What I've Learnt Since Graduating | Jasmine Talks Life


I can't believe it's almost exactly 2 years since I graduated from university! It really is scary how time seems to fly. I was feeling reflective and thought I'd sit down and look back on the things I've learnt in that time. I hope this is at least reassuring to those of you who have just graduated or are about to, because it really is one of the most daunting moments in a young person's life.

There's no set path you have to follow to be successful

I think that when you graduate from university it's the first time when life doesn't really follow a linear progression. I think when you step into the world of work, you have to stop thinking about life in that way. Sidewards moves can be valuable in your career and you might not come straight out of university into a graduate job. It's really not the end of the world and there's so much valuable experience you can gain elsewhere. Just because it seems like *everyone* is going down the graduate scheme route doesn't mean that's the only option.

You have to take rejection and use it to make you stronger

It's no secret that graduate jobs are intensely competitive and I've spoken about my experience a lot on this blog. In my final year of university I applied to almost 50 graduate schemes and didn't get a single one. I took a year out, worked and gained experience and then applied for just five and was made two offers. It can be so demoralising but you just have to make sure you get feedback and understand how you can improve your performance. It's almost impossible not to take things personally but sometimes it's the job or the company that's not for you, not that you're rubbish or useless!


Don't be limited or shackled to your degree subject

People always give me a bit of a funny look when I tell them my degree title (for reference I'm an underwriting graduate who read Philosophy and Theology). However you really shouldn't feel like you have to stick to the degree you did, even if it's more vocational than mine. At the end of the day; you essentially choose your degree when you're 17 in most cases so it's completely natural that over a few years you might decide on something else. Unless you're going for a very technical role, your degree is often just proof that you're smart and hard-working, so never feel trapped by it.

The end of uni doesn't mean the end of studying

Hate to break it to you but so many industries have professional qualifications you may want to or have to obtain, so it may not be goodbye to studying just yet! I would wholeheartedly recommend doing professional qualifications as soon as possible after university if it will get you ahead in your desired career path. Generally I see that people who are fresh out of education find it easier to get into the right mindset for further studies, whereas the longer you leave it the busier you will probably be in life and the harder it is to get back into studying.

Your best friends might not be the people you see every day

This is maybe more one that goes for people that moved away from home for university, but after graduation you will probably have friends all over the country (or even world). It's not weird if your best friends aren't people you work with at all! Your true mates are the people you can not talk to for weeks, then as soon as you speak to them again it's right back to where you left off. You just have to make the time and effort to maintain the friendships that are important to you when everyone is busy and you don't all live along the same road any more.

You never really feel like a 'grown up'

When people ask me how old I am, I almost always go to say '19' before realising I'm 23 now! Shouldn't I have my life together? Shouldn't I be achieving amazing things? Why aren't I the youngest person in the office any more? It's definitely dawned on me that I'll probably never feel like I'm a 'real' grown up. I feel a bit like I'm playing at being an adult!

Grown ups aren't always 'grown up'

The other side to that is realising that adults aren't these infallible beings. When you're a kid you kind of expect adults to be on another level of intelligence and maturity, however the older you get the more you realise that some people never grow up! You can honestly be 20 and be more grounded and reasonable than someone who is 40.

The more you earn, the more you spend

When you're a student living off ready meals and Sainsbury's own brand vodka, a real salary sounds like soooo much money. However it definitely seems like the more you earn, the more expensive your lifestyle becomes! When you're working and busy it's easier to justify a nice little payday treat, or buying your lunch from Pret every day and a whole load of other stuff...

You're going to be really tired

I feel like it took me almost a year to adapt to the constant tiredness of having a proper job. Education really does spoil you! Your working day is so long, busy and tiring in a way you might not have experienced before in life. You do kind of get used to it but you definitely have to accept it and find a way of having a life as well as it! You're probably going to be in bed for half 10 every week night, I have to warn you...

Time starts flying by

If the next 5 years go by as fast as the last 5, then I honestly think I'm going to blink and be 30 soon! It's honestly scary how fast the past few years have gone because it really does feel like it could've been just a few months ago that I graduated.

