Life After Graduation | Hannah - University of West England, Bristol

By Issy Goode - 20:19

My next graduate is the lovely Hannah who studied Media and Journalism at UWE. Hannah graduated 7 months ago and has since moved back to Nottingham to live with her parents.

How does it feel to be a graduate? 
Okay - I'd probably feel better about it if I were in a job that uses my degree. But I would never change the 3 years of uni I had, they were amazing. 

What’s been the biggest challenge? 
Finding out what I wanted to do next. I kind of went to uni because I thought it was the right thing to do not because I found a course I was passionate about. So coming home was difficult, I had to try and automatically have some kind of plan for my life which was definitely not easy. 

What’s it been like living with your parents, after 3 years away from home? 
It felt nice to be surrounded by my family again. Although, there were some growing pains. I got too used to the freedom of having my own place so there was some adjusting to do. 

What’s the best thing about graduate life? 
Actually having a full time job and earning my own income without having to worry about student fees. 

What about the worst?
Deciding what I wanted to do after uni, and I'm still not sure to be quite honest. 

What’s been your biggest achievement since you graduated? 
I got a promotion at work. I'm officially an Events Supervisor, so, lots of responsibility!

What are your plans for the future? 
I plan to do some travelling, it's the only thing I've ever been sure of. Like many, I went to uni straight away after sixth form, so it would be nice to see some of the world before settling down. 

Is graduate life as you expected? 
Pretty much, life is just a constant blur of work and trying to fit everything else in in-between. 

What did people tell you about graduate life - and has any of it proved to be true? 
That you have to enter the real world now and get a full time job - which is partly true, but I felt more like an adult in Bristol surprisingly - probably because I had my own place. 

If you had the opportunity, would you do university all over again? 
Yes, but I'd make sure I knew exactly what I wanted to do first to make sure I wasn't wasting time or money. 

What’s your social life been like as a graduate in comparison to what it was like at university? 
More difficult. Moving home meant leaving all my friends behind. Some people don't get how hard it really is. I get to see them every few months or so. Home is difficult too, I seem to be working constantly and sometimes struggle to fit a social life in, sometimes I feel like I'm 30 rather than 22.

What would you say are the biggest differences between the first year of university life, and the first year of graduate life? 
Expectations are incredibly different, you go into your first year of uni excited for what is to come, excited to meet new people, to go out and socialise (and get drunk of course). First year of graduate life, on the other hand, is actually quite depressing. There's so much adapting to do and changes to overcome. It's definitely not exciting. 

Do you feel you’ve changed much since you graduated? 
I feel older, more responsible and, sad to say, I feel like I'm not as fun. I feel older than I should. I still have the same dreams of seeing the world before I settle down which is a nice constant and something to look forward to. 

Have you seen your university friends much since you graduated? 
I see them every couple of months. My shifts don't allow for much time to travel down there, it's not that close and I don't drive. So it also depends on me being able to afford the £60 train or bus fare. 

What advice would you give to those soon to be graduates? 
Don't expect a lot. Real life takes some adapting which can take a while. You might not know what you want to do but that's okay. Get a job while you search for the one you really want. It's okay to not know straight away. I didn't, and still don't 7 months on.

How does it feel to be considered an adult? 
I like the responsibility, but sometimes I think back to my uni days and I do miss the fun we used to have. As cliché as it is to say, being an adult is boring. 

Do you feel that going to university was worthwhile? 
I do, it taught me a lot, how to live by myself, be responsible. However, I wish I had picked a different course, I think I would've enjoyed something else more.  

And a final bit of advice from Hannah...

Make some time for yourself after you graduate. You've been constantly busy for 3 years, remember to take a break and enjoy life a bit before you have to be an adult.
*Photo courtesy of Hannah

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