The Truth About Life After University

In 2012, I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism & a minor in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. I struggled for a long time to find a job, as many college grads do these days.  I graduated & felt confused. You go to school all your life thinking that university is going to be the answer to everything. But it's not. It's just the beginning. Here's the real truth about life after university.


Here's a photo of me taken by my roommate, Katie, when I got my Cum Laude Honors certificate.  I had no idea until I got a call to pick up something at the dean's office. Cum Laude Honors is a 3.5 or higher grade point average out of 4.0. There are higher honors, however. Around May 2012.

The truth about life after college is...you won't get a job right away. Unless you've got some major connections or a sought after degree, you aren't going to get the perfect job immediately upon graduation. It took me almost a year to get a job after I got my tassel. Then it took another year of working in entry level jobs to get to a decent spot. It's hard, but that's how it goes.

The truth about life after college is...you may start to feel lost. After university you may feel a bit bummed. Everything you knew about the last 15+ years of your life has been school. Now you're done with it. It's behind you (unless you get your masters or more). We spend day after day at school, so there comes a day when you find yourself sleeping in, jobless, & not knowing what to do with yourself. 

The truth about life after college is...you'll owe a lot of money. If you're lucky enough to have your parents help you out, you don't have to worry (or if you live in a wonderful place where education is free). Then there are some of you who have to pay for everything yourself -- be it through scholarship, payment plan, loan, or what have you. Start saving now because the bills will add up.



Studying for finals with my roomie, Katie. We were roommates all 4 years of college. At this point, I was about to graduate so I had a part time job, internship, & full time university class load -- I was also heavily focused on my minor classes which were all health science. Around May 2012.

The truth about life after college is...you won't remain friends with everyone. Yes, there are a select few with whom you will keep in touch. These are friends for life. But most everyone else will become figures of the past. You'll move away, you won't see them as often, time moves on. Those college frat parties are memories long gone. Now you're working full time in an office. The times have changed.

The truth about life after college is...you may go back to school. You may laugh now, but one day you may consider going back to school. For example, two years after you graduate with your fine arts degree you may realize you wanted to go into dentistry. Or you may go back to school to truly master your art.

The truth about life after college is...you'll realize how much you've grown. Eventually you can't help but laugh when you look back at your freshman university ID. Look how short your hair was. You look like a baby. You used to wear only jeans & a t-shirt. You had never had Thai food before. You never spent Christmas away from home. College helps you grow & learn who you truly are.

College are some of the best years of your life. You're old enough to live your own life but young enough to not have all the responsibilities of a full-fledged adult. What did you learn after graduation? Are you in school? :]

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66 comments

  1. This is so helpful I am hoping to go to uni after college everyone does assume you will get this amazing job but I see how hard it is but I still am determined to work hard in the future:) your blog is really nice
    www.misslaurenmorgan.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks so much. Just work hard & don't stop trying. :]

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  2. I graduated nearly two years ago and totally agree with all these points- I might even go back to school x
    eleanor's adventures // UK Fashion & Beauty Blog

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  3. Was done with taking classes back in April and finished my study in December and within those last couple of months I can already relate to basically everything you mention in this post. Was thinking about posting one myself, but this pretty much sums it all up haha. Glad to hear I am not the only one who goes through this. Xx

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    1. I just wanted to shed light on the reality of life after school. I don't know what I thought it'd be like. :p

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  4. These are definitely truths. I'm not sure if college necessarily prepared me for a working life but I think it did help me alot in terms of personal growth.

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    1. Oh yes, personal growth for sure, but it didn't prepare me for the cubicle life. :]

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  5. So so true! I'm in the year after college right now and I can relate to almost all of these points. Graduating from college means lots of different things to different people, but uncertainty is usually in the mix. Thanks for writing this :)

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    1. Thanks for reading it, Daisy. Uncertainty is the biggest thing I'd say.

