Graduate Stories: “my self worth was tied to my success”

Age: 23
Have you graduated yet?: Yes
What city do you live in?: Winchester
Where do you live?: At my family home
What’s your current working situation?: Working as a Paralegal, but currently on furlough

What do you think you’ve struggled with the most after leaving education?

University was one big whirlwind for me, especially having a year abroad. Being a bit of a self-confessed perfectionist and having a type A personality, I was always working towards something (mainly trying to get my first-class honours) and attempting to get involved in various sports and volunteer initiatives. After graduating I struggled (more than I thought I would) having to wrestle with losing these things that had previously grounded my sense of self.

In summary, the thing I struggled with most was the general anti-climactic feeling that came with graduating, mainly stemming from the fact that for much of my University experience, my self worth was (regrettably) tied to my successes and involvement in various endeavours. After graduation, you aren’t getting the constant feedback, good grades, and opportunities that student life commonly affords you, and this was an unexpected shock for me, albeit naive.

The name of this blog captures the feeling perfectly – so well done Maddie!

What do you wish you’d known or had done before leaving university?

I wish I had not placed so much emphasis on getting a ‘grad job’ and general career progression. Despite working as a paralegal now, post furlough, or later as a sabbatical I intend on taking several months out to travel!

Do you think there’s enough resources out there for young people making the transition from education to adult life? (If so, what? If not, what do you want to see more of?)

I think there are resources available, but most are tailored towards making yourself the juiciest peach you can be from an employer’s perspective. I think it would help people’s mental health if there was less emphasis on finding a ‘grad job’ and more on exploring your options and being content with wherever you find yourself.

More blogs like this would be great, and I wish I had been exposed to resources like this pre-graduation as I think a significant part of my problem personally was the lofty expectations that I had (thinking that upon graduation I would move to X city have Y job and be perfectly happy). This could definitely have been ameliorated had I been exposed to the stories of other graduates.


Thank you to Megan for sharing her thoughts and experiences!

If you would like to share your story, you can fill in the survey here or you could read the other graduate stories here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lauren Kenny

    Always interested to see experiences of those who have graduated from uni. I feel like there is often pressure to get a “good job” straight away. I still don’t really know what I want to do when I graduate so I think for me I will need to test some things out first 🙂 x

    1. Maddie

      There definitely is that pressure, but it shouldn’t be felt by you – you’ve just got to go at your own pace and get whatever job works for you! Definitely a good idea to test a few things out x

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