This article was written by an external contributor. Are you struggling to kick those student habits? Lucy Milburn has some handy hints to help you adjust to graduate life.
Congratulations, you’ve secured your first grad job! It’s now time to make the transition from student to young professional, a period that is often abrupt and surprisingly challenging.
Entering the world of work can be a shock to the system when you’ve spent the majority of your life working towards an education. The changes to your lifestyle are empowering, but they can also be overwhelming! Suddenly, you’re expected to work 40+ hours a week while you’re still attached to those beloved student habits. The last few years have been spent enjoying a fairly flexible schedule, student discount and a good lie-in and now you’re expected to adult full-time? No wonder it can be a struggle to adapt!
Sadly, the faux-adulthood of the past three years doesn’t really cut it outside the student bubble. It takes time to shake off your uni routine, but here’s some tips to adapt to a lifestyle that’s more compatible with life after graduation.
Refresh your sleeping pattern
There’s plenty of evidence that sleep is crucial to both a healthy lifestyle and a productive working day. Whether it’s due to house parties or exam stress, students have a reputation for enjoying both late nights and long lie-ins. It’s time to sacrifice the midnight scrolls through social media and get into a more regular sleeping pattern – there’s nothing worse than waking up exhausted with a full day of work ahead of you!
You’ll also have to shake off the ‘monkey mind’ that you’ll likely have adopted as a student. Often resulting in sleepless nights and unproductive days, the ‘monkey mind’ describes that state of procrastination where everything seems urgent except the task in hand. A good night’s sleep is the first step to feeling energised and focused in your new job.
Weekdays are now workdays
The weeknight is where a student thrives – all the best nights out are on a Wednesday and you can blissfully pretend that Monday is still the weekend. Once you’ve graduated, it’s important to get into the habit of treating weekdays as workdays. Make sure that you confine your late night antics to the weekend – you’ll have a whole 48 hours to make up for lost time during the week!
Leave the microwave meals behind
You may have been able to survive on a cereal-for-every-meal diet at uni, but unfortunately that’s not going to be sustainable now you’re a working adult. Coming home from your nine-to-five job and whacking something in the microwave is a temptation we all face. However, learning to cook quick, yet healthy meals is one of life’s most valuable skills. Eating healthily and exercising regularly also helps to fend off those post-graduation blues.
Readjust to life without student discount
These days, your student discount covers everything from new clothes to phone contracts and without it, it’s easy to feel like a little piece of you is missing. But do you ever think that you might have spent more, just because everything was that little bit cheaper?
Remember that student loan that used to materialise in your bank account every term? That’s transformed into your hard-earned salary and the hard graft behind it will help to curb your impulse spending. Graduate life comes with a few hidden costs too – council tax and student loan repayments to name a few. However, there’s no reason to stop treating yourself! You can still save money as a graduate with various ‘young person’ discounts.
Ditch the wavey wardrobe
Throughout your time at uni, you’ll probably have developed a collection of baggy jumpers, holey t-shirts and funky loungewear. Your student wardrobe was extremely casual and you thought it was effortlessly cool at the time. Don’t let it get to your first day at work before you realise nothing about your wardrobe says ‘professional’ or even ‘smart casual.’ Invest in some staple smart items and you’ll feel much more confident entering the workplace. Of course, make sure to hang on to a few bits from your uni days for when you eventually dip your toes back into student nightlife!
Stop the comparisons
At university, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to your peers. If you’re doing the same degree, it’s natural to compare results or revision techniques. You’re also likely to measure your own work ethic in comparison to your housemates. But in a post-graduation world, it’s important to make sure that you do not measure your success against others! Take life at your own pace and remember that this is an exciting new chapter. You’re more responsible, confident and hopefully on your way towards a career you can really enjoy.