Are you freaking out?
Because we’re in that that period. You’ve been informed of your final university results and your parents are now telling everybody that you’re a graduate. You’re not a broke uni student anymore. Oh no, honey, you’re now in a period where you’re in between jobs if you don’t have a cushy grad job to cruise into. No more youth allowance. But, literally, no more youth and no more allowances from people or in life.
You’re probably furiously googling:
‘Graduate stress, is it normal?’
‘What should I do with my life?”
‘How do you find your life passion?’
‘Are grad jobs even good?’
‘What careers are best for my star sign? I’m an ARIES.’
‘How do you find something that lights a fire under your arse so you get out of bed every morning with GUSTO and passion?’
Okay, the last one is probably dangerous to google. You’ll probably get ads for gasoline. Oh god, can we just dance to Gasolina? I would totally sing the lyrics here right now except I don’t know Spanish. I don’t even know what industry I would want to position myself in on my Linkedin page so I don’t have one. I don’t know anything. What shambles … ¡Ay, caramba!
My Linked in page crisis is exactly the same as my quarter life crisis. I’ve worked full-time for 3+ years in marketing because it’s fun work and oh hey, I also have a Communications degree.
But, my actual degree is called Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Bachelor of Laws. And, obviously my ‘serious’ degree was law. And now that I’ve finished the degree, everyone is asking me, will I go into law? Will I be a lawyer? What law will I specialise in? Will I be like Meghan Markle except sans Prince Harry? Okay fine, no one has asked me the last question.
But the thing is, I don’t know anything. I genuinely do not know what I want to do every day for the rest of my life.
I had so many ideas when I finished high school. I was confident with my path. I was 18, I was desperate for adulthood and I went from my Selective Sydney school to a Law degree, winking at everyone that told me I would make a good lawyer. Ah the youth. Filled with such follies.
I remember some of my friends at that age who were cautious, who were left feeling unsettled and uncertain. They wanted to take gap years to assess what they really wanted to do. I felt incredulous of their choices because they were teenagers and were probably using money from their parents on a whirlwind trip across Europe. Or God forbid, some ‘humanitarian trip’ to a country in continental Africa. That’s just what Ja’mie, Private School Girl would pull.
But, now that I’ve saved up my own money – I feel like a gap year is the best option. You can apply for graduate jobs up to 3 years after you’ve graduated (if you’re so inclined), so no worries on missing out on job opportunities. Or, you can just get a normal job when you get back. This is probably the only time (for most university graduates) where you’re unencumbered from mortgages, children and long term relationships.
Also, this is the only time when you can apply for a J1 visa to the USA – the land of baseball, Yosemite and New York City baby!
If you are:
1. 18 or older and,
2. Hold an AU or NZ passport and,
3. Have completed full-time tertiary studies within a year prior to departure to the States (full time is important),
Then, you’re eligible to go to the States and get the visa (J1) that allows you to have a working holiday! This is possibly the best way to figure out this intense distress in your heart. Being able to work means you will have some funds and feel like an adult and yet you’ll have enough down-time to really work out what appeals to you. The act of surviving uncertainty for a year, having a blast and pushing your boundaries in a different country will allow you to take better, bolder risks when you get back.
Also, you can get thyself to Mexico and Canada without endless paperwork on this visa. Hola, Playa del Carmen! ¡Ay, caramba!
Don’t worry if you’re uncertain about life after graduation. Full time work will always wait for us. There are so many industries to get into, it’s best to figure out where you will be really ambitious, passionate and be okay with working 50 hour work weeks. Seriously, I’m telling you, I’ve never worked a full time job (in a corporation at least) where they don’t expect you to put in significant hours. 9-5? Forget about that luxury.
So, just take a year off for yourself. Contact https://www.iep.com.au/ to discuss your eligibility and your options. If working for a year in the States doesn’t float your boat, there’s Summer Camp USA options as well as Working Visa options for Canada, UK and Japan!
The world is your oyster, just waiting for you to take Instagram pictures of it.
And in the meanwhile, if anyone has a support facebook group for anxious graduates, let me know so I can join. Also congratulations on finishing your degree. Lol.
See you all in America.
@taramilktea for the featured image of the article, the ‘An Insta a day’ images and below.
@visitUSA for the ‘Can you see yourself in the States’ images
@nationalparkgeek for the ‘Explore the Outdoors’ image