Graduating University: One Year On

Nottingham, UK
Technically, it's been a year, four months and 27 days. That's if we're being precise. But we all know that wouldn't be such a good title.

In fact, I wasn't quite sure what to name this post as it's basically just me rambling on about graduating and still figuring out what I want to do with my life.

I was planning on writing this post a bit nearer to the one year mark but I was travelling Asia so I didn't get round to it.

And so here I am, finally sitting down to write about my life post graduation.

graduating university one year on


Graduation day was rather daunting for me. For someone who really doesn't like being the centre of attention and gets very anxious the idea of walking across a stage in front of my peers and their parents was rather scary. 

Luckily, I had been on holiday for the three weeks running up to my graduation so I didn't have too much spare time to sit and worry. Which was an incredibly good thing.

In fact, I had exactly two days between returning from my trip and graduating. I then had less than a week before I headed off to explore India and Sri Lanka. I like to squeeze a lot in.

I had no tan to show off from my holiday but was instead blessed with some very nasty bug bites. It's probably a good thing the gowns are so long. 

The actual walking across the stage part wasn't *quite* as scary as I'd imagined. What I thought would be a cute smile as I walked across did look a bit more like a grimace though. Oh well, I guess that's my concentration face.

I refused to wear my heels across the stage just incase I was that one person who tripped. In hindsight I would of been perfectly fine but it was one less thing to worry about.

Also, you don't actually wear your graduation cap to collect your certificate. Who knew?

Well, I'm sure lots of you but I didn't. So after spending ages with my mum trying to hair grip it in place AND stuffing it with some sponge (yes, sponge) because, even with measuring my head in preparation it was not the right size, I ended up having to take it off anyway. 

I did have a lot of fun throwing it into the air afterward though. Or attempting to do so. It ended up in the bush a few times. 

I know lots of people are so happy to graduate and wave goodbye to university forever but I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye. Even though I'd technically finished university a month earlier graduation was the final goodbye. You've got your certificate to prove it, you've got the money shot, now go and enjoy the real world. 

university a reflection


Except, I haven't quite joined the real world.

I took a gap year.

Maybe I was trying to escape joining the real world but mostly I just had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn't want to jump into a grad job that I was unsure of.

Instead I jumped on a plane to Delhi four days after graduation and spent six weeks exploring India and Sri Lanka. I then had a week at home before getting on another plane to Croatia for five and a half weeks of Interrailing with some university friends.

These trips meant the reality of finishing university and being back at home didn't really hit until after summer had ended.

I came home and felt a bit lost. Being back at home meant I had to be doing something. I needed to find a job and start thinking about my next steps.

I was lucky that I found myself a job in a local coffee shop pretty quickly. While it wasn't amazing pay I actually quite enjoyed it. In fact, I'm now working there again after returning from Asia.

I spent my time working or planning my four month trip to Asia. This trip was another reason for taking a gap year. I had friends who also wanted to do some travelling so it seemed like the perfect time to do so. Maybe, I've put myself behind by having a gap year but I think I would of regretted not going more.

Sometimes I wish I'd got a grad job but on the whole I'm happy with my decision. As cliche as it sounds, I was able to see so much of the world and learn so much about myself in my 'gap year'.

But I'm constantly changing between wanting to get a job that will lead to a career or jumping on a plane and working while I travel.

I'm in limbo.

Technically, my gap year is over and I should be deciding what to do next. And I am but it's completely different to what I thought I'd be thinking about when I graduated university.

But I've come to realise that it's ok not to have a plan. And it's ok to change your plan.

graduating university


Have you recently graduated university? What have you been up to since? 


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