Whether you are staying on at Uni to complete a Master’s or Doctorate, or you are finishing your education after achieving a Bachelor’s degree, the next stage of your life will have challenges for you to face. You are now a young adult, you’ve tasted some independence and the next step you take is exciting and nerve-wracking. Here are some post-grad problems you’re likely to face and how to overcome them:
Post-Grad Problems Everyone is Likely to Face
Some post-grad problems are likely to be faced by everyone, whether you stay on to study or put down your pens. Here are some problems you are likely to face after you have graduated:
The Choice to Continue Studying or Not
You may make this choice before graduating, or you may take a break from studying for a while. But at some point, you will have to decide whether to carry on with education or not. This is likely to be the first problem you will face as a post-grad.
Remember, this choice is your choice. Talk to your friends, parents, tutors, lecturers and any contacts you have within the industry that you want to go into. Get their advice on whether you’ll need a Doctorate or Master’s Degree, but at the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for you. You may not be ready to leave education yet, or you may be desperate for a break if you do need a postgraduate qualification for your chosen career. Talk to people, but at the end of the day, do what feels right for you.
Losing Old Friends and Making New Ones
During your Bachelor studies, you may have had a close group of friends. You were all thrown into a new course and housing together at the same time. You were pretty much all the same age and embarking on a new chapter of your life together. However, now you are likely to be going your separate ways, you may find that some of those friendships disintegrate. This is completely normal, you are no longer seeing each other as much, so it happens.
As a postgraduate, it can be hard to make new friends. If you go home, your childhood friends may not be around anymore, or you may have grown apart. As you get a role in your chosen career path, you will likely make new friends, though it can be a little difficult as people who are older and more experienced are no longer “off-limits” for friendships.
If you are staying on to study, you are not thrown into a group of new students. Instead, you are much more on your own. Key friendships have already been made and your network of friends may not be around anymore. Try to find other post-grads to connect with, and get involved with social groups to try and form new friendships at your Uni.
Whether you stay on in education or not, friendships are important. So, try to keep in touch with the friends you made at Uni, but if it fizzles out with some, don’t force it. Also, be open to new friendships that can be formed after your Bachelor’s Degree.
Comparing Yourself to Others
With social media, it’s hard to not see what everyone else is doing. You may see that your friends have taken a different road to you and start comparing yourself to them. It’s completely natural to do this, but don’t let it get to you. Remember, what’s right for your friend might not be right for you, and you only get a small snapshot of someone’s life on social media.
If you find yourself making comparisons between your chosen path and your friends, it might be time to unplug for a little bit. Focus on your own life, your nearby friends and what makes you happy.
Whether you stay on and study or go home, you are now a young adult and it’s time to start learning more about adult life. You already had a taste during your undergrad degree, but now it gets a little more serious. If you stay to study, your studies will take up more time, so you won’t be out partying as much, and if you go back home for a bit, you might be expected to help more.
This challenge you need to take in your stride. Learn how to be more independent so you’re ready when you fully break away from education and your family home.
Post-Grad Problems You’ll Face if You Stay on to Study Further
If you have decided to stay on and study a post-grad course, there are additional problems you may face. You’ll soon find out that a post-grad experience is different from an undergrad one.
The Post-Grad Learning Curve
Let’s face it, with undergrad life you are allowed time to slowly get used to your new life. In your first year, there are low pass rates to hit and a timetable with plenty of breaks. Starting your post-grad course isn’t so easy. You are expected to do a lot more with a postgraduate course. Expect to get daily deadlines and a timetable much more filled with study. It’s a steep learning curve when you embark on a postgraduate course, and probably one of the biggest post-grad problems you’ll face.
Luckily, forewarned is forearmed. Just knowing what is expected can help you overcome this challenge. Get ready to have your organisational skills put to the test and expect to have fewer nights out as a post-grad.
Nights Out are More Difficult
You’re still young and want to have fun, but post-grad life is much harder than undergrad life. So you may not be able to go out and party as much as you could in previous years. There’s a lot more pressure on you when studying a postgrad course that could get in the way of your fun. It could have you feeling a little jealous of those “kids” who have just started uni.
