6. EVERYONE has a horrible job at some point
Got a lecturer you really don’t like now? You’ll find a boss you like even less! It might be in your first graduate job or it might be later down the line. But at some point you WILL have a crappy job. And that’s not always a bad thing. It helps you find out what you do wanna do for a living and, cliché as it is, it makes you stronger. Remember: If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.
7. The friends you make a university become your BFFs for life
You go through dissertation dramas, falling in – and out of – love, you see each other at your best AND your worst…those friends you spend your university days with really do become your pals for life. Whether you all move to different cities or stay local, you’ll forever be making plans in your WhatsApp group and championing each other as you move on in life.
8. You’ll feel like a grown up, but not a “grown up” grown up
Graduating from university is weird. You’ve officially finished with education so you’re no longer a “student” but you don’t quite feel old enough to be an adult yet. It’s an awkward time – and you thought being 16 was weird – but enjoy it. You’ve got responsibilities now…but you’re still allowed (heck, expected!) to make mistakes along the way.
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