Scared about graduation? We asked recent Notts grads for their advice

It will work out!

Scared about final year and graduating? Us too.

The Nottingham Tab spoke to recent graduates, asking them for their top tips to students with a little bit of time left. Here were the most popular answers:

Tyler, a Politics and American studies graduate we spoke to

Don’t worry about getting a job as soon as you graduate

If you’re worried about not getting that all-important grad job, there’s no need to fear.

Of course, there’s always somebody who grabbed a spot on a shiny grad scheme and told you all about it. They might’ve already bought their fancy clothes and made a mood-board for their box room in London. But these students are very much in the minority. According to the Careers’ Department, less than 40% of graduates from UoN go onto such training courses (and an even smaller number have these positions confirmed before graduating).

For the majority of students nearing graduation, they don’t have things worked out yet. And that’s totally okay. Especially in the times of Covid-19.

Tyler, a recent grad from Politics and American studies, told us, “I doubt that the Covid restrictions will have fully lifted by the time you graduate so I wouldn’t worry if you don’t get a job immediately, a lot of people will be in the same boat. But also, you’ve been working on your degree for 3 years (or possibly more) so you’re definitely entitled to a break and some time to yourself, there’s no need to rush into anything.”

Don’t worry too much about your grades

So many students stress about their grades but having a few blips does not necessarily spell the end of the world. Although aiming high is great, getting down upon yourself isn’t.

If you’re struggling with stress or your mental health reaching out to the university’s Support and Wellbeing Service, or Nottingham Nightline, might be a good place to start, if you’re comfortable with it.

One recent grad revealed to us, “I only got a 2:2 on my dissertation but managed to get a 2:1 in my degree overall.”

Life as a graduate probably won’t be what you expected it to be

Whether you’re hoping to live your graduate life in a penthouse in central London, or live on an island on a gap year, graduate life will probably not be what you expect it to be.

Tyler said, “I finished my degree and graduated in the middle of the pandemic and then I had some health issues I’ve had to recover from and I’m only now looking for employment. But in saying that nothing about my university experience has been like how I expected it to be, but not in a bad way, and I should think it will be similar for you too.”

Make your university experience your own

Even during the pandemic and in your final year, you can still do things to make the most out of your university experience. Some societies are still running online; others are hoping to get back to organising small events in person once restrictions are eased.

University is about finding out about yourself, who you are as a person and what you can do when you’re left to make decisions for yourself. So try something new, or get back into something, that you’ve always wanted to do.

“I spent my time at university doing what I wanted to do and made my university experience my own, and I’ve learned a lot about myself as a result,” Tyler said.

Perhaps this is the most important piece of advice for any student at university.

There you have it. Even though graduating in the middle of the pandemic is hard, try to make the most out of what’s left of your time at university and don’t worry too much about what the future may hold.