As students we spend so much time thinking about the next course work submission, or revising for the next exam that we often forget what it is we are actually working towards…
It’s a seriously daunting thought isn’t it? For the past three years it feels as though many of us have just been fumbling around, bumping into things and occasionally handing in the odd assignment but now push has really come to shove and the daunting feeling of almost finishing university is drawing ever closer.
So “what happens next?” is the main question, “where do I go from here?” follows shortly after.
Upon beginning university many students always had the attitude of ‘I’ve got three years to worry about that’ and just carried on with living the student life, but now that it’s almost over a sense of regret washes over De Montfort University’s campus with many wishing they would have spent more time preparing for ‘real’ adult life.
But don’t worry, it’s never too late! You embarked on an adventure and it doesn’t have to end simply because university is ending – in fact, this is where the real adventure begins.
If you haven’t already decided upon your next steps, for example, a master’s degree or postgraduate study, then there are many things you can do to keep your life in order and use the degree you have worked so hard for.
Creating a personal portfolio of work is a great example of this, gathering together pieces of work you have done either for assignments or just for personal reasons is a great way to showcase your abilities and provides potential employers with enough evidence of your skills that could land you that ‘dream job’.
It’s important to always stay connected, sometimes it not about what you know, but who you know and many connections you have made during your time at university could help you out even after graduation. Ensure that you are constantly networking, meeting new people and applying for all job opportunities in your preferred field of work. It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even though after three years of study you may feel like an expert, learning only really begins once you are out on your own – don’t expect to walk straight in to the perfect job, most of the time you will start at the bottom and work your way up.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t succeed the first time. After graduation you may feel as though you are bashing your head against a rock trying to get job interviews and paid commissions. In the early days there is no shame in working for free, because you will still be getting something from it – exposure. However don’t fall in to the trap of doing too much free work for nothing, you are just as qualified as everyone else and should be paid for it.
But most importantly, always remember who you were before you started university, who you were during and who you want to be now it is all over because life begins at graduation.