Sunday 18 November 2018

Let's Talk About Post-Uni Blues


I know it's been a long time since I last made a post on here. The truth is that after finishing my exams and attending graduation I was hit with what people call "post-uni blues" or "post-uni depression". I think there's a lot of content on the Internet about how to overcome this. But I don't think people actually address what it's like being in that stage of your life, where you're figuring out what to do after finishing your degree. Which is why I thought I would share my experience of going through this. Maybe there are some of you that are going through it right now, and need to know someone else can relate. Or maybe you've gotten past it and want to reflect on it, with hindsight. Perhaps you're in your final year and want to know what happens next? Either way I hope you find this an interesting read.

What is "post-uni blues" or "post-uni depression":
The two terms are often used to describe life after uni. It's that time when nothing is going to plan. In other words your friends are working, or doing a post graduate degree. But you're in a loop of looking for jobs, applying and getting rejected. You've become tiered of doing nothing and getting nowhere. It's a time when your life has hit a pause button, you don't know what's next, or you know where you want to be next but it's taking an eternity to get there. 

How to handle it:
If you want more detailed information on how to handle post-uni blues check out this article, or this one. There are a lot more out there. In my case I spent a lot of time applying for jobs,  socializing and trying to keep busy. Although i did give myself time to just chill after exams graduation and in between job hunting; I'm the type of person that needs to be doing something. I can only sit and relax for so long (if you want a specific number, I'd say 3-5 days maximum). 

1. The Job Hunt- When it came to job hunting I got advice from friends and family to put my CV out there and apply on websites like Targetjobs, Reed, CharityJob, Indeed, my local council website and the Civil Service website. So I did that and more. I searched entry level jobs on all these websites, internship positions, graduate level role and read through all the different options, adding them onto my list. A lot of the jobs I chose were trainee positions, assistant/administrator roles. I also applied for jobs on a website called Creative Access, which has employment opportunities for BAME people and since I'm Asian I fit into that category. Oh and let's not forget signing up for my university careers' service weekly Newsletter and following their twitter account. Some of these applications involved passing online tests (, which I sucked at so if you've ever had to do that I feel your pain), filling out application forms, doing a video task and writing a cover letter. When it came to writing cover letters, I tried doing one cover letter a day and before each deadline. I tried making sure each cover letter matched the role requirements of each position. Having said that it did feel like every one of them was essentially saying the same thing. But I guess that's the point, most jobs require similar types of skills and experience. I sent these cover letters to friends and family, so they could give me feedback on them. Alongside looking into interview tips, practice questions and doing mock interviews, during the rare occasions I did have an interview to prepare for. If you've hit a dead end try some of these websites and get second or third opinions on your applications/cover letters. Doing it with other people by your side might make it feel less daunting?

What motivated me to keep going and do all this, is the fact that only 1 in 4 visually impaired people are in full time employment. The remaining 3 are unemployed. Shocking statistics right? Both the fact that I could be unemployed for a long period of time, and that it's a lot harder for visually impaired people to get jobs, influenced me to try and get a job ASAP. Being stuck in this job hunting loop did not set well with me. Personally it felt like the worst case scenario. If you're job hunting, try out these websites I mentioned, or your university careers service. The trick is to keep trying and eventually you'll get somewhere. Maybe give yourself a day or two to take a break during the process. That way you don't drive yourself insane over this stressful task.

2. Socializing- There were times I had had enough of staying at home and going through one application after another. I needed to get away from it for a while. Which is why I tried inviting friends and cousins out to lunch, a catch up at Nando's or try out a dessert place. Below are some pictures I took when I went out to try some Indonesian food with my best friend, for a catch up and a Japanese dessert place called Kova Patisserie, Tinseltown  and have a nice day out with my cousin. I know it can be difficult to ask people to hang out, after all other people might be working, on holiday, or going back home for a bit. So asking to meet up might not be the best idea. Something that might make the whole ordeal easier, is asking them when are you free? Are you free anytime this week or next week? I thought we could go to lunch/dinner/shop? These questions could help you get into a conversation where you learn how busy they are and when it would be most convenient for them to meet you. That way you can work your way around they're schedule, yours is pretty open right now. You'll find that spending time with other people helps you clear your head and calm down. You can start fresh the next day, it may not feel like it now but you owe it to yourself to have this break with your friends and family. 

Image Description: picture I took of the interior design of the Indonesian restaurant me and my friend had lunch at. They have a lovely gold, pink and green swritly patterned design on the wall. The picture also has my hand on the left hand side, since I was still learning how to use this camera and the brown tables, which have a white and black booth and chairs on the right hand side, or light brown and white chairs around them on the left hand side.  

Image Description: a bowl of rice on the left and a place of halal duck curry on the right. There's also a paper wit red paper with an image of some rice and meat dishes on top of the dark brown table. Along with two glasses of water, a white napkin, knives and forks and my friend crossing her arms. 

Image Description: image of an iced coffee, iced hot chocolate, a matcha mille crepe cake and a chocolate mille crepe cake on small white plates with cutlery on the side. From the image you can see the cakes are made from layers of crepes all stacked together. 

3. Trying To Keep Busy- Throughout this whole experience, I learnt that it's important to keep busy, hence why I did all these applications and went out to meet people. I also spent time watching a lot of YouTube videos, watching some shows online and started a Netflix trial. Despite the fact that I was doing something, and I made sure I gave myself a beak every now and then, I wasn't happy. I felt like I was getting no where. I was tiered of not getting anywhere with these applications, and even felt unmotivated. There were times where I knew I should be doing everything i've discussed above but didn't want to. I spent days just scrolling online on social media, feeling unhappy with myself like I needed to get my act together. Not even a Netflix trial seemed like something I would enjoy doing. At one point, I was messaging my cousin about this and couldn't stop crying. I felt like crap and unhappy with it all and myself. The tears kept coming and coming. It might not be the same for you, but for me spending a lot of time alone, in my own head isn't the best idea. To put it lightly I spend a lot of time feeling like I need to hurry to the next step in my life and I don't deserve to do this and that. I want you all to know it's okay to feel unmotivated, unhappy, depressed and displeased in these situations. Let yourself cry and be upset when these feelings arise. It's better to let it out than keep it in. You can take a break from it all, give yourself some self-care. Continue where you left off with the job hunting stuff once you feel better physically and mentally. 

Looking Forward To What's Next: 
Eventually I did get a job at the RNIB as a Trainee Project Assistant as part of their Trainee Graduate Scheme. If you're visually impaired keep an eye out for jobs on their website. You'll b surprised by what opportunities they have. I've been working at this job since late August and I'm really enjoying it. I'm learning a lot, doing things I haven't done before and I get to decide what else I want to work on. I'm looking forward to seeing what other training I could get, what else I learn, how this job will help me with the next stage in life. I have a job now, where I'm getting the experience I need and a lot more. I'm meeting other visually impaired people, going through the struggle that is Access to Work and I hope becoming more independent. After all I did go on a weekend trip to Edinburgh with other visually impaired people, and meet my friend for dinner after work during these Winter months. I think I'll learn a lot more about myself, the working world and living with a visual impairment. It'll help me get to where I want to be in life, and not where others assume I should be.

Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you enjoyed it. If there's any advice you'd like to share feel free to do so. By the way I won't be doing a monthly blog post anymore, I felt like a monthly summary was getting boring for both me the writer and you the reader. Hence why my next upload will be when I feel like I have something interesting to share with you all.

See you later!