If you’re a uni student or were one at some point in your life, you will know what it feels like to not really have a routine and (for most of the time) work for your own sake – it’s YOUR degree at the end of the day. Most uni students hand in their dissertations or finish their final exams and will have grad jobs starting in a few months, are currently looking for jobs or some not even knowing where to start. Well, I handed in my dissertation and started my first job a week later. Let’s just say I faced a bit of a culture shock!
My first day of my full time work didn’t feel real, especially as I’d literally been putting the finishing touches to my dissertation just the week before. I was excited, but I was also pretty anxious. It hadn’t fully sunk in that I’d finished university and it just kinda felt I was in this weird limbo phase and was going back to uni soon. I don’t deal with change that well, so the first few weeks were really quite tough for me. I didn’t feel like I properly ‘knew’ anyone yet, I didn’t feel at home and I just felt really, really weird.
I think it took a while to accept that I wasn’t going back to uni and that full time work was going to be life now. There was no next step in education and I guess that’s just a strange feeling when you’ve gone back to school/uni every September for the majority of your life.
Another aspect of full time work that took a while to get back into (since being on placement) was having such a strict routine. Part of me actually quite enjoys being in a stable routine and somewhere to be every day, as sometimes the days of sitting in bed doing my dissertation got pretty lonely and tiresome. I do miss being able to wake up slowly and watch This Morning though!
It was also quite a lonely time at first, which was tough. I missed being around my uni friends and just missed being ‘myself’. Relationship dynamics change a lot when you go into the working world, simply because you have to be professional. Luckily, I work in an office with a great culture, however there is a still fine line – you have to make sure you’re being work appropriate. Whilst I do still struggle with not having a large amount of friends locally outside of work, I’m so glad to say that I feel fully part of the team now and have made some great work friends. If you’re reading this about to start a new job or you’re struggling with the transition, it will get better!
It feels so weird to say but I genuinely still felt like I was still an intern or placement student at first. It took my manager to say they wanted to hire a placement student to make me think oh crap that’s not actually me anymore… I have a career?! Woaaaah there, hahaha. It was such a strange feeling. I spoke about this a bit in my ‘Learning To Accept That Success Takes Time‘ post, but I think it can be difficult to fully believe in your abilities and your purpose when you start your first job post-uni.
Finally, weekends have now resumed their original meaning. Instead of spending my time working in Tesco and doing uni work, I can actually treasure weekend again! I wake up on Saturday mornings and just feel soooo good and get those weekend vibes every single week. It’s so amazing. Uni was SO tiring and draining at times, but working definitely requires more non-stop brain energy. So, rewarding myself with a fun weekend where I can switch off from work completely is just such a bonus.
Are you a uni graduate? How did you find transitioning from university to full time work?