Hating post uni life

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Hating post uni life

Postby JanePerson » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:56 am

I graduated last year and since that day my life has gone downhill and I don't see it getting any better. Obviously I have had to move back home and I knew it wouldn't be easy getting a job but I wasn't expecting to feel as miserable as I do now.

Though my relationship with my parents isn't too bad I really hate living at home. My home town isn't exactly a hell-hole but its the kind of place where no one talks to their neighbours and there is no sense of community spirit. I was hoping to get some kind of stop gap type job but all the shops, cafés etc. don't advertise their vacancies, instead they just ask there employees if they have any mates that want a job. Therefore if you don't know anyone you have no chance of getting a job.

So I'm basically stuck at home applying for jobs and not much else. I worry constantly about my future and if I will ever get a proper job. I don't think I ever appreciated how many of the things I wanted from life (and I don't even think I'm that materialistic) depend on my getting a job. I think about all the people who graduated the year before me and are still on the scrapheap and it makes me feel really ill thinking that it could be me. I sometimes just find myself crying non stop thinking about this. I really don't see a future for myself.

However I think my main problem is the loneliness I don't have any friends left in my home town. I have loads of uni friends but they all live too far away to see regularly (especially with train fairs being so expensive) though we do keep in touch with email its not the same as having people to hang out and chat with. I have tried to meet new people in my area by joining groups but there isn't a lot for people my age. I've been to several things that claim to be for 18-30s only to be the only person there under 40, I've got nothing against older people but we don't have much in common and I couldn't really join in the conversations. Being broke I don't have the money for the gym or classes at my local college Dating opportunities are also now non existent I split up with my boyfriend about a month before we left uni and I'm now wondering if I'm ever going to meet anyone else.

Has any one else experienced this? Does anyone know how to meet people after uni?

Thanks
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby ILoveChristmas » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:10 am

Hi Jane,

I know how you feel in lots of ways. After I left university I didn't have a job, my partner at the time was pregnant and the worry of how I was going to provide for them gave me many of same feelings you seem to have. The reality is though in this day and age that almost nobody comes out of university and straight into a job.

I'm assuming you graduated at the end of last summer, and if so, you'd have been doing exceptionally if you did have a job. Do you have a clear idea of the kind of job you want? Is it in the field that you studied for? Even though you've graduated, you could use the university's resources to find employers hiring in your degree area. Speak to the people in the uni who deal with careers and placements. They'll know which companies take on students regularly. You can then approach them and say "well i know i'm no longer a student, but I need a foot in the door and here's what I can do".

I think the fact of the matter is these days that everyone needs to do something they don't want to do, at least for a while. What about call centres? Less than ideal places to work, but it's better than sitting at home. In the eyes of employers though, you need to be seen to be doing something. An astrophysicist cleaning toilets is better than one doing nothing to a prospective employer. I know you don't see any vacancies advertised in shop windows very much these days, but be proactive. If you're walking past anyway, why not pop in and ask if there's anything going. Are there any supermarkets local to you? These places have a very high staff turnover, i.e. regular vacancies.

As for meeting new people. Dating sites are an obvious one. You can get free ones and i've used a couple in the past with some success. Or how about looking up some old school friends from your area. There are bound to be some who still live around the place and it'd be great to catch up and reminisce about the old days!

I realise this post probably isn't any real help to you, but reply if you like and we can bounce some ideas around. It's important that you realise though that's you're one of very many people in exactly your situation, so don't worry!
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby RagDoll » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:11 am

Sorry to hear you feel like this Jane :(

I have been through a similar situation - I graduated in 2006, which was relatively 'boom times' in comparison to now, but it still took me months and months to get a job. I know you said you are prepared to work in a cafe etc. and I think that's the right attitude.. just about any job is better than no job, so just keep applying. With regard to your local cafes, shops etc. not advertising their vacancies, it might be worth just popping in every month or so to ask if they have anything going/coming up. Also, aren't there any towns/cities surrounding where you live where you could try their cafes etc.? On a final note re: the job situation, this is NOT going to last forever, you've just got to persevere. We're officially out of the recession now, so things should pick up eventually.

With regard to your friends living far away from you, is there no chance that some of you could look for a job in the same place so that once you get one, you could rent a house together or something?

I know you said you've been joining clubs etc. in order to meet friends, and I think that's a good thing and something you should continue to do. Aren't there any hobbies/sports you could also try? You might be able to meet people that way?

I know this is probably going to sound like a catch 22 since you're struggling to find employment, but one of the best ways to meet new people and potential new friends is in a job, so I would urge you to keep trying and to accept nearly any job. I know they're not the best to work in, but call centres usually have quite a high turn over of staff (and generally speaking, are full of young people) - are there any near you which you could try?
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby RagDoll » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:14 am

Sorry ILC, we posted at pretty much the same time, we've said similar things though - great minds think alike ;)
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby JanePerson » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:05 pm

Thanks for advice. I'm definately going to continue looking for jobs. Hopefully something will come up but its kind of bad in my area, even the local McDonalds doesnt have vacancies. I do have several friends that would be up for flat sharing which expands the area in which I can look for jobs though.

