Every soul-destroying thing that happens in the summer after you graduate

Welcome to the real world


The end of university is pretty terrifying – you’ve just finished 17 years of full-time education, and now you’re expected to just make it in the big wide world.

Well, at least you’ve probably got a place to stay with your parents. Maybe you even have a grad job, and you probably don’t have too much debt. After all, they wouldn’t want to make the leaving uni process worse for you? Right?

Here’s all the horrible things that will happen to you in your first few months after leaving uni.

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You move back home

You never wanted to be this person, but the dust from the graduation celebrations has settled and you’re back in your old room in Guildford, staring up at your Pulp Fiction poster, wondering what those three years studying Geography at Leicester actually helped you achieve.

Your parents will suggest you pay rent

They’ll quickly get over the novelty of you living at home and will expect you to contribute more to the house. There will be some kind of awkward formal chat, where they will decide on what amount you should pay.

You assess the cost-effectiveness of your £4.5k a year travelcard, and decide you should probably move out.

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You say you’re going to move out, but you don’t

As you view yet another £800pm SpareRoom flat where you have to walk through a Vietnamese restaurant to get to the bathroom, it starts to dawn on you that looking for a place is going to take longer than you thought.

Oh well, at least your commute from Hemel Hempstead is only a three-hour round trip and your parents only marginally hate you.

Your graduation photo will turn up and it will be awful

You did everything right: tilted your head at your best angle, flashed a smile that could only be described as “winning”, and clutched that fake rolled-up degree like your life depended on it.

So why does the picture that turned up look like this? Your shiny forehead, claw-like hands and puffy eyes make you look like The Picture of Dorian Gray, if his curse was a low 2:2. Hey, at least it only cost £44.99.

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Fucking Hugo from uni will get a really good job

He slept with your girlfriend, he was really rude to you on that sports social once and now he’s earning £40k a year at JP Morgan without having had to lift a finger.

Meanwhile, you’re browsing Gumtree for manual jobs, only stopping to intermittently open an Incognito Window and have a sad wank. If there is a God, He hates you.

You start to drift apart from your uni friends

There’s literally nothing to talk about anymore.

You contemplate going travelling

You never went on a gap year and spent the whole of uni hearing about how your coursemates found themselves, so you invest in a Lonely Planet guide to Laos and prepare to embark on an adventure.

Then you realise you’re still £1,225 in overdraft and your parents won’t lend you any more money, so instead you get a job in recruitment in Swindon and convince yourself you’ll “go on a sabbatical” five years down the line.

You blow your first month’s wages and panic

Mum?

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Your relationship with your uni boyfriend dies but you’re afraid to split up so you don’t

“Remember that time in freshers’ when we got really drunk and Mike took all my stuff outside?”

[You’re both watching House of Cards in silence in your mum’s house. You are thinking wistfully of your new post-graduation life and all the bearded men who work at pop-ups that you will shag lovelessly, but are too sentimental and terrified to admit that this evening, this relationship, is not part of that life.]

“Yeah”

“And then we got off outside the loos”

“Yeah”

“Should we text Mike and get him round for drinks?”

“Nah”

“OK”

[You turn up the volume on Netflix and try not to feel guilty and terrified that you might never find love again, but Claire Underwood has just walked out on Frank and you are thinking “Yes, fucking yes, this will be me soon”.]

You split up

You know when you went to uni with your hometown high-school sweetheart and you wanted to revitalise your life? You forged a new, sparkling identity for yourself but when they got the train up on the weekends they jabbed holes in this new persona with their previous knowledge and you panicked and looked less cool. Eventually you had to get rid of them so you could pretend you lost your virginity two years before you actually did and that you never had puppy fat.

Yeah, it’s that again.

You download Tinder/Bumble/Happn but don’t go on any dates

You’re in London, and your mate told you that dating apps are massive here. You download it and convince yourself you’re in love with Alex who helps design cars that don’t use petrol. You inevitably stop talking three days later.

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You stop giving a fuck/pretending to give a fuck about house music and techno

You used to set aside an hour each week to download new music. You were even part of a music sharing group and you posted regularly. Then you got a job and all you can think to play in the office on a Thursday night is James Blunt.

Your student card runs out and everything becomes a bit more inconvenient

You no longer get a free McFlurry and cinema tickets cost £2 more. It’s not the end of the world, but you just really don’t need those extra burdens when life seems to be shitting on you in every other aspect as well.

Your love life becomes completely nonexistent

The moment you move out of your uni flat, the possibility of you shagging goes from slim to zero. You’re forced to resort to waiting until your parents go to Lanzarote for a week in September, or using the fold-out bed in the living room of your one uni friend who lives with his girlfriend in Clapham.

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No-one will know who you are

You went out a bit at uni. That bloke who works on the door used to sneak you in for free and Ant used to give you free drinks, too. Now you walk around London and the buildings are big and no-one gives a fuck about you.

You realise that clubbing in London is an expensive, hollow venture

The first night seems like the best you’ve had in ages. Uni nights out were too tacky and full of 18-year-olds. This is the height of sophistication, as you swig an Old Fashioned out of a crystal tumbler.

Then you realise you’ve spent half your salary in one night out in Shoreditch, everyone’s still a wanker, there are even more fights than before, and no-one will get with you because you’re not a banker.

You try and get back together with your uni boyfriend/girlfriend

We can make it work, Laura – I’ve got a twin bed in my flat and I swear you won’t even notice the commute from Bethnal Green to Birmingham.

Your cat dies

RIP Claws.

You change barbers five times and never get it right

The first one you try will be too expensive and they blow dry your hair so much you look like a first year Slytherin. So you’ll go cheap, pay less than £10 and walk out with a bowl cut. You’ll venture high and low and still never quite find the right one.

Turkish, Italian, Ted Baker: it doesn’t matter, and every time you walk back into the office the cheeky sales boy will still ask: “Are you happy with it though?” Everyone will laugh, and you’ll die a little inside.

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You end up going on a family holiday and realise you’re way too old for this

Once your parents suggest you start paying for your own flights, there’s no point anymore.

You realise that your summer holidays will never be as long

As it dawns on you that the longest regular break from work you’ll ever get again is a three-day weekend, you’ll become short of breath and contemplate running away to start a new life in the wilderness.

You shag one of your friends from home and it is so, so awkward

You and Louis always had a bit of a flirtationship, and with the shackles of uni thrown off and one too many ‘bucas at the local pub you decide it’s a good idea to explore each other intimately.

Cue four months of tears, shouting matches and pass-agg Snapchat stories until it all becomes too much and one of you packs it in and takes a three-month internship in Hamburg.

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You revisit your uni town, and realise it’s shit

For those three years Leeds felt like heaven, so why does it suddenly feel so… small?

Even when you visit your old uni house you realise your neighbourhood stinks of piss, and the pub you used to go to for £1 pints is actually just really depressing when the students have gone home and all that’s left is the old locals, the watered-down Carlsberg and the crushing disappointment of everything you failed to achieve in your time at uni.

You eventually realise, begrudgingly, that uni wasn’t actually the “best time of your life”

Six day weekends were all well and good, but you can afford brunch now. Who’s the real winner here?

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By Bobby Palmer, Tom Jenkin, Roisin Lanigan, Daisy Bernard, Bella Eckert and Josh Kaplan