student life

Life after you’ve donned the graduation goggles

I am in my final year of university, soon to be banished to the dreaded wastes of the real world—a place we are told from childhood where life is not fair, there is only misery, suffering, bo

I am in my final year of university, soon to be banished to the dreaded wastes of the real world—a place we are told from childhood where life is not fair, there is only misery, suffering, boredom and dissatisfaction with life.

And we had better get used to it, quick time.

This was the thrust of a conversation that myself and a close friend recently shared. We talked about how it will feel to leave such a large part of our lives behind forever—how we probably will never see the vast majority of the people we have spent the last three years with and how everything will probably be a downward spiral from here on out.

She also mentioned a concept that she found online called ‘graduation goggles,’defined as the relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even when it is completely miserable. Honestly if you don’t quite understand what this means then you are lucky. That said however I honestly think that this is something that everyone gets, some of us are merely better at being biro-wielding stoics than others.

I myself had a particularly horrific stretch last semester where it felt as though my knees would buckle under the weight of all the assignments, responsibilities and general worries that had taken up residence just behind my eyes. A lot of anxious days and sleepless nights came with it.

What helped me out of that particular funk was talking to people about it, and one line in particular put a lot of it into perspective, “People forget that life doesn’t end after uni.”

I won’t say who exactly said that to me, if you’re reading this then I’d just quickly like to say that you helped me more with only eight words than any amount of self-help books or ‘hard truths’could have.

While it sounds like an obvious fact, it is hard to remember that you aren’t living in Logan’s Run when you have lecturers threatening you with deadlines or important upcoming dates and piles of projects and papers to write steadily growing on your desk like some kind of cancerous tumour that won’t go away no matter how much you diligently procrastinate.

To anyone who might of read my last contribution to the site (though honestly I wouldn’t blame you because I mean come on, it had work experience in the title—if you didn’t run from that like a plague infected syphilitic sewer rat than I think we could perhaps be working on two different wave lengths) then one of you might remember how I spent the better part of two pages whining myself inside out about how I had no idea what I wanted to do.

With a smile on my face I can still confidently say that I still indeed haven’t a clue and I’m not a 100% convinced that I have any business working in the modern media, a not insubstantial worry for someone studying a broadcast journalism course but hush now I’m trying to make a point.

You see to my very great annoyance, I recently got some marks back from a number of modules that I completed last year and the results were, well put it this way, though they were passes, my smiling face won’t exactly be adorning the Brighton University prospectus due to outstanding achievement if you get my drift.

The reason I drag this up when I should be talking about the ‘graduation goggles’is because this is what really brought this home for me. Yeah, I didn’t write the most perfect dissertation interim report ever, nor was my audio documentary as good as some other peoples in the class but from these two debacles I learnt two things.

Firstly, though studying drug addiction is interesting, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster do not do it when all you’ve got is “Hello my name is (insert here) and I’m a (insert here) student at (insert here) university” because you will be ignored.

Secondly I’d sooner shoot myself than be a full time academic/researcher because it is so tedious.

To rope this wandering steer back on track here is my final word.

Though it is indeed sad that you are reaching potentially the end of your education and will have to face growing up, fiscal responsibility blah blah blah. Try to think of it as a new addition to the shambling mess that you’ve cobbled together over the last 20 or so, new avenues to explore, new jobs, new friends, new everything.

Hell if you’re still not quite sick of being beaten over the head with a copy of Harvard Referencing for Dummies then feel free to do a post-graduate.

What are you thinking as you finish university? What is your advice to deal with life after uni? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.