You have worked hard for 3 years, coped with the pressure of deadlines, exams, living frugally and now you have come to the end. The last few weeks have been amazing, you have celebrated the end, graduated and said your goodbyes. But now, there is an anticlimax, a sense of feeling lost. Some of your friends have already got a job, or have plans, but you don’t. You feel in limbo.
For many of us, life straight after uni is very disappointing. School prepares us for college and college prepares us for university but University doesn’t prepare us for what happens when it finishes. We are told by the media and by schools and parents that we are more likely to get a good job with a degree but the reality is that we may have to start by doing temporary or low grade jobs with little money. We might have to move home again and we will be without our friends because they have moved away. In 2014, Higher Education Statistics stated that 18,000 graduates were unemployed after 6 months from finishing university. Totaljobs statistics showed that 40% of graduates were still job hunting 6 months after graduating. It is therefore common to be in this position and not where you want to be in life (why not have a look at another blog I wrote about careers, here).
So what do you do? Below are some tips to help you cope with this state of limbo and ways you can push on forward.
1. There is no shame in being in limbo.
You may have friends and family telling you how other people are doing so well, but I wonder what the truth actually is, and I wonder if it has been as easy for them as they’ve said it has been. Taking time out, accepting that you might not be in the job you want to be for a while can really help your emotional well-being. Finding out what you want, what makes you feel passionate is very important.
2. Do not Compare and Despair
One of the things that affects our moods, is comparing ourselves to others and thinking we’re not matching up. If you catch yourself doing that, notice it and try and try and think what would be a more balanced and helpful way of looking at it?
3. Be aware of your language- Shoulds and musts
The language we use can affect our moods. Negative language such as shoulds and musts puts pressure on ourselves to succeed. This stifles our creative side and ability to problem solve. If we took the pressure off ourselves, who knows what might happen next, things could really start to take off.
4. There is no catastrophe waiting to happen
If we think the worst about what can happen (Eg: I’m never going to leave home, get a job that I like, I’m never going to be successful) then our mood will go down. Increasing the things we enjoy in our lives and making small achievable steps forward can help us to feel more in control. This might not be an easy thing to do and there maybe many hurdles or blocks in the way but if you keep your values in mind, it will work well in the end.
Sometimes, it can feel so tough to move forward, especially if we feel as though we’re the only one fighting this battle, without any support. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can offer support to move forward, make the change but with the emphasis on your perspectives, emotions and experiences. It’s good to have someone who is there walking with you and helping you to move on and who helps you to focus on your values, interests and goals. If you would like to find out more about how cbt can help you move on after uni, why not give me a call today on 0161 8831156 or make an enquiry through this website.