So this post is er, a little bit delayed. I’ve been out of uni 4 years now. That’s longer than I was at uni, so that’s utterly terrifying and a bit traumatising on several levels. It also makes me immensely nostalgic for drunken Monday nights, dinners of frozen Yorkshire puddings and hungover meetings at McDonalds in pyjamas. Anyway, since it’s a bit late, let’s call it reflective. The first three years after graduating I did learn A LOT, despite that phase of being completely depressed and massively in fear of the adult working world.(If you’ve just finished uni and you’re like WAHHH WTF AHHH, don’t worry, it DOES get better.)
1) You don’t need a plan for everything. Sometimes just letting things happen is the best possible option.
2) HOWEVER a complete lack of planning can mean disaster, so I guess the lesson is to know when you need to prepare and do it well. Something to take with you into every year of your life for the rest of forever.
3) Putting effort into achieving something you want is the only way to really achieve it. You might feel like some people just fall upon good fortune and kid yourself into thinking it’ll happen to you, but that’s rarely the case.
4) Starting work and going through big periods of change really highlights which friends you will carry with you to the next stage of your life, and which you were probably never destined to keep forever.
5) Responsibility changes from being really terrifying and overwhelming to a natural way of life and you just deal with it. You deal with it because you have to or because you want to, but 9 times out 10 you get things done. Well done you.
6) You realise that you can cope under immense amounts of stress and you look back on the dramas of your teenage years and very early twenties and wonder what the hell you were thinking. Boys. WKDs. Saturday job feuds. What even was that?
7) You enter into a new phase with your relationship with money. You go from not really having any because you’re a student but not really caring because life is mostly Harry Potter and drinking cocktails out of saucepans, to having some and watching it vanish because you’re an adult now and this is life. It gets easier though. So when you’re hyperventilating at a cash machine try to remember that eventually things will improve. And stay away from the Top Shop sale.
8) You start analysing people in a whole new way. I don’t know if it’s just because you’re growing up or because you’ve joined a new world of working and networking and making scary decisions, in fact it’s probably a bit of both, but you start to suss people out differently.
9) You do all you can to hold on to those carefree, hilarious, hazy and crazy years of your life. Which is absolutely what you should do because time goes way too fast and it’s really quite shocking. Like, one minute you’re at graduation pretending your gown is a Hogwarts uniform, the next you’re celebrating being 25 with prosecco but it feels like only 9 days have passed.
10) You broaden your horizons and your way of thinking through mixing with a much wider spectrum of people. You have older work friends, people from the other side of the world, people who inspire you, people who influence you, people you can’t stand. It’s like uni but on a whole different scale.
11) You sometimes catch yourself unawares being all professional and grown up and passing on your wisdom, so you make a mental note to go drink a VK and remind yourself you’re not middle aged. Yet.