      What now?:]

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  6. This is all so true! I graduated last year and have no clue what to do with my life at the moment, but oh well. I'm just going with the flow and figuring things out as I go along. Uni was fun but it's time to face the real world. =D x

    http://moiraparton.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. I love reading posts like these because it makes me feel so much better to know people are going through or have gone through similar struggles as me. It was difficult to see most of the people I went to school with get amazing jobs almost immediately after school, but that isn't the case most of the time. Thanks for sharing your experience! I hope you're getting where you want to be.

    XX,
    S. Roderick
    www.currenthabits.com

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    1. Exactly, some people got a job right away & it bummed me out because I thought I was the problem. They likely had a sought after major or had some great connections. :]

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  8. this is such a great post! I just graduated from my Masters and feel like im in a horrible place, this was a great read!

    www.footnotesandfinds.com

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  9. Great home truths, I'm still at uni and studying abroad in Japan at the moment, can't even fathom what I'm gonna do once I graduate! xx

    ☾ Liquorice Pearls ☾

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    1. Enjoy Japan because it'll pass so quickly. :]

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  10. This was great. I'm graduating soon but I'm okay with feeling uneasy about my future. I know I'm not alone and everything will eventually fall into place :)

    http://katmicru.blogspot.com

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    1. Eventually indeed. Keep trying & working hard. :]

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  11. It's really true. I was luckily enough to have a lot in internships before I graduated to help me get a job but I had a lot of friends in the same boat.
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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    1. Internships can totally help -- I had one but ended up going in another direction career wise. :]

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  12. This is so true, I fully agree with you, same situation here :)


    http://fashionwalkinbrussels.blogspot.com/

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  13. I recently changed my course, so I still have a few years till face the "real world" after graduating. It will be tough but I'm looking forward to the growth and journey. :)
    ♥Natalie
    Yours Truly, NY


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    1. Have a good time. I actually miss learning. :O!

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  14. Such a lovely post! All true!

    fixmeinfortyfivex.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

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  15. Great post ! Your blog is awesome :)
    Do You want to follow each other ? :)
    http://kasjaa.blogspot.com/

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  16. I have a semi formed plan for after college. I've been expecting a lot of this because I'm getting a Musical Theatre degree! Life is too short to not pursue your dreams. I want to possibly work at Disney World after I graduate. They provide housing for the college program employees (if i've just graduated I still count) and transport to and from the park. I also might go to grad school up north. I haven't really been out of the South in my life, and I need to explore.

    Theatricality by Mariah

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    Replies
    1. Keep at it. If you pursue your dreams, the victory will be that much sweeter. :]

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  17. Love this! Everything you said was spot on!

    http://www.lifeofbrookeandjane.blogspot.com

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  18. These are all such valid and truthful points. I still feel lost and I graduated 3 years ago haha, it's very tough coming out and getting a job straight away especially with the recent recession. Most of all it's so difficult to know exactly what it is you want to do even after a four year course, as I am still trying to figure that out x

    Beauty with charm

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    1. Totally. I graduated & realized I didn't want to do journalism at all! :p

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  19. I am graduating University this summer and this post definitely helped me a lot to understand what I will more or less face after graduation!

    www.callmemaddie.com

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    1. Hopefully your time is easier in Latvia than here! :p

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  20. haha all of your points are so true. You did a great job writing this. Have a nice weekend :)
    http://www.mimosasandme.com

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  21. Great post! Can totally relate! Never expected that I'd be going back to school 4 years after graduating!

    www.jeannechristinemarie.blogspot.com

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  22. Wow! I can relate to these all so much! I also graduated in 2012 and I'm still not in my career field! I agree its also so scary going out into the real world and no longer being in education. Great post!

