16 things I've learnt since graduation
Yesterday marked five years since I graduated from the University of Leeds. FIVE YEARS. Half a decade! How the bloody hell did that happen...?! Anyway, looking back over the photos of me stood on the steps outside of the Great Hall got me thinking about all of the things I've learnt since graduation. So I thought I'd round them all in a little list for y'all...
2) The friends you make at uni really will be friends for life. Five years on and the girls I lived with in my skanky student house are now about to be my bridesmaids, and I know they'll be my kids fake aunties too.
3) Working life is very different to student life, but I think I prefer it. I like the structure and the sense of achievement and the pace of having a full time job. Although I wouldn't mind being able to have a midweek hangover every now and then.
4) It's the community feel of uni that you will miss the most. I definitely didn't appreciate how amazing it was to have all of my friends and a lot of pubs within a five minute walk of my house.
5) It feels good to know that you can now choose that delicious cocktail that you fancy instead of trying to work out what booze you can drink the most of with whatever you have left of your student loan. Salary perks.
6) Everyone's careers progress in very different ways and on different timescales. It won't do you any good to compare yourself to your friends or the other people on your course - just keep doing you and working hard.
7) You're not weird if you don't know what to do for the rest of your life when you graduate. Most people don't know what they want to do with the rest of their lives either - find something your passionate about and work hard at it.
8) It really is possible to wake up at 6.30am everyday and not die. Who'd have thought it?!
9) It's really important to have hobbies outside of work - otherwise it's all too easy for your self esteem to be dictated by how well you're doing. Having some other things that you do for fun will keep you sane.
10) If you accidentally get drunk on a school night, crumpets, iced coffee and Berocca will help you to get through a hungover day at work.
11) Just because you studied one thing at uni doesn't mean you should stick with it for your whole life just to prove a point. The only person you owe anything to is yourself - try lots of different things until you find the one that makes you tick.
12) Your network really is as important as your careers advisor told you at uni. Keep in touch with old classmates and colleagues, make the effort to meet more people in your industry and never ever burn any bridges. You never know who's gonna show up where.
13) The big downside of having a proper job is having to wear proper clothes everyday instead of showing up to uni in your comfy joggers. Invest in clothes that look put together but feel like you're wearing PJs and you will be a lot happier.
14) You never know whats round the corner. Careers are rarely straight-forward and predictable these days which is scary, but also very very exciting - embrace it.
15) Life is way more fun when you grasp new opportunities with both hands. Don't waste all your energy second guessing yourself, get used to being out of your comfort zone and I promise you that you'll reap the rewards.
16) You really can't go too far wrong with this piece of age old advice: work hard and be nice to people. Everything else will take care of itself, promise.