Wednesday 9 March 2016

Life After University | #SpeakUp

I personally think one of the biggest topics that affect young people's life's today is education! Whether that be school, college, uni or life after uni! I am currently at college but my experience with college is anything but simple. I am currently looking at doing three years at college, after a course change for my second year. Univeristy scares me! Not going to lie! However, one friend of mine who has been through uni and nearly got to the other side is David. For this installment of  #SpeakUp, David is going to be talking about life after university and reassuring you, it's not actually scary as you may think! No matter what stage of you education you are currently at, the possibility of going to university is a massive part of your life! I hope you all enjoy!

Hello, I'm David and I'll be taking this week's #speakup post!

I wanted to write about post-education life today, be that college or university, as it's something that is majorly affecting my life lately! I am coming to the end of my three years at university studying law, and now the big wide world is open to me!

But my perspective on this 'next adventure' has completely changed to what it was just a few years ago. For example, whilst in college, and applying through UCAS, I believed at that point I needed to know what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Now a few years later, I can positively say, you do not need to know what you're going to do.

You don't need to worry

Here I am, coming to the end of a law degree and realising that my passions may lie elsewhere!

You're not alone, so many people don't know, and we all get through life. You'd be surprised by the amount of people graduating soon who don't know exactly what they're going to do, it's more than common.

Also, remember there is no such thing as a 'forever job'. There's no way of knowing if any job, or path, will be the one you follow forever! There's a strong chance it won't be, and many people find it undesirable to have their entire life path set at around 20, and I don't blame them!

There are many pathways open to people coming out of education, here's a short overview of some open to you:

Further education

Whether this is degree level, or after that, it's always an option. There's never a time in your life where you can't learn more! You could continue something you're already studying, or do something different altogether! As a law student, I know a lot of people intending to continue their education to start their path towards becoming solicitors and barristers.

Gap Year

Many people take a gap year after college, and use it to travel, work, or just find out what they want to do at university! I have friends who have done all three of these things and none regrets their year away from education. At the end of the day, it's not a race to get to wherever you're going.

People worry about being too old, or being behind, but at university, it becomes obvious that age is 'but a number'. Your friend group will consist of people of various ages, and you'll forget that you all aren't the same 'school year', because that doesn't exist anymore! But of course, I somehow ended up the baby of the friend group still. I always seem to somehow be the youngest one, even if is only by 8 days!

Likewise, you can do this after university, or whenever you want. Employers state that a gap year will never affect your employability, and could actually up your chances of getting a job with them as you could have done something amazing in this time! Personality and experiences outside of education are surprisingly important. Many graduate positions don't specify what degree you need, nor what classification of degree is required, they base it almost entirely off of who you are! It's just as important to build yourself up as your education!

However, you can mix gap year plans into whatever you're doing now! I'm going to travel around Japan for almost 4 weeks over my Easter break. I'm barely missing any uni and working all the time now so that I won't fall behind. It's tough but doable!

Jobs Jobs Jobs

Ah, the scary world of the job market. I am looking for jobs at the minute, and it's completely different to what I would have imagined it's like! There's a surprising amount of googling involved and discovering what buzz words link to your desired career path.

Getting a job can be the start of your intended career, or it can be just a 'job'. It can be a stepping stone to something else, or it can be the thing you want to be doing for the rest of your life. What it is, is up to you!

Graduate Schemes

This links into both further education, and jobs. Graduate schemes can involve working whilst also working towards a further qualification! Or it could be a job that is specifically aimed at graduates, such as a job where you work in various departments of a firm to get a flavour for all of the different types of work which goes on there! And often at the end of this period, you can get a job in one of this specific departments! Or move onto something else having gained a huge amount of valuable experience, doing this will definitely make you stand out from the crowd!

Other Options

The world is a huge place, the options are endless. If you're in a good position where you are only responsible for yourself, you can literally do anything you want. Anything on Earth!

Make sure to stay motivated. It's easy to feel unmotivated when you're facing a tough decision, as well as a tough challenge. Life isn't easy! One simple way I've managed to keep myself motivated is by utilising the pin board above my desk, and filling it with some postcards to do with myself, as cheesy as that sounds.

One of my main goals in life is to travel and to move to London. Partly because I absolutely love London, partly because the career path I wish to follow is most likely going to lead me to London.

These are just a little daily reminder for myself!

So to conclude:

I was so terrified of making a mistake. The other week I had a huge chat with my mum about how I have been so afraid that if I choose one path, I'll never be able to choose another one. I was afraid I'd lose my opportunity to travel the world by committing to a full-time job. Or that by travelling, I would end up living in my hometown for a long time whilst I sort all this out, which is something I desperately don't want.

But if you make a mistake, you just...change it!! It sounds so simple, but it's true. If the path you choose isn't for you, then change it. There's nothing stopping you! Everyone's path is probably going to change a hundred times throughout life, think about all of the people who ended up falling into their career path by chance. They have most definitely been through all of this.

Relax a little. It isn't as bad as you think it's going to be. Sure you'll have a panic and eat an entire packet of bourbons in one sitting as you realise your life is effectively over at 20, but then something will happen and you realise life is gonna be great. Also no more homework and exams. Most likely anyway. I can't wait for the next step in my life!

It's sad to leave all of this behind, but the time has come, and it's time for me to find out what I'm going to do next!

Every week join in the #speakup chat on Twitter between 8-9pm GMT! I hope to see you there! You can find me over at and on Twitter and Instagram @daveygranger !

A huge thank you to Nicole for letting me guest post for the #speakup series! This project can help us all out, so I'm so grateful to be a part of something positive and moving!

Thank you very much to David, for writing such a helpful post! I am sure it is going to help so many people out now but also in the future, including myself! Like David said the #SpeakUp chat will be happening on Thursday between 8-9pm and will be discussing all things education, uni, and future aspirations! So even if you aren't at uni, there is still going to be something for everyone!

If you would like to contribute to the #SpeakUp series by writing your own guest post on a topic you think affects young people's health and wellbeing, that you have been through. You can find out more details HERE or drop me an email at and I will get back to you as soon as possible! 

Thank you for reading, as always x 

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