Posted on 9th June 2016

I’ve Finished my Degree… Now What?

Lifestyle

Why hello there! So many things have changed in the last few
weeks, my head is spinning! I had my last assignment deadlines and my last ever exam as a student, I left my job in retail, started a full time job in administrationFinishing University everything collage www.wingitwithjade.com, I moved out of my student house and said goodbye to my friends who I have lived with for the past 2-3 years and moved home with my whole life packed into boxes. Phew. So what now? In this post I’ll be looking back and discussing my amazing last few years at University, but also looking forward and getting exciting about my short & long term plans for the future… Exciting!!!

 

What I’ll miss about University

  1. I’m going to miss Lincoln as a city more than words can say. It’s been my home for the last few years and I’ve become so familiar and attached to it! It’s not altogether different from Cambridge which was attractive to me when I chose University of Lincoln but it’s so different at the same time. Like Cambridge, it’s full of quirky and eccentric characters, and I’ll miss having a giggle at some of the sites I was subjected to when walking down the high street. I’ll miss the touristy areas of Lincoln such as the castle and the cathedral, I absolutely love cities like Lincoln which are rife with history and culture. I’ll definitely miss the wide choice of food available to me on the Brayford, which was home to so many different restaurants, there’s literally something for everyone and every appetite there and I took that for granted definitely.
  2. The partying is going to be hard missed for sure. Having the ability to go out any day of the week and take full advantage of all the student promo offers was amazing. One particular night I will miss is Skint Tuesdays. Drinks were £1 each, the music was always amazing, themed nights, a non strict dress code and an awesome crowd! What’s not to miss there?! Some of my best nights out were definitely at Skint and I miss it already. I definitely took for granted the short walk into town on every night out – now it’ll be train journeys and expensive taxi’s home… *sarcastic woo*.
  3. I’m going to sound like such a nerd here, but I’m genuinely going to miss the lessons! I love the academic environment and the vibe of a seminar room. Of course this rule doesn’t apply to ALL lessons, there were some which I would have much preferred to sleep through, and often did, but on the whole I loved soaking up the tutor’s knowledge like a sponge.
  4.  One thing which I have started to miss already is my independence. Living so close to everything I very rarely relied on lifts or public transport to get me from A to B, but now I’m home I have to either catch a ride or take the train and walk a mile just to get to work. Weirdly, I miss doing my own laundry and planning and cooking my own meals… Weird right? I’m doing as much of this as I can at home but there are certain limitations like over complicating the food shop and wasting money by separating my laundry from my family’s. I’m just going to miss feeling like more of an adult I suppose.
  5. MY FRIENDS. Waaaaah this is a big one! We have our fall outs but I loved my little family oh so much. Having a crappy day and knowing I would come home to cuddles, Game of Thrones or a movie night was definitely a huge security blanket for me, and one I’m going to miss immeasurably. By third year, I had made such a huge bond with Katie, Tom and Dan and I now consider them to be some of my absolute closest friends. Luckily, Dan only lives about 20 minutes up the road and so meeting up with him will be fairly easy, but Katie and Tom live a good 2 hours away :'( We’re definitely going to make time for each other though,we chat on Facebook messenger at least once a day but I can’t handle being away from that lot!!
Finishing University uni friends www.wingitwithjade.com

These guys have been my rock at University and it breaks my heart knowing how many miles they are away from me now </3

 

