'Gradu-and?' is a series exploring life post-graduation. Post graduation means different things to different people however the one common denominator is uncertainty. This uncertainty can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions, at the best of times, and in the current pandemic this feelings may be amplified. This series was designed to normalise these emotions and to remind you that you are not alone: the #ForeverKings really means that you are forever part of the King’s community, but more importantly the KCLSU community.
On the 31st July, most King's students received their exam and assessment results, and their overall degree classifications. Even though many of us, including myself, received the results we have worked so hard for, there is still a sadness in receiving our grades.
What I feel is a deep sense of loss. I miss university. I miss my friends. I even miss not paying attention in lectures. Receiving my results doesn't feel like the end of a novel, but rather like the final pages of an exciting book have been ripped out, leaving me on a cliff-hanger - except at the bottom of the cliff are the jagged rocks of finding a job, having to budget and deal with an acute loss of regular interaction with my uni friends. In essence, it sucks. So, I tried to find a solution the way all Gen Z'ers do: through Google. The omniscient Google tells me that this is not a new phenomenon. Many graduates experience a drop in mental wellbeing upon graduation, except here's the thing: we didn't get one. Instead of a final happy celebration of seeing all the people we have met at university, we had to pack up our lives quickly, and in some cases move back to our native countries in a rush.
Finishing our degrees (I still hesitate to say graduate until we get our well-deserved ceremony) in the midst of a pandemic has exacerbated these post exam blues. I miss my degree with every fibre of my being, however as with all good things, I always knew it would come to an end. After a lifetime of being on a conveyor belt of primary school, secondary, college/sixth form and now reaching the end of the final stage of university, I feel lost. What's next? The scary answer is: I don't know. And that answer is perfectly OK. This blog is not meant to provide answers and a perfect path to follow, but rather tell you are not alone. It’s OK not to be OK, all I ask is that you check up on your friends so that you can not be ok together but slowly work towards that.
But in the meantime…
- Don’t compare yourselves to others: whether it’s their job, further study or social life. Despite the name, social media often doesn't make us more social and can lead to you feeling worse. The ubiquitous LinkedIn humblebrags don't tell the full story of someone's life.
- It’s OK not to have a job yet: LinkedIn humblebrags of "the next phase" are great for that person, I applaud them I really do, but you do not have to have your whole life planned out. Just to remind you, as alumni you have access to careers connect for another two years and King’s Connect is a great resource for all alumni.
- You are great: I truly believe that you are amazing, if not for any other reason than you made it to the end of this blog. It’s going to feel odd, but say "I am amazing" three times out loud – I bet that’s made you smile!
I really hope this has helped you to feel slightly less alone, and a bit more understood. I have also linked some useful sites below. You are amazing, just remember that.