Young graduates and lockdown: written by Claudia

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Life after graduating is hard at the best of times, being unsure which direction to take after spending most if not all of your life in the education system. With only a small amount of careers help, and feeling as though you are a very small, brand new fish in the massive pond of ‘adulthood,’ it can be tricky to navigate this new way of life. It’s no wonder that postgraduate depression is a thing.

Personally for me, 2020 felt as though I was just getting to grips with working life after starting a job in October, and I was finally able to enjoy the independence of earning my own money. But then Covid-19 hit and knocked us all off the metaphorical treadmill of life. Young graduates not only now have to deal with the tricky unknown of graduate life, but all whilst facing a global pandemic and in lockdown. A challenge to say the least! 

With some scary statistics being circulated in the media regarding young people and job losses over this time, it’s hard not to worry about our future. I have been furloughed, and like so many others, am a little anxious of where things will be heading after this all settles down. 

Throughout our lives we’ve always been preparing for the next stage of things, and now it’s very tricky to see what that will be. As a serial planner myself this is very tricky, and difficult to know how to fill the void of lockdown. 

But, on the bright side, we will never get this time ‘off’ again. Although incredibly boring and tedious at times, it’s important to use this opportunity to our advantage. Now more than ever there are so many online courses that are accessible to everyone. You could try a course that is career enhancing and would look good on the old CV, or pick up something new that you’ve always wanted to try!

I recommend Future Learn. Future Learn has so many free courses in collaboration with hundreds of different universities, such as Birmingham, Coventry, and Durham just to name a few. It’s definitely worth a scroll on their website to see if they have anything that tickles your fancy!

Days in lockdown have their ups and downs and each one is very different. I’ve found that I’m using this time to read more than I’ve ever been able to before, so have included some of my favourite book recommendations. 

Normal People by Sally Rooney 

You’ve probably heard of this as it’s recently been made into a series on BBC iPlayer – which I also recommend, twelve binge worthy episodes of pure genius – but the book is something truly special. With its non-linear narrative showing Connell and Marianne’s inner monologue, it’s beautifully written and conveys every thought you’ve ever thought about young love and relationships. I’ve written an article on this as well if you would like more info

You can buy Normal People here.

If fiction isn’t your thing, perhaps read a book around your favourite subject or something you’ve always been interested in. Non fiction wise, I recommend:

grad

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

This is such an interesting and scientific read, particularly during lockdown. If you’re anything like me, your sleeping pattern will have changed somewhat during lockdown, and this book really emphasises the importance and health benefits of sleep. 

If you fancy reading this, you can buy Why We Sleep here.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Written in diary entry format, this book explores the wonderful ups and downs of life as a junior doctor. With crazy, unbelievable and quite frankly gruesome stories, it is a great book and really gives you a true, stripped back insight into the life of a junior doctor. 

Take a look at This Is Going To Hurt here, or buy the sequel Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas here.


I would love to know if you’re a young graduate who’s taken up some new courses or is reading more during lockdown. Thanks so much for reading and stay safe! 

Claudia


Thank you to Claudia for sharing her thoughts on what it’s like to be a graduate in lockdown. You can read more reflections from other students and graduates here.

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