I don’t consider myself an expert on much, but I am fairly well-versed on the ins-and-outs of being a recent graduate; I’m at the point where I can still say “I graduated recently…” without it being a total lie, which is certainly more impressive than “I’m in between jobs at the moment”, which is really just a roundabout way of admitting unemployment.
Andsobut you find that you yourself are a recent graduate, or are about to become one, and you’re still waiting to hear back from the graduate positions you’ve applied for and/or you’re nervous about the big wide world. Big chunks of time that you used to spend studying are now voids of anxiety. Fear not! There are a number of activities you could do to fill your time; some of them are even productive.
APPLY FOR JOBS
This is the most obvious; you’re done with the study, so it’s time to get to putting the skills you learned to work. The wise thing to do would be to apply for jobs before you graduate, so you can jump right into Being An Actual Adult, but I totally didn’t, so if you don’t, I can’t yell at you without being a hypocrite.
Even if you don’t want to immediately face full-time, 9-5 work, it’s probably good if you can generate some income at a part time job or something. Just sayin’.
DO SOME INTERNING
While you’re waiting to hear back from all those jobs you applied to, why not become an intern? Sure, interns get stuck with all the crappy jobs no one wants to do for little to no money, but you’ll be getting experience and a chance to perfect your skills in a professional work environment.
Plus, if you do a good enough job, they may actually pay you with real money! Wow! I found most of my internships through my university careers board and The Loop.
Similar to interning, but without the vague promise of future paid employment. Not that it doesn’t have its perks; when I volunteered at the Manly Jazz Festival, I got to wander along Manly beach while listening to jazz music all day…and I got a free lunch! and a 2011 Manly Jazz Festival t-shirt! What a great day.
When I volunteered at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards I got to follow tween stars around all day and get slimed*! on top of the free lunch(es) and Nickelodeon Staff t-shirt. Seriously, I have amassed so many t-shirts from all the volunteer jobs I’ve done. If you want free shirts, all you have to do is volunteer for stuff.
GET ADDICTED TO A GAME ON YOUR PHONE
Preferably one of those “social games” that rely on you playing with one or more of your friends; Draw Something is fairly popular these days. This is how it will go down:
- Download Draw Something on your phone/tablet/whatever
- Badger all your friends to play it with you
- Start a few games with friends
- Everyone gets really competitive, and it’s fun
- Everyone gets really competitive, and feelings get hurt
- Friends realise how much time Draw Something has taken from them and abruptly stop playing — even though it’s their move — in favour of doing their job or studying
- You stare bitterly at all the unfinished games and try to fight feelings of abandonment
JOIN A GYM
Not exercising was acceptable back when you were a university student, and all your time was used to do assignments and attempt to maintain a social life, but now that those days are behind you, there’s nothing standing in the way of you and getting fit. Join a gym!
I personally enjoy using the treadmill, only because running outside makes me nervous and I get performance anxiety. I wish I were kidding. The elliptical machines are also pretty rad. If using gym equipment isn’t your thing, there are also classes. Take up kick-boxing, or judo, or yoga, or pilates, or yogalates; you get to meet new people with whom you can bond over bitching about how much of a hard-ass your kick-boxing instructor is.
START A BLOG
Then you can whine about being a graduate, and how getting a job in this economy is so hard and nobody understands me like you do, blog.
Or better yet, start a T*mblr. It’s amazing. It’s like crack. You will never leave your room again, your face pale with the glow of your monitor. So many pictures of kittens, so many memes, so many misattributed/paraphrased quotes…and they have this “endless scrolling” feature…
GET A SECOND DEGREE/A MASTERS/A PhD
When being a Real Person gets too hard, you can always get back to studying. Some benefits of higher tertiary education:
- You can list your occupation as “student” again
- Knowledge is power
- Put off paying your student loans by accumulating more student loans!
- If you get a PhD, people can call you “Doctor”
- Also if you get a PhD, you get to wear an awesome hat
What I am saying is: enjoy student life while you still can! The “real world” is for suckers!
* getting slimed is only kind-of fun while the sliming is going on; “oh haha so much slime! I’m so gross, the floor’s so slippery! I’m…oh no I’m falling over! my butt! ouch.” but once the slime hoses turn off, all you can think about is how cold you are, and how you forgot to bring a change of clothes.