Post-University Anxiety

Being a first generation immigrant I never had my parents share their stories with me or give me that pep talk about what to expect when I arrive at university. So a lot of what I expected to happen was based off of what I saw in American movies.

What I expected to happen was that I sit in a big lecture theatre and have a lecturer talk at me. On the face of it, this was true, because the first actual thing I did at university after I had done all of my induction was sit in a lecture theatre and have a lecturer talk me. I later realised that there was a lot more to university than just a lecture theatre filled with 200 not so eager students. Before I began university I had it all planned out, everything was so structured, I get As in my GCSEs get As in A-levels, get all my offers on UCAS then go to university. This was all perfect. This was all structured.

The plan was after I finish university I would get a job. In my first year of university I really didn’t pay this ‘job’ much thought. I didn’t think I needed to. It would just be there waiting for me. I have a degree, I have good grades that automatically equated to a good job, a stable job, a job that gave me a regular income.

In my final year at university, I spoke to previous graduates, majority were unemployed because they left their application too late. So, I decided to be organised. I put together a list of all the firms I wanted to apply to, their application open date and close date. I even fell back on my readings and assignments because I understood that applying to jobs was a priority.

I went on all the graduate recruitment pages, signed up my details, sent out my CV and waited… And I waited.

I did all of my Situational Judgment Tests, I passed a few, didn’t pass others, and then I waited.

When it became time to graduate, there was lots of joy and happiness in the air, lots of optimism. We posed for photos, uploaded them to Instagram and had the likes and comments rolling in, but it ignored the reality of what was to come.

Come September, after months of applying I had nothing, nothing to wake up early in the mornings for, nothing to challenge me, nothing to excite me, no regular income. My biggest embarrassment is having to ask my parents for my bus fare. I am left asking myself, what is wrong with me, what have I done wrong, what is this secret to getting a job that I am not in on.