Between 18 and 23 you start becoming 'you'

So many of the little insecurities and uncertainties that plague you as a teenager seem so much less important as an adult! I feel like a more rounded, confident person since going to university and then spending a couple of years working. It's the most secure I've felt in myself and it feels like I'm discovering the person I think I want to be!


What were the big lessons you learnt (or are learning) in your late teens and early 20s?



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40 comments

  1. I'm about to start University. Do you have any tips? :)

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    1. I think definitely take every opportunity that comes at you and don't limit yourself in terms of meeting people :) xx

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  2. I can relate to all these, maybe because I just graduated myself last year. It's true, your major won't always define you, I graduate from language and culture major but now I'm dipping my toes in online marketing, it's not something I'm well versed of but it's been fun so far and I can say I like it. Same about the part of not growing up, I don't feel 23, I always feel like 15 or 17 ;)


    Selene Addicted

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  3. I can definitely relate to all of these, I left university a year ago and whilst I feel more confident as a person than I've ever felt, I really don't feel like an adult or like I know what I'm doing in life at all! I actually did film and tv production at university and decided in third year that industry wasn't for me, life really does take lots of twists and turns that's for sure!

    The Makeup Directory

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  4. I can seriously relate to this! Especially the end of uni part, I've been a graduate for a year and never imagined going back to university but I start my masters degree in September ( Cosmetics Branding and Promotion ) it's crazy!

    katevictoriaxo.co.uk

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  5. Lovely post! I believe I truly realize this year that being a grown up doesn't mean anything. I sometimes spend a whole week taking care of all the growing up things and then the entire weekend watching Tv Shows and just hanging out with friends and I somehow feel like I'm 17 again. It's confusing!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

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  6. I graduate next year and I'm really nervous stepping into the world of work... these tips were very useful, thank you Jasmine!
    Ambar | Her Little Loves

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    1. Good luck :) I'm glad this was helpful! xx

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  7. Loved this post! I just recently graduated (May) and I'm already finding job hunting to be such a draining task. I definitely have to make sure I apply for jobs I'm suited to and not just because its a job fullstop. I'm even considering trying to land another internship somewhere I'd ideally like to work (somewhere with a good culture and a place where I know I'll learn and not just do admin), then try move onto something better. Not sure. So many options, so many decisions! The end of a degree = the beginning :) x

    Katina Lindaa | www.katinalindaa.com

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    1. Yeah definitely don't rule it out :) I did another internship the summer I graduated and it definitely helped me land my current job! xx

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  8. Brilliant post and all rings true for me at 32 and 9 years after graduating.

    It's good career advice to say things won't always go as planned but it's down to you to make the best of it. After graduating in accounting and finance I found myself redundant less than a year into my graduate job and working in payroll somewhere else. Not a dream situation but that company paid for my accountancy study/exams and offered the opportunity to pick up extra projects that all counted towards the experience I needed to qualify. Fast forward a few years (skipping a lot of ups and downs here!) but I now have a challenging and rewarding role to fit my qualifications and experience. It's not in the city where I live though so I travel every week - again careers can't always be planned as we'd like!

    Agree in terms of friendships and being tired to so make the effort to use your annual leave to treat yourself and enjoy time with loved ones as you need and deserve it when you're working so hard.

    Good luck to all of those in uni or graduating!
    Xx

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    1. Aw wow I guess it just shows that things that seem like a major step back can actually be the making of you! xx

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  9. I kept saying, "YASSS GIRL" to each point! I recently graduated and I can relate to a lot of these things. Heck, I even created a LinkedIn account recently in hopes of advancing job opportunities. Its a weird phase in life tbh- all of a sudden, you dont see the people you used to every morning in class, you have all this free time yet the day seems to go by so quick with you achieving absolutely nothing. Its strange making this transition- you no longer have uni as that safety net for protecting you from fully taking on adult responsibilities.

