Gap yah grads: Meet the graduates who didn’t fancy the real world

And you thought you were having trouble making up your mind

As much as most of us don’t like to consider it, we’re all going to have to leave uni one day – and when that day comes, we’re probably going to be at a loss what to do.

Overall, around seven per cent of uni leavers from the 2013/14 academic year are still assumed to be unemployed – so if you’re worried about what to do post-uni you’re definitely not alone.

We caught up with some recent graduates who weren’t yet sure of what direction they’ll be taking to find out what they’ve been up to in the six months since they graduated.

Esther, King’s College

“After uni I went travelling for three months with a friend exploring Asia, and also visiting New Zealand. I saw and did some incredible things like climbing volcanoes, visiting temples, exploring incredible cities and relaxing on deserted beaches.  I really enjoyed my time travelling and it was nice to have a break after finishing my degree.

“Since getting back I’ve applied for a few jobs in Science Communication and also for a few Master’s programmes. I’m still waiting to hear back and start the next stage. In the meantime, I’m working as a freelance editor to earn some much-needed money!”

Chris, Leeds 

“I just about graduated from Leeds with a 2:1 in Human Physiology – now I’m doing what everyone is doing and avoiding entering the real world of graduate jobs for as long as possible by going back to uni. I’ve been offered a place to do Paramedic Science at St. George’s University in London starting in September, which I’ll accept if do don’t get offered a place on Medicine, my first choice.

“During this rather late gap year I’m simply trying to earn as much money as possible in an attempt to fund this second degree. I’m currently working during the week in a local sports shop and then as a care worker in a dementia home. No travelling for me this year as it doesn’t exactly fall into the category of saving money.

“Basically I’m now just an over-educated 18-year-old who is on a gap year – but without the fun!”

Oli, Kent

“I’m not unemployed, I’m on a sabbatical! The job market’s tough – it’s up to you if you want to sift through the countless telemarketing positions dressed up as ‘Junior Vice-President Executive of Sales’, just to find those couple of decent jobs with ridiculous amounts of competition.

“Therefore I’ve decided the real world isn’t for me, and that I’m going back to uni in September to do a Masters in History. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get proficient in Spanish, since language skills can open a lot of doors these days. I’m also hoping to save up enough to do some travelling in Europe/North Africa the coming months.

“Growing up and getting a job is overrated. Staying in bed till three in the afternoon watching cartoons has been a much more productive use of time in my post-undergrad life.”

Sara, King’s College

“I’m essentially taking a gap year. I left home in August to do some travelling with a university friend . We started off in Japan where we travelled around with another Uni friend. After that I ended up in Australia on a working holiday visa, after also visiting Indonesia and New Zealand.

“This visa allows me to fund my travels around Australia and surrounding areas by doing some casual work where I can get it. I am hoping to do a Masters after this year.  I needed a break from studying for a while so I decided to use this time to visit new places and meet new people instead.”