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Grad it's all over - life after graduation

Life after graduation – a new beginning

Emotions at the end of University are mixed: you experience a sense of relief, of satisfaction that exams and the dreaded ‘third year’ are now over and, of course, the end of exams means post-exam parties which last for weeks. However, other emotions start to manifest themselves as you slowly begin to realise that this is indeed the end of your university life, you start to reminisce and think of the good, bad, hard and fun times. The biggest sorrow I had was leaving my friends; especially those with whom I had lived for three years - many of them live in different parts of the country so who knows if I will ever get to see them again, we will certainly not be as close as we were during our University lives.

Looking back at my University life I can see that I have changed from when I first went. I remember arriving at my accommodation and my mamma and papa’ saying goodbye.  I sat down on the bed and thought; ‘what the hell am I doing here, what do I do now?’.  I finally collected enough courage to walk out of my room and introduce myself to people – this was a giant leap in my character development.

Now that I have graduated, home is not as great as it once was. Returning home and losing that independence you experienced at University is difficult, but you try to compensate by taking advantage of the luxuries of home: i.e. non demanding landlords, food always in the fridge, clean clothes etc.

Another daunting prospect after University is trying to find a job, especially today. The recession has had a massive impact on the job market that is why many students try and get a number of part-time jobs to save up to go travelling. However, if travelling is not for you, I would recommend applying for jobs before finishing your degree. This is a difficult thing to do because of how much work you will have to do but, if anything, will get you some interview experience which is important.

I have been asked the following question a number of times: what advice would you give to students going to University?

My response would begin with: have as much fun as you can in the first year (this is the year that can change you the most); get good grades in the second year (whilst also having fun); so then you are set-up nicely in the third year to really knuckle down and work.

With regards to money: make sure you have enough to pay the rent and stay healthy. If you are having financial problems there are a number of solutions such as bursaries. The way you manage your money has an effect on how much you enjoy university so be careful.

Another scary prospect for many second year students is when they have to leave student accommodation and try and find a house. Trying to figure out which is the best house is difficult, I have seen houses where students had a top-up card to pay for electricity and water – avoid at all costs. Make sure the property is not blacklisted and try to get to know the landlord because if problems arise you need someone who will be willing to come and sort the problem as soon as possible.

Alessandro Giacon

Alessandro Giacon

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