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If, like me, you have just finished your postgraduate course, then you might find yourself somewhat lost — especially when there are endless possibilities right now to consider; where you'll go, what you’ll do, and who you’ll become are all very natural thoughts to have within yourself once you have officially graduated and no longer have that university umbrella to shelter you from the rain of responsibility. 

Some will find that this is somewhat an easy transition — they might already have a job lined up, or maybe they have just paid for a new house in a completely different city ready to start anew. It’s important to know that there are no right or wrong ways of post-postgraduate life, so try not to worry if everything doesn't fall into place instantly for you; these things take time, and rushing into things will only lead to disappointment if you don’t meet your own expectations sooner rather than later. 

Once I personally finished my postgraduate in Mass Communications Management, I created a list of all the important tasks I should do before I consider employment full time.

My list consisted of various words that would read as nonsense to others, but to me they were important in establishing normality after what I consider to be a significant milestone in my life. I am a freelance writer/journalist, so my list may differ to someone who has different roles and responsibilities.

My list began with finding tasks that took what I was doing at Northumbria out into reality. Tasks such as signing up to the city library were important in rotating what you’d normally only do in a different setting. When I was working on my dissertation, the bulk of my income came via freelancing; trying to balance dissertation writing and writing 20,000 words a week separately to that was, as you can imagine, quite taxing — so finding somewhere new to work was considered a priority, which is where the city library came in. When I’m normally writing, I find that libraries or coffee shops — shout out to Quilliam Brothers, Pink Lane and Flat Caps — serve as the best environments for free, creative thinking that only sees to benefit what it is I’m writing. 

Whilst working on my dissertation, I found that my diet suffered heavily from a mix of late nights in the library, and generally not being in the right head space to understand that you’re hungry and that eating will probably help you. I set about making a dietary plan that worked around another task on my list, where I looked to put on a stone of muscle at the gym. Needless to say, it’s been around a month or two since I handed in my work, and I feel a lot better mentally and physically, having already hit my target, I am well on my way to putting yet another stone on — I also bought a bike and have now gotten into cycling to and from home off Chilli Road which is great for getting some cardio in.

You get so caught up in the minutiae of university that you forget about the little things, or the everyday tasks that you deem important. The type of tasks that make you, you.

With that in mind, you also should want to make the right changes in some way, for me I was slacking in a proper diet and a steady sleeping pattern — two things that I sorted out instantly — but I also wanted to try new things to take me out of my element and put me in a new environment, ones that I might have thought of whilst working on my dissertation, but never had the time to do it. This is what has led me back on track with my proposed travel magazine — something I consider to be a career, if not lead to something similar given the work I’ve put into it. 

I would advise looking at your bank account once you finish too. The likelihood of you buying takeaways and sugary foods are quite high, as well as the occasional drink, which might mean that you’ve spent more than you should have. This is what leads me to my next piece of advice: budget. Once you’ve finished uni, it might take months for you to find a new job, meaning you have very limited funds to go about your everyday life as well as taking part in some recreational activities with friends that costs money. If you already have a job then you're more than likely going to be set, but for those who might have part-time work, you might want to consider tightening your belt to see you through to your post-uni job. 

Try to consider your time after uni — the time immediately after — as time to spend with yourself again, not as time wasted considering employment looms in the distance.

If a job comes up that’s fit for you, then go for it, but don’t go settling for one that is below the standards that you have set for yourself just because it’s what you’ve been taught to think. I started painting, designing and cycling post-uni and am already looking for work, how you go about doing it is entirely up to you.

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