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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  23. Hello Carmen!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Have a nice weekend,
    xo from Italy,
    Sonia Verardo
    http://www.trenchcollection.com/

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  24. I really enjoyed this post! Usually no one knows exactly what they are doing after University including myself. It's sure nice to read and know you're no the only one! :)
    http://trend-mixblog.com/

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  25. this is an amazing post, it contains many truths, and for the last paragraph, I totally agree with you, You realise how much you have grown :)

    Konstantina | K MEETS STYLE.COM

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  26. Fabulous post hun, and I can completely relate to this. I found the transition going from being in education for 21 years to going to working full time and it's a weird transition.

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

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  27. I agree! All the illusions you have while you're still at the university are gone. Or maybe a few remains. But most of the time, you'll realize that life after university is never easy. The real world is so much harsher. But the journey is all worth it, isn't it? Life's somehow better, maybe because you've grown wiser. :)

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    1. Definitely. "Real life" is considerably harder & nobody cares about your succuess but you! :]

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  28. You're spot on. This is exactly how I felt and still feel a little after graduating in June of last year. Still looking for a job, the market is small here. Thankfully education is (semi) free so I don't have any school payment plans to pay off. Lovely post!

    xo
    naomiinwonderland.com

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  29. Nice post :) I am in the last year of my Bachelor's and am planning to do a Master's afterwards so still got a few more years! I think what we tend to do is not let it sink in that college life will be over at some point, and once it's over we feel lost and confused. At least that is how I felt when I studied abroad for a semester, it felt that I had so much more time to enjoy myself in that country and then BAM I was back home and it took many weeks to get over that feeling of constantly longing for that semester spent abroad where I had very few responsibilities.

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  30. YES!! I'm crying reading this because it's so true!!! I just graduated in May and seriously you were reading my mind. I started an internship after graduation and was lucky enough to be hired after my internship, but it wasn't my dream company at all and I definitely felt so lost and overwhelmed. Now I'm lucky enough to work at my dream job, but definitely starting from the bottom. It gets so hard, but it's comforting reading this and realizing I'm not alone out there.

    Seriously beautifully written!

    www.lastylenysmile.blogspot.com

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    1. Considering you're a recent grad & you've landed your dream job, you are very very very lucky! :]

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  31. Goodness. Yes, um, yes, and um, yes again. Those are all so true! Except maybe the owing money part, I worked 3 jobs during University to not owe anything. At least I got that covered. Wish I could work in my field though. -sigh-

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    1. Phew, lucky you. My friend owes tens of thousands of dollars. :p

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  32. Goodness, yes, completing education is the hard. But getting a job you've trained for is hardest, and that's something not every center of higher education trains you for, whether it be a university or (in my case) technical school.

    I was luckier than most to get a job... er, have some income right after graduation; the bad part of it was not having peer support. You're right in saying not every friendship you build in college lasts into the real world. For various reasons, I did not (and have not) kept in touch with those I went to school with; we got our paper and went on our own individual paths, which, sadly, never crossed again. Even though you have a job, the reality of adulthood and the responsibilities it entails smacks you right in the face. That's when the advice, urging, and (especially) kinship of those on the same level as you can come in handy. Even though that support may not always come from your classmates, it's good to get it through new connections and new friendships.

    You're right as well about discovering how much you grow during college/higher education. One enters those hallowed halls immature and not quite fully formed and exit a totally changed person. But one doesn't stop growing once they get that diploma; adulthood and the above mentioned responsibilities form and mold a person as well.

    Such great thoughts, Carmen, and well written.

    Allison M.

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    1. So true. Even after getting a job, it takes a while to find a routine & understand the reality of being occupied full time!

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  33. I'm really loving your blog! Can't get enough of your posts and this one is no exception. I'm currently in my second year of a Psychology degree and I'm seriously struggling & hating it but I've come too far to give up now. It's post like this that make me feel a bit better about the future so thanks lol.

    Caitlin Crawford
    - xoxo

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    1. Don't give up Caitlin. Wanna know what I miss? LEARNING! So good for you. Keep it up. :]

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Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

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