I've looked at more clubs but the age thing is really strange. I know logically I cant be the only person in my early twenties living in this area but it sure feels like it. 8-[ . Most people I knew from school have either moved somewhere else (some still at uni) or they're people I'd rather not have in my life.

However reading the replies as well as hearing about other peoples experiences of graduating in 2009 I do realize that I'm not the only one which is some comfort.
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby spacegirl » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:37 pm

what did you graduate in jane? there are some really good graduate programmes going at the minute, i was in the same rut as you when i graduated 3 years ago, working in a dead end job. orange does a brill graduate scheme, and you get to travel and work abroad if you like. as do most of the major banks, and a lot of othercompanies. your university should have a careers site which list graduate jobs, don't set your sights too low!
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby JanePerson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:17 am

My degree was biology. I've applied for grad jobs and schemes but the fact that I dont have any proper work experience outside of my degree is really holding me back. I've looked at work experience placements but they are mostly for people who are still at uni.

Had a pretty depressing week so far. I really feel like giving up on all these attempts at socializing. I found a local social group that seemed promising (I was the only person under 30 rather than 40) but its definition of social was very broad. This meeting was at my local town centre but most of the meetings and activities are in places that are inacessable on public transport and even by car are a long way to get to. Most of the hobbie type classes are either for older people or teenagers. I'm just so sick of sitting at home all the time.
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby ILoveChristmas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:55 am

Hi Jane,

I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling so great this week. You've stumbled across what I think is the great paradox of job hunting - you need experience to get experience, and that's how it is with a lot of employers unfortunately.

I'll reiterate what I said in my first post though, speak to your university. They'll know who the employers are who look past the lack of experience and take in fresh graduates. Your university should still be happy to offer you support even though you're no longer a current student there.

Have you considered further study? That doesn't have to mean a full time course, you could look into the Open University or a local college. I think you need to do something to keep your mind active though, because you're already finding out what a vicious circle getting depressed can become.

I know you said you don't have much money just now, and that can't help you to feel better, not least because you can't afford to entertain yourself, so look into what government support is available, like Jobseekers Allowance etc and don't feel bad about it either. There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who are happy to live their entire lives sponging off the country - it's only fair the system supports someone like you who's actually looking for work.
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Re: Hating post uni life

Postby Lilitta » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:23 pm

Hey Jane,

Perhaps it would be of some relief to you that I am also stuck in much the same rut as you are. A lot of things in your story echo my experience: a boring town where there is little to see or do, endless job-hunting, relationship worries and valiant attempts to dispel the boredom by joining in rather cheesy and dullish "community meetings." I guess that is the worst part about life immediately after graduation - the contrast with the excitement and vibrancy of university life is usually enough to depress you for quite a while. I am awfully sorry to anyone who would think of me as arrogant or snobbish for saying this, but I just do not think it is quite right to be stuck at a menial job at some remote and forsaken neighbourhood, your talents and skills wasting away (all this talk about enriching the community is just a little too wishy-washy!), and seeing the same sights day after day - especially after having invested so much money in our education.
If I were in your place, I would start by skimming through job-hunting websites for the advertisements concerning such jobs, as you would really, really like. But instead of just sending off an application straight away, look - what kind of skills precisely are they looking for? I mean solid, measurable skills such as knowledge of certain computer programs, a language, etc. I would then enrol on a really useful course at the adults' education college - like a foreign language, computer literacy or accounting, rather than something like painting or cooking, that people often take out of boredom (preferably paid in advance, so that you would have a stimulus to actually go to classes and not drop them mid-way). I would go as far as to save money for it, or even ask family and friends to help me finance it instead of birthday presents - you know the picture.
ILoveChristmas is absolutely right - your university should have a careers service which can at least offer some advice and general guidelines to the alumni. You should start pestering them with emails - the sooner the better. After all, alumni employability is one of the main factors how prospective students go about choosing their uni, so your alma mater should be interested in helping you, as it is for their own benefit and better image!
Moreover, if life in this town seems to you positively stifling, why not try an internship in another city - or maybe even abroad? There are many good internship programmes in Europe, some of which are decently paid. At the very worst, there is the option of teaching English in another country. It is reasonably paid, you get to communicate with people, and you can have the much-needed change of scene and experience of another lifestyle. Nobody would send you to China or Senegal if you think it is a bit too far away - but somewhere like sunny Greece or chic Spain could be a good bet.
However, no matter what you decide to do, moving away requires an awful lot of planning, economising and careful thought. Make sure you do your research thoroughly before agreeing to any offers, and only ever go for reputable and well-known companies.
A good idea in the meantime whilst you are looking for ways of escape, would be to spend time on self-improvement (like taking up a healthier lifestyle, getting a new nice hairstyle, doing more reading and so on). As for relationships, rather than mulling over free dating sites (from my experience, they can range from helpful to ghastly), why not try and establish contacts with people all over the world generally, maybe on common-interest forums, etc. You never know, who might know whom, and maybe that person will find you a glittering job!

Good luck with everything,

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