What I won’t miss about University

  1. My stress levels have definitely dropped by at least half in the last few weeks since completing my degree. Obviously stress is natural and I’m sure I haven’t escaped it completely, but WOW they really don’t prepare you for the quantity of work you will be doing, the close deadlines and just how tricky the work is. I’ll definitely miss my library sessions because we made them fun and I always looked forward to them – but the lack of sleep and the amount of work it took to put into a good essay by third year was just so much stress by the end of it, so it’s nice to take a break from that for a while.
  2. Although I enjoyed being given the opportunity to read such a variety of books, and to analyse them through certain lenses, I WILL NOT miss having to read constantly. On so many occasions in the last few years have I found myself at 4am waking up with a start, dribbling on a book which I had to finish for the next day with 100 pages left to go. Some of you are probably thinking “Well, you should have organised your time a little better” but I can’t explain how difficult it was to juggle everything. I had to find time to read at least 3 texts a week in between attending University, typing up my notes, going to work and you know, enjoying my life? Some of these texts at 100 pages were a breeze – it was the big bulky 500 page ones which screwed me up completely. I tried my best but I have no idea how someone could read EVERYTHING on the course… Unless they didn’t have a life?
  3. One amazing feeling coming home was banishing the distance from my friends back home, my family and Dan. I am now a 2 minute walk from Jess’ house and a 15 minute walk from Dan’s, and of course I’m under the same roof as my family! No more emotional Skype calls, home sickness and Dan no longer has to travel 80+ miles to see me for 24 hours at the weekend. This is a big one for me. Although mine and Dan’s relationship began at University, so the distance was all we ever knew, it’s so nice to know that he’s only around the corner at any given time!
  4. I WILL NOT miss being in my overdraft!!! I was quite good with my finances at University roughly 90% of the time, but when things were tight and I slipped into my overdraft it was the most horrible feeling in the world! I never ever went near my £500 overdraft limit because of the way it made me feel. I worked two jobs every time I came home just to scramble my way out of it, and of course I worked in retail throughout my whole time at University. The student loans really screw over those who come under the “middle bracket”. Grrrrr. I could go into a rant here but I’ll resist.
  5. One thing I am glad to see the back of is the drama and the arguments which happened at University. So you’d think that childish pettiness and bitchiness would have ended at secondary school right? WRONG. In my final year there were horrible incidents with individuals which made me feel so alienated I felt like I couldn’t speak in my own house, in fear that I’d say something and it would be taken in the wrong way, twisted, and it would be spread around that I was this awful person… Yep, this is how bad it got. Now, I don’t care what simple minded people think of me, but false accusations were flying around on social media (not small accusations either), I just lost it. That sort of petty drama could have had a SERIOUS effect on my career prospects, but luckily people knew they were false and ridiculous and were therefore invalid. One thing University has taught me is that some people out there are just nasty, and the healthiest thing to do is to cut them out of your life as soon as you possibly can. Maybe it’s because I took a gap year before University, but the immaturity of some people was baffling!!!
Finishing University books www.wingitwithjade.com

This isn’t even a dent in a years worth of reading for an English Literature student, or even a term!! Although I’m so happy to have read such a variety of texts, I’ll be glad to be able to actually ENJOY a book now.

 

So now I have found myself in this strange transitioning period. From Saturday – Tuesday I went from being a student and having zero routine to working 9-5.30 Monday to Friday and having the weekends to myself. It’s a very strange, sad, yet wonderful feeling! I’m so proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish in my time at University – both academically and socially. I have made so many bonds with countless people and really proved my talents both to myself and to those around me.

 

So what are my plans for the future?

  1. Take driving lessons and pass my test. I have been reliant on other people driving me about for far too long now, and after coming home I’m already craving some independence, so this is how I aim to get it!
  2. Start saving. I am now earning enough to live comfortably AND start saving. What a wonderful time to be alive! My main two things to save for are holidays and for a future house deposit, but I’ve also wanted an iPad for quite a while, I need a new camera etc… So I aim to put roughly half of my wages away a month.
  3. Blogging. Now I’m free and my routine is being slowly established I will be blogging regularly now, rather than as and when I could squeeze it in! Until I get some decent lighting, I intend to take all my blog photos at the weekend and take a couple evenings of the weekdays to type up two blog posts a week. I’d like to post three a week ideally but we’ll see how easily my time spreads.
  4. Search for a career. This is in the next few years or so as I’m in a secure well paying job at the moment, so there’s no particular rush. I have a few ideas floating around in my head *Top Secret* but I want to take my time and make sure I end up doing something I love for a living – there’s nothing worse than having to rely on that Friday feeling every week.
  5. Decorating. Now I’ve come home, I’ve found that my room hasn’t really changed in the last four years in terms of style, and I desperately need to make this room more homey. I’m looking for pastel shades with a bit of marble & monochrome!
  6. Taking up hobbies. One thing I don’t want to happen is for me to get too comfortable in this 9-5.30 routine and to forget the things I enjoy. So I need to find a reasonably priced gym to go to and potentially a gym buddy but I’m quite happy to go on my own. I also want to start back up with dancing and to ensure that I carry on reading.
Finishing University reading for pleasure www.wingitwithjade.com

I am absolutely LOVING The Girl on the Train!!! I’m only 150 pages through so far but omg… Please can someone else who is reading it get in touch – I need someone to discuss theories with!!

 

As you can probably tell, my emotions towards leaving University are all over the place. But at the end of the day, I don’t regret a single thing about the past three years – University was honestly THE BEST decision I have ever made! I’ve learned and matured so much, it’s unbelievable. Most importantly, I have made the most wonderful friends who have given me fantastic, unforgettable memories which I will treasure for the rest of my life.

 

If you want to read  more about my University experience, you can read my post “Seven Things I Have Gained Through University” – it goes into a bit more detail about what things I have taken away from this wonderful experience!

I hope you have enjoyed this post – I’m sorry that it’s a tad bit long, I just had so much to say! Were you a student at University? Did you feel any differently when you left? Please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts, and feel free to comment below or message me for a chat – I’d love to talk to you.

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