Why graduating and joining the real world is something you should look forward to, and not dread...
Throughout my undergraduate and my Masters degrees, I spent a huge amount of my time worrying and obsessing over starting my career. Getting a job seems to be hard enough these days, but actually making the transition from university life to working life was what worried me. How would I cope with 5 days a week after literally 6 hours a week? How tired would I be? What if I get sick? What if I hate London? How am I going to face all the angry commuters twice a day at rush hour?
Once I started working, not a single one of these questions crossed my mind again. In fact, they were replaced by everything I now love about working life. If I had known just some of these things, I wouldn't have worried anywhere near as much.
Here are the main things that I LOVE about working life, and what might help ease your worries if you're making this transition too...
I'd say it took me at least three months to properly get into the rhythm of London. One commute to work is a huge sensory overload, but it's something that definitely eases with time and things that you were super alert to initially, now just blend into the background.
Since moving here and starting my job, I've been able to explore London at the weekends which is amazing! It's much more laid back, and it will actually make you fall in love with the place. Strolling into Islington for a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning with Aaron has been one of my favourite little routines, and it feels like I'm back in a small town rather than some crazy, hectic city.
FINALLY, you're earning your own money. It's all yours, so you get to choose what you do with it! Obviously, with that comes more responsibility (bills aren't gonna pay themselves...sadly), but if you know you can afford that blouse - you can buy it AND you've earned it which is a really nice feeling!
Also, I'm finding it way easier to save money now that I'm working - all I fancy doing in the evenings is chilling out, so my naughty late-night spending sprees on ASOS have been well and truly kept at bay.
Your weekends will feel so special now that you're working. During my MSc, I had - hold on, folks - one day of lectures each week. No seminars, no tutorials. Just two lectures on a Wednesday. As a result, EVERY day was a day off and they all blurred into one. I found myself feeling lethargic and genuinely bored. There's only so many times you can count 'popping to Costa' as an entire days' activity.
With 5-day weeks, you have just the right amount of time off - and the weekends become something you truly treasure and make the most out of. Even if that is being curled up with your boyfriend watching Fargo - you get so much more satisfaction for earning that time off than you did at university (no - I wouldn't have believed me either if I'd told myself that a year ago...)
Sense of purpose
At university, and throughout school, I always felt quite lost. Not sure who I was, or where I was going. Although university helped me to clarify this, working has given me the best sense of purpose, achievement and identity. I feel like I've found something I'm good at, which is so motivating. I doubted whether I'd be able to hack working life because sitting down to concentrate for hours at a time can be difficult - I get quite bored and distracted - but I don't feel like that at work because I really love it! And it's easy to work hard at something you enjoy.
I have been a working gal for nearly 5 months now, and I haven't had a single day where I have, even slightly, dreaded going in. I genuinely feel so happy, and proud to work for the company that I work for, and that really does put a pep in your step each day.
This sort of links in with now having a sense of identity and purpose, but you can start to develop your own sense of work style which is so much fun. At first, I found this SO difficult. Going from university life and wearing leggings 24/7 to having to look professional is no easy feat, but it is a fun one! You can also justify investing in the odd pricier staples because you know you'll wear them everyday, you'll look the part and they'll last.
I decided to invest in this beautiful All Saints coat - how stunning is that embroidery?! - because the quality is absolutely stunning, and I know it will see me through for a long time. It's been beautifully cut, so the fit is incredible and the material is so luxurious and thick.
I also have invested in these incredible & Other Stories ankle boots. Decent ankle boots are damn hard to find, so I never feel guilty about a purchase like this, but these are so comfortable, stylish and the pointed toe could dress up any outfit to make it fit your work style.
I am aware that having a job I actually like does help with such a tricky transition from one lifestyle to another, but I truly believe that working life shouldn't be feared - it should be embraced because it is so exciting.
What are your thoughts about the uni-work transition?
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