Graduation Anxiety What happens next?

by Emily Maybanks

December’s edition of the Waterfront featured an article I wrote called ‘Thoughts from the mind of a final year student’. In this article, I explored the idea of having too many options in terms of post-University career ideas. In a sense, this article is sort of linked to that one; as in, the theme of this article is also looking forwards to post-University life.

I believe that it is incredibly daunting to be a final year student going into our final semester at University. I know that I feel scared and anxious at the prospect of leaving University in the summer; I know that I don’t want to leave Swansea behind just yet – it has become a real home away from home for me, and I feel as though I still have so much more to learn, but I still don’t have the faintest clue of what to do when I do leave. This sounds like the polar opposite to what I discussed in ‘Thoughts from the mind of a final year student’.

It can be tempting to spend our final semester planning every aspect of our lives for once we graduate. This can be unhealthy though. It has the potential to make our final few months of University fly by so quickly that we miss out on the chance to fully appreciate them. Although some degree of planning is needed, we should not let it consume our final semester. I have learnt that it certainly doesn’t matter if we don’t have our whole lives mapped out ahead of us for after graduation. Nobody expects us to come out of University and suddenly achieve every dream that we had originally set out to accomplish. I know that I have changed my mind so frequently during the past five years about what I want to do once I graduate, and while I now feel as though I have a plan and an idea, it certainly is not the dream that I had even at the very beginning of this academic year. I don’t think that there is a rule book that signifies that we have to leave University and immediately start working towards our long-term career goals. Graduating can be a chance to do everything that we never had the chance to do before we started University. Taking a gap year, getting a short-term job in a totally different city, or diving into a Master’s are just a short list of the endless possibilities that are in store for us when we graduate.

It is important that final year students do not let the end of their time at University be consumed with fear and pressure. We need to celebrate all that we have achieved throughout our time at Swansea University. Graduating is going to be our chances to do all that we have ever hoped to do in our lives. However, if there is one thing that life has taught me, it is to live in the moment and to enjoy these last few months as a student at Swansea University.


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