As third year students are approaching their final deadlines, a new poll has shown that three quarters of students are scared about graduating. Quays News reporter Niamh Shackleton has some advice to help you through the final months.
With final deadlines just around the corner for many third year university students, it will be slowly sinking in how the big wide world is soon going to have to be faced. The prospect of getting a full-time job, paying your own bills and having to be an ‘adult’ can be extremely daunting, it’s easy to see why people are scared about graduating.
The idea of working your backside off for three years for you to end up working in your local pub in Blackpool can be soul destroying when you have a first class degree in Geography under your belt. Living in a society where you’re taught to aim high, anything other than those expectations will feel like a disappointment. In 2015, only 55.8% of the young population graduates ended up in a high skilled job with 30.8% being in a medium/low skill job.
What can you do to make yourself more employable?:
Firstly, start making your connections as soon as possible – don’t wait until you graduate. LinkedIn will become your best friend, so make sure your profile is kept up to date and you keep making those connections.
“I’m a bit nervous of what happens if I don’t get the job I want. I haven’t thought of a plan B and bills don’t wait for that!” – third year psychology and counselling student, Andrew
Secondly, bag as much work experience as possible. Whether it’s a day or a month, every little will help on your CV. Can’t see any availability at the moment? E-mail them! If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Also, just because some work experience may not be relevant to the job you’re applying to doesn’t mean you should take it off – leave it on there as it will show how you may have learnt additional skills.
Thirdly, write a kick-ass covering letter. Read up as much as you can about the company and if there is a number to call, ring and ask what the job entails so you can tailor your covering letter perfectly to what they’re asking for.
“I’m genuinely scared of settling; of finding a financially stable job that isn’t related to my media degree and spending the rest of my life in a different industry because I got too comfortable having a regular income rather than taking risks.” – Third year media student, Cat
Having to become an ‘adult’:
Another issue that all students don’t want to face – being an adult. No more waking up at 3pm or watching Netflix in bed all day. It won’t be long until you’re having to schedule meet ups with your friends two months in advance because you’re both so busy and you’ll be turning down nights out so you can pay your electric bill this month.
Students are used to being reckless and having no responsibility, so suddenly going into a world where it’s not acceptable to go to work in pyjamas off two hours sleep is going to be a tough one.
“Finishing uni is very daunting, you officially have to lead a lifestyle that will support yourself. You no longer have the cushion of student loans and although university is a learning curve, I feel like finishing uni will be the biggest learning curve of my life. It’s scary because there’s no going back!” – third year journalism student, Faye
The mental toll on graduate student:
Some graduate students face mental health issues when graduating university due to feeling so overwhelmed. According to sciencemag.org about 60% of graduate students said that they felt overwhelmed, exhausted, hopeless, sad, or depressed nearly all the time, which is a worryingly high number.
“My main worry is the expectations on leaving. If I don’t get the job in the field I want then I’ll feel like I’ve failed for the first time in my life.” – third year professional sound and video technology student, Maddy
One study found the main causes for depression in graduate students was due to financial difficulties, isolation, uncertain career prospects, chronic failures and poor work-life balance. Some struggle with the lack of support given by universities once they have left as well. If you’re a current student or graduate student struggling with mental health, click here for some support through the difficult times.
For further assistance on a wider range of topics, go to Save The Graduate’s website where you’ll find lots of help and advice on careers, money, postgraduate studies and so on.