The best way to combat this problem is to be prepared for it. Accept that you may not be able to get out as much. Instead, make the nights that you can go out really count. Only go out for nights you want to go on and don’t settle for nights that aren’t really your thing. You still need to have fun and cut loose, but just make sure each night out you have is your best night.
Funding Your Post Grad Life
Studying can be expensive. And when you’re doing a postgraduate course, it can feel like you’ve got an unpaid full-time job. You’ve got bills to pay, you need to eat and also want money for nights out and other hobbies. It’s not a cheap life you’ve chosen, so finding the funds can be difficult.
How can you overcome this problem? Firstly, there are postgraduate loans you can apply for. Other options include a part-time job or a side hustle (just make sure they don’t interfere with your studies). Or you could get jobs over the holidays to top up your funds, like these summer jobs in London. You’ll also need to get on top of budgeting, having a spreadsheet to keep track can help.
As we’ve mentioned, there’s a lot more pressure on you during a postgraduate course, which can lead to stress. And stress can lead to other health issues as you may struggle to sleep and reach for comfort food, so it’s important to face this problem.
Make sure you prioritise and organise your workload, but also be sure that you leave time for hobbies, doing things you enjoy, and friends. Make sure you have some downtime when you need it. Also, know what your early signs of stress are and learn how to deal with it. This is personal to you, so it’s important to understand yourself and what you need.
Post-Grad Problems if You Don’t Take Your Studies Further
If you’re taking a break from studying after getting your Bachelor’s or even finishing your post-grad course or finishing with studying altogether, there are some challenges that you will face when you leave the world of education. Here are some post-grad problems you may face:
Getting Used to Home Life
Chances are if you’ve finished studying, you’re heading home, at least for a bit. You need time to find your feet, save up for your own place, and maybe you just want to be looked after for a bit. However, you are no longer a child, you are a young adult that has tasted independence. You’ll want your own life and not want your parents hovering over you. It can be a hard transition for both you and your parents.
Be prepared for home to not be exactly as you left it. School friends may have left the area or be too busy with their careers or new families. It’s normal for home to feel a little strange.
This challenge will take time to overcome. Both you and those at home need time to adjust. Be patient and try to handle any changes as an adult. It may be hard to begin with, but in time everything will fall into place.
Finding Work in Your Chosen Field
Even with a degree, finding work can be difficult. And searching for jobs isn’t easy. It’s a challenging process and it takes time. There are lots of other people looking for work in your exact same position. The competition can be fierce.
If you need money, you may end up in a job you are overqualified for, at least for a little while. It could be back to retail or hospitality for a while, but don’t worry about this. These jobs can give you transferable skills that can help you to stand out to a potential employer.
This can be one of the hardest challenges for a post-grad, and it can be quite disheartening. If you end up in a job that isn’t in your chosen field, don’t despair, you are gaining experience. If you have time as well, try to get voluntary work that relates to your degree. Also, understand that the job market is competitive, so it can take time. Ensure you are personalising every CV and cover letter for your job applications, try networking and be patient.
Having Too Much Time
It may sound like a strange challenge to overcome, but once you finish with your education, you may find you have too much time on your hands. When you were studying there were constantly deadlines to meet, exams to study for, extra-curricular activities, societies, and nights out. There was always plenty to do and having spare time was a luxury. But once you’re out of education, even if you have a job, most of this disappears. It may feel great to wind down for a couple of weeks, but soon it starts to drag.
Find things to keep yourself busy. Get a job, even if it’s not in your chosen field, volunteer somewhere, especially if it relates to your degree. Try some new hobbies, connect with friends. Whatever you do, don’t just sit around waiting for life to come to you, instead find something to do with your time.
Overcoming Post-Grad Problems
Whether you stay on and study or not, the next chapter of your life after taking a Bachelor’s Degree has plenty of challenges to face. Your life will be different and you will need to adjust. Whichever path you take, be prepared for these post-grad problems and have an idea of how to deal with them.
If you are looking for postgrad accommodation in London, check out our City postgraduate accommodation.