Being a student is one of those experiences that can make a person. You'll meet life-long friends, you'll (hopefully) enjoy your course and you'll go to so many parties in three years that you'll lose count. But then you finish your course and you graduated with honours. Now what?
It is at this time that people start offering you advice. Some of it good, some of it terrible. This article focuses on the latter ... the things that all graduates want to hear. We have a mix of questions and comments that at one time or another all graduates will hear.
1. "What are you going to do with your life?"
Does anyone know exactly what they'll be doing for the rest of their life? As a graduate you're 21 years old. Can you really map out the next 60 or 70 years of your life? Did university equip you with this skill? Of course it didn't. Even someone with a medical degree and a career path as a doctor doesn't really have a clue what life will through at them. So, plan a little, but tell those people who ask that "everything is all under control", even if it isn't. It will get them of your back.
2. "And what job can you get with a ... degree?"
Fill in the blank with any course that isn't teaching, medical, engineering, veterinary, maths or science ... because whatever course you did, people will not understand how a degree in sport, media, film studies, any arts degree, geology, Latin etc. will get you a job. Ever.
So, when people ask, politely explain that your course required public speaking, analytical research, problem solving and working well in teams ... all skills that any employer is looking for.
3. "How's the job hunting going?"
If anyone asks, tell them that you've joined all the online job sites, that you're looking in all the right papers and that you've sent your CV to all the companies you want to work for. Then tell them that you're brushing up on your interview technique and are doing a few short term employment skills courses at the moment, so that when the right job offer comes you'll be ready.
4. "Have you thought about moving back home?"
With no money in the bank and no job offer on the table, moving back home does have its benefits; a roof over your head and free food, what's not to like? Just make sure that you explain that moving back into your childhood home is a short term solution, and as soon as you have a job and a deposit, you'll move out and stand on you're own two feet. After all, the bank of mum and dad, sadly, doesn't last forever
5. "Welcome to the real world"
What exactly is this real world you talk of? Where do you think I've been for the past 3 years? The Matrix? University life isn't all party, party, party. Students do have to attend lectures, write essays and hold down a part-time job that nobody in this real world people talk about would ever want to do. So when someone says "Welcome to the real world", just remind yourself that these people never went to university. Because if they did, they'd understand.
We hope this list of 5 things that graduates are tired of hearing helps you answer those awkward questions and comments that you'll hear as soon as you leave the comfort of university. If you have some other suggestions of what to add to our list please post a comment below.