What to do if you are finding life after university hard

May 17, 2020

The university bubble has burst, and you’ve been propelled into adulthood seemingly overnight. All of a sudden, your level of responsibility has skyrocketed and you’ve got several important decisions to make. 

Finishing university and starting your new life as a graduate isn’t always easy. It may take some time for you to find your feet. But what should you do if you are finding that your life after university is hard? 

In this post, we share tips for graduates who are finding life after university hard. 

Why is life after university hard?

Everyone’s journey after university is unique, however, there are some common challenges that graduates face and find difficult. Here are some examples and solutions:

#1: You are unsure of your career path

life after university is hard
Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

So you’ve left university and you feel an overwhelming pressure to start working life. However, you don’t know what career path is right for you. 

Perhaps it was your dream since sixth form to finish university and become an Ecologist, but you haven’t been able to find any entry-level jobs in that field. 

Or maybe you applied for several graduate schemes and jobs throughout your final year of university but kept getting rejected. 

The truth is, many people don’t know what to do in terms of their career after university. 


  • Get some professional careers advice. Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped over 500 students and graduates to discover their career path, land their dream job and thrive in their careers. Find out more about our one-to-one coaching programme.

  • Audit your skills. Write down a list of your hard and soft skills. 
  • Work out your career typology. Companies hire 3 types of graduates: communicators, knowledge architects and specialists. Get yourself a copy of The Student Book to find out more about graduate job typologies and to identify yours.

  • Get some work experience. Gaining experience will help you to better understand what roles and working environments you like.  

Key takeaway: 

Invest time into working out what career is right for you. Do not ‘panic apply’ for several jobs and don’t put off this step and opt for postgraduate studies. A Master’s degree may not be the answer for you. 

Many graduates do not get a job straight out of university. Don’t give up on your graduate job search and use this experience to build your resilience.

#2: You aren’t enjoying your job 

Many graduates go through a hard time after university because they simply do not enjoy their job. 

48% of graduates never land a graduate-level job and remain underemployed. This is the harsh reality. Life after university is hard when you feel as though the time, money and energy you invested in your studies hasn’t paid off. 

Many graduates take up jobs that they are overqualified for so that they can start earning money to support themselves. 

Fortunately, even if you graduated a year or more ago, you are still eligible to apply for graduate schemes and jobs. 


  • If you are unhappy in your job, start thinking about switching careers. Contact us, for help with successfully transitioning into the right job for you. We can help you to find a job and to excel in your new role. 
  • Study the job market and identify the skills that you need to develop to boost your employability. 

Key takeaway

If you took up any job after university, rather than a good graduate job, all is not lost. regardless of what job you are in now, you will have gained several transferable skills that will make it much easier to get a new job.

There is no age limit when it comes to getting a graduate job, so stay positive and research your next career move. 

Read: Stuck in a dead-end job with a degree [There’s hope]

#3: You reluctantly moved back home with your parents 

Leaving university and moving back home is not easy for all graduates. It can be really hard for some graduates to come to terms with. 

After being away and living independently for the past 3-4 years has become the norm for you. 

Maybe you had hoped that you would stay in your university town or that you would get a flat with some of your uni mates. 

Whatever your situation is, moving back home can be a big adjustment to some and very stressful for others. 


  • If you are set on moving out of your parents home as soon as possible, devise a realistic plan to follow to ensure that you can do so. This may involve some career planning so that you can fund your move. 
  • Communicate your concerns effectively with your family members so that they understand how you feel. 

#4: You miss university 

As much as you hated pulling all-nighters in the library and racing to meet your deadlines, you enjoyed student life

Whilst you were at university, you probably met lots of new people and made lifelong friends from all over the world. 

Now that you have finished you may not see them as frequently and may miss the social life that you built for yourself. 

You created so many memories whilst at university, and leaving it all behind can be really hard. 


  • Attend alumni reunions at your university
  • Stay in touch with your uni friends and make the time to meet up with them 
  • Connect with your peers on social media 
  • Continue to do the things you enjoyed whilst at university. For example, join a local sports club and continue to work on your social life. 
  • Take positive actions to improve and maintain your mental health. This may involve getting daily exercise and plenty of sleep. Many graduates report feeling depressed or experiencing the “graduation blues” if you feel this way, be sure to speak to someone. 

Summary: what to do if you think life after university is hard 

If you think life after university is hard, you’re not alone in feeling this way. Leaving university and starting your new journey is a big life change. Many young people feel confused about their careers and unsure of the future.

This is normal. Progress your post graduate life by making informed decisions, planning and being proactive. 

Remember, if you are facing difficulties finding a graduate job, do not hesitate to contact us here at Graduate Coach.

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