Five Thoughts I've Had Since Graduating

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This July, I graduated with a degree in English Literature and, after three long years of studying, I was really bloomin' happy about it! As well as just being proud of my achievement, I was also totally convinced that graduation was the start of getting my life in order so, naturally, I was really excited about it. My graduation day was amazing and I had the best time, but since handing back my gown, picking up my certificate and settling into post-graduation life, I've noticed myself having a few graduation related thoughts. So, here's a little insight into some of the thoughts and feelings I've been having since stepping on stage to collect my degree.

Wow, everyone is suddenly really interested in my life plan. In the modern world, it seems to be a pretty common theme that everyone is supposed to have everything figured out from a really young age. Whether it's choosing your GCSE's, sitting your A-Levels, going to uni or applying to graduate jobs, we're constantly taught to be thinking of (and worrying about) the next big thing. So, since graduating, I've been hit by a bombardment of "what next?!" questions that, at first, really started to kill my excitement about graduating. But, after a few weeks of continually reminding myself that I actually only need a right now plan instead of a 25 year point-by-point plan, I'm finding it a lot easier to deal with all the life enquiries.

I actually really enjoy learning. When you're rush-reading three books a week, cramming in as much dissertation research as possible and trying to balance work with a uni schedule, it's easy to resent the concept of learning. But since graduation, I've been feeling a lot of nostalgia about the fact that I'll (probably) never find myself in a formal learning scenario again. No longer being constrained by a lecture schedule has both enabled me to re-discover my love of reading and also prompted me to start learning things of my own accord. Whether through research, reading, YouTube or (most frequently) podcasts, I've been loving the opportunity to expand my knowledge by learning about things that really interest me and this freedom of learning has 100% reminded me just how much I love to find out new things and learn, whether I'm in a classroom or not!

I never need to stationery shop again (and I'm not sure I'm okay with that). Without a doubt, my favourite part of academia is the annual Paperchase splurge to stock up on beautiful, but largely unnecessary, stationery items for the school year. With no classes to go to or lecture notes to perfect, this September has been the first in at least 10 years in which I abstained from stationery shopping and, let me tell you, convincing myself that, as an adult, I don't need 10 pretty notebooks and a highlighter to match every shade under the sun, was a very bitter pill to swallow. But, I am currently in the process of reviving my neglected bullet journal and, to be totally honest, the reason for this revival is about 20% motivated by productivity and 80% motivated by how much I love stationery.

I wish Hogwarts was real because wearing a gown is fun! Okay, yes, I am a 21 year old adult and yes, I do have a full time job in the real world but those few hours spent swishing around in a billowing graduation gown were some of the best of my life. And, for a second (or two) I was definitely transported back to my 11-year old dream of attending Hogwarts because let's be real, being able to swish around in a fancy gown at school every day would be pretty fun.

So, this is it?! For the past three years, my primary goal has been graduating so, when my graduation day finally rolled around, you'd better believe I was excited! But, while my graduation day was really great, it definitely wasn't the transformative experience I expected it to be. I think that because we're all driven towards an academic future from an early age, it can seem like the be all and end all, but since graduating, I've realised that that's definitely not the case. Those post-graduation weeks definitely felt a little underwhelming because, well, nothing, aside from my CV, changed - whatsoever!

So, those are just a few of the thoughts that have been popping into my brain since graduation - can any fellow graduates relate?!

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