How to prepare yourself for the transition from student to working life

Photo: Geneva Vanderzeil / Flickr.

Photo: Geneva Vanderzeil / Flickr.

Do you know what the scariest thing about being at university is? No, it’s not the workload and deadlines! What’s scarier than that is knowing that the end of your student life is approaching very fast…
When you get accepted into university, it really is the best feeling – you know you’ve got three years to enjoy your life, learn and plan your future.

But, despite the warnings, you never really pay attention when people say that those three years will fly by. You also probably didn’t think that when it came to sorting your life and applying for jobs that you’d also have 10 deadlines, 5 exams and a dissertation. I repeat, dissertation – looming.

We know how it is – you may be in your final year, but you still feel like a fresher on the inside.

As the fictional character of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith Grey said: “When did we become adults and how do we make it stop?” But, the truth is, we can’t make it stop. So how can we make that massive jump a little bit easier?

Firstly, just accept it. You can’t be in control of life and how quickly time goes so just get over the fact that you’ll soon be a graduate and you’ll have to face the real world. But acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. It means understanding something is what it is and there’s got to be a way through it.

So, while you’re still studying, find yourself some work experience during the holidays. Instead of laying on your sofa watching Netflix for the whole of the Christmas holidays, spend half of that time living the adult life.

Doing internships or work experience is the best way to get an insight into the real, post-university life. You’ll get a feel of what it’s like to wake up at the crack of dawn everyday and not get home until much later than you’re used to. We might fear those 9ams that we have twice a week now, but you’ll soon learn that they really aren’t that bad.

It’s also a good idea to start going to bed and getting up earlier even when you have the day off. When I say early I don’t mean hitting the sack at 9pm- no adult goes to bed that early. However, why not aim to be in bed by 11pm? I know that’s a hard thing to do when you’re at university, but take baby steps. Besides, you can forget about having lay-ins once you get a full time job, so why not get used to it right now?

Finally, try to be as productive as you can during the day. If you find yourself feeling bored, don’t scroll through your Facebook timeline pointlessly – go and do your weekly shopping or hoover your room. I promise, you’ll feel better for it too!

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