So after a whirlwind three years at uni consisting of grotty, mouse-ridden student houses, drunken escapades, and the blood, sweat and tears shed in the library (aka my second home)…I have officially graduated. I must admit it was a struggle coming to terms with the fact that uni is no longer. Kaput. Finito. It flew by, and to be honest, I feel like I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye. Those crazy three years all boiled down to two little numbers on a certificate (2:1- thankgod) and not forgetting the sheer terror of walking up the steps to the stage at my graduation ceremony in ridiculously painful heels, (I had, prior to this, warned my Mum that she may have to witness me go up bare-foot) petrified that I would trip at any point in front of hundreds of watchful faces.
My friend aptly- albeit rather morbidly- compared graduation to that of a funeral- the tragic end of uni. I will admit, that’s a little over dramatic even for me, and graduation was in fact a lovely day, but the comparison was rather fitting at the time for our post-uni-depression-slump. The only mishap that did in fact occur that day is when I threw my hat up for that classic ‘hat-in-the-air-photo’ and instead of gracefully catching it, it hit the poor and unsuspecting man behind me bang smack on the head…
Anyway, I digress.
The reality of grad life soon sinks in. The independence you thought you had at uni is abruptly and cruelly snatched from you as you move back home and you realise you were not in fact as independent as you first thought and you are poor, oh so very poor. You must now inform your parents where you are going every time you go out, you are refused entry into the kitchen to prove that you could actually cook at uni, it is now unacceptable to sleep in past 10am, the (un)tidiness of my room apparently affects and also offends everyone in the house, and you are told on a regular basis that ‘you quite frankly treat this place like a hotel’. Well, if it’s a hotel I’ve moved into, where on earth is my room service?! (Joking, Mum).
The list goes on.
Grad life is also a suitable time to kiss goodbye to trips to Sainsbury’s in your PJs and last night’s makeup (only acceptable when the rest of the shoppers are also non-judgmental students), and it is now the time to don a suit and heels and be that independent, successful businesswoman you were destined to be.
But first, to find a job…
If only things were as easy as back in school when you decided that you would be an astronaut or a ballerina when you grew up and you stuck to it.
The question ‘So what are you doing now you’ve finished uni?’ crops up so much that I have mastered my response to a T, even managing to smile to cover up the genuine fear of the unknown that lies ahead. (Although the urge to burst into tears to the next person that asks me, just so I can witness their reaction, is slightly tempting).
So that’s it- grad life in a nutshell. A confusing limbo-like stage of your life, where the big-wide-world seems like a daunting place, you have no idea what awaits you, but you’re hoping it’s something pretty damn good. I hope that when I’m living the good life and sipping champagne somewhere, I’ll look back and laugh at how worried I was.