Saturday, 29 July 2017

Graduate to Grown Up

They say your twenties is the most influential decade of your life. It might be when you graduate, and when you have your first proper job; when you move out of your parents’ house – and maybe when you buy your own first home; when you meet new friends, who might prove to be your lifelong mates; and it might be when you meet your partner, and when you get married, and maybe even when you start a family; and it might be when you decide on your chosen career, or industry – or experiment with a multitude of those things. Your twenties can be pretty pivotal, not only in shaping who you are now, and for the next few years, but who you will be, and what you will do, and how you will live for the rest of your life.

This time last year I spoke to 9 recent graduates about what they’d done, what they were doing, and what they were hoping to go on and do. They had degrees in everything from Music to PR, and whilst some had jumped straight into the world of work, others were continuing to study or taking some time out to travel. It showed that just because you did the same degree as someone else, or went to the same university as someone else, everyone’s path is different – and, as a graduate, it was one of the first times in your life that you were in control of the first steps on that path.

For many, graduate life might not be quite all it’s cracked up to be. Whether it’s never really knowing what you want to do, or wondering if you’ll ever be able to buy a house or just have to pay extortionate rent forever, we all face challenges on the way to…and through adulthood. We might realise that the job that once seemed so attainable is actually a millions miles away because we don’t have 10 years’ experience, and can’t live on £10,000 a year. Or maybe we’ll throw ourselves into something, to later realise that this isn’t where we wanted to be. We’ll meet the success stories and the grafters, and the drifters and the bored but stable. And somewhere down the line, we’ll find our path and be clear how we’re going to stay on it.

So this summer I want to speak to a different group of people: the once graduates, now grown-ups. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be talking to people whose university days seem a distant memory and who have been making their way in the real world. I’ll be learning about the expectation vs. the reality of graduate life, and the journeys they’ve been on to get where they are today. I want to know where they see themselves going, simultaneously inspired and disheartened, by the trials and tribulations of everyday life, and what else they’re hoping to learn along the way.  

Keep your eyes peeled.

And I’m always looking for contributions, so if you want to share your story, get in touch! 

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