Leaving Uni Is Hard, But Here’s Why You Should Be Happy About It
Saying goodbye to uni is the worst, but there are so many reasons to be excited about graduate life. Here are seven of them.
1. You’ve officially survived three, or more, years of uni.
For many students, the years they spend at uni are some of the best of their lives so far – you get to live with your friends, go out loads, work out just how many takeaways one person can eat in a week and also learn some cool stuff. And that can definitely be hard to say goodbye to. But uni is also really tough. You have to move away from home, learn to be independent and push yourself through all-nighters to meet seemingly endless deadlines. Uni definitely pushes you and there were probably times when you felt like you just couldn’t get an essay done or that you weren’t doing well. But you’ve graduated now. You did it. And that is definitely something to be proud of.
2. You’ll remember your graduation forever.
Graduation is kind of a weird day. It can seem unnecessarily formal, there’s loads to sort out, you make small talk with your friends’ relatives and you have to wear a robe that doesn’t fit anyone. You probably spent a lot of the day just worrying your cap was going to fall off, or worse, that you’d fall on stage. But it’s also pretty special. I wasn’t that bothered about my graduation and I got bored of all the queuing by the time I was in the ceremony – but once I was actually sat there, loudly cheering as I watched my friends collecting their degrees, I was so glad I went. Even if your hands hurt from all the clapping and it felt like your moment on stage lasted 5 seconds (because it literally did), it’ll always be something you appreciate having experienced.
3. Now you get to move on to new things.
You can live somewhere different, make new friends, try out different career paths and just generally experience things you didn’t at uni. If you did that thing in Freshers Week’ where you were overwhelmed by choice and joined loads of societies that all sounded amazing, and then only realistically had time to properly do one of them – now you have the opportunity to pick up and try those things you didn’t get a chance to do at uni. Maybe you didn’t find quite find your people or your ‘thing’ at uni – you’ve now got the whole world to explore (money permitting…) to find exactly what it is that makes you happy.
4. And you can properly figure out what you want, and what’s important to you.
For a lot of students, uni is a whirlwind of panicked scrambling around deadline time and being drunk and then hungover and then drunk again. That doesn’t leave loads of time for figuring your shit out. Graduate life isn’t any less busy, but it is a chance to properly work things out. And the more you experience things, the more you’ll know – any job you have that you don’t like teaches you a bit about what you really want and gets you closer to finding the job you love, for example.
5. But you also get to take a lot away from uni with you.
Your time at uni is over, yeah, but the friendships and memories you’ve made there aren’t. One of the speakers at my graduation talked about how your graduation isn’t an end, it’s a continuation of what you’ve been doing for the last three years. It seems almost a clichéd thing to say, but there’s some truth in it. It’s really easy to see uni as this three year bubble of amazing times that end and then you just have to start all over again. And to some extent being a graduate is all about new experiences, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang onto some of the things that made uni great. So keep in touch with your best uni friends, keep practising that hobby you picked up from joining a society and remember you’re the same person you were a couple of months ago when you handed in your last essay.
6. Being a graduate is difficult.
And that’s good, to some extent anyway. When you first got to uni things were probably pretty hard too – whether you were homesick, low on money, didn’t make friends right away or didn’t adjust easily to the way work is marked at uni. But that didn’t stop you ultimately succeeding and graduating. Struggling to get a job or having to live with your parents for longer than you hoped is in no way fun, but life would probably be a lot less fulfilling if it literally never challenged you.
7. And who knows what’s next?
This is simultaneously one of the best and worst things about graduating. You have to make so many decisions as a recent graduate: where do you want to be? What do you want to do? What are your goals? And HOW are you going to make them happen? Scary. But, also, very exciting and freeing – if you think of it that way. The fact that there’s probably no set path or plan for what you do next means you’re free to work it out for yourself. Make it up as you go along if you want – everyone else probably is, even ‘real’ adults who graduated long before you. The great thing about graduating is that there are now just even more possibilities than there were a few months ago when you were committed to uni. Not knowing what happens next is part of the fun.