    Great post as always, Jasmine! x

    bohorush.blogspot.com

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    1. Yeah the safety net is well and truly gone - and thanks I'm glad you liked reading this xx

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  10. This was so interesting to read Jasmine! I've just finished my first year at uni and the thought of having to try apply for placements soon scares me, but excites me at the same time! My mentor in second year told me that she applied to about 50 placements and didn't get offered one, but she luckily found one in the end and everything fell into place. I can imagine it must be hard accepting rejection but I guess everything works out in the end and you will realise that you got rejected for a reason! And I have to agree with your point that time really does fly by, I feel like I have blinked and first year is now suddenly over! Quickest year of my life! xo

    ohhelloitshannah.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. This was such a good post and so relatable. I finished Uni 3 years and It still feels like yesterday. And i completely assume everyone's the same age me. When people are like 'I'm 18' I think wow when did i get old haha xx

    LPage Beauty

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that haha xx

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  12. Love this post, I was reading it all and found myself saying "yep, yep..yep, me too" to myself! When I graduated I never felt the grad scheme route was right for me and I'm still trying to work out what to do tbh. But I have a job I like so am just trying to find the right thing for me rather than rushing into anything (:
    Philippa x

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  13. I became a mum at 20, so I had to grow up FAST. Life was hectic, and I was forced to mature beyond my years. But I'm thankful for who I am now, even if I feel like a grandmother at 25! especially as I am applying now to go back to college/uni with all these youngsters, I'm gonna get me a zimmer so I match my age lol.

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  14. This is exactly how I'm feeling ATM. I graduated from college two months ago and I have learned soo much since then and felt even more tired from my job. School really did spoil me!

    aysiaa.blogspot.com

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  15. Oh yea, once you land a full time job, you will always be tired. LOL! I'm not sure how the job market is in the UK but in Malaysia, having a degree doesn't guarantee you a job because work experience usually trump over a piece of paper. Good on you for taking a break and going to work for experience, definitely worked out well for you.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Depending on the job, in the UK it's kind of both :( there are always ways round it but a lot of jobs expect a 2.1 from a good uni and at least 2 internships under your belt...xx

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  16. I think I'm just coming to terms with the fact that I'm never going to feel like a grown up! I'm 22, studying my second degree, have lived abroad and I am now living alone - yet I still feel the same as I did in high school living with my parents. When 'adult' things come my way, I still feel as though I'm too young to be dealing with those things!

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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    1. I can definitely relate to that feeling! xx

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  17. Love this post, I can already feel some of these things happening although I haven't graduated yet. I have a lot more school left and I'm hoping for a job in my field but you never know how the future will turn out! :)

    www.beautyfromkatie.blogspot.com

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  18. This was a wonderful read. I'm definitely getting close-ish to graduating so i loved reading all these things.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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  19. I'm 22 at the moment and still have another year left in my double major, there is absolutely no way I feel like an adult, but your right I do feel more like I've found "me", I am a completely different person to who I was 5 years ago!

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

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    1. Yeah it's a weird feeling, I definitely think I'm way more confident and self-assured than I was this time 5 years ago xx

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  20. Ah I totally agree on the tiredness, for the first 6 months of my first job I would get home on Friday night, and then sleep until Saturday evening as I was so exhausted. Working full time is a bit of a biatch like that. I'd love to have my own business one day where there shall be enforced lie in's on Tuesdays (the most boring day of the week)! xoxo


    Sarah from iheartcosmetics

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  21. Time flies by after graduating! It can be difficult in the first 12 months to find the balance between spending & saving when you suddenly have a wage! Also getting used to working days can be difficult too but it's all good! xx

    Beautylymin

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    1. Yes I'm definitely about to learn that balance in the next few months...xx

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  22. Love this post, I was reading it all and found myself all over it..

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  23. In the few years of HS, I really learned to stop jumping on the bandwagon of trends and to really step back evaluate situations. Thanks for always commenting on my blog, I really appreciate it Jasmine ^_^

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

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  24. Personally I feel like I became "me" once I got married and had kids. We constantly change, so really being "me" is not a constant or more a state of being.
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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    1. I didn't really mean it in that sense but either way I guess we all experience things differently!

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  25. Thank you for your comments - I really enjoyed reading about all of your experiences :) xx

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  26. I left university nearly two years ago, too - and I've learned since then that I don't want to walk down the same path as everyone else. I want to decide what I want my own life to be. Great post, Jasmine! x

    alicered.co.uk

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