Life After University: Six Months On

calton hill silhouette edinburgh night

Month one

It took a while to hit me that I had actually finished at university and graduated. Three years was over in a flash and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I already had plans in place to move up to Edinburgh soon after graduating, and saying goodbye to my parents and my home with them was full of mixed emotions, but off I went. Being met off the train by Luke here and knowing that everything was going to be okay, I lived with him for a while as I had no where else to stay, without a flat or a job.

Month two

Finding myself a flat with four other friends here the excitement started to kick in that I was starting to really get somewhere. Yet I couldn’t help but beat myself up about the fact that unlike some of my friends back home who effortlessly seemed to fall into a perfect job, I was left feeling a little lost. I kept telling myself that seventeen years of continuous education had come to an end and if anything, I needed to learn to just relax for a little and hope that everything would come together.

It had only been a matter of weeks that I had moved away and left not only my home, but also my job behind, and it made me wonder whether coming here was the right thing to do, especially since I was now beginning to get job offers from back home. I dedicated my time to getting my portfolio up to standard and applied to jobs and emailed design agencies left right and centre just hoping that finally, someone would be willing to take a chance on me.

edinburgh at night

Month three

After many sleepless nights and my anxiety through the roof, I finally got a message pop up in my inbox saying that the creative director of a design agency here wanted to meet with me to discuss a potential placement with them, which of course I jumped at the opportunity! Soon after our meeting I moved into my new flat, got settled really quickly in a matter of days everything was so none stop, though it did really help that I was already in a familiar city and living with friends of a few years.

Month four

I finished my initial four week placement at the agency I’ve been working at, and was feeling really sad about leaving, until on my second to last day my director called me in and said he wanted to extend my time there for another month! I was thrilled to be kept on as the team have been so wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed my time working there, and I had also now been contacted by another agency asking me to send them samples of my most recent work. By this point, I was definitely starting to feel more optimistic – but still found myself falling into bouts of sadness and worry when I kept reminding myself, this is not a permanent job. What are you going to do next?

edinburgh rooftops panorama

Month five

A month on and I was still there, drawing closer to the end of another month I began to feel a little more optimistic. On my ‘last day’ (again!) I was asked once more if I wanted to extend my time for another month, upping my pay from a placement wage to that matching a junior designer, with a stronger potential to be kept on as work comes in with the New Year. I’m really settled at the agency I’m working at and love the team, so it would be amazing to be kept on full time, and would most definitely be a weight off my shoulders, so for now we will just have to wait and see. But the experience has been amazing and if I don’t manage to bag a full time position there then it should definitely put me in a better position for getting a post graduate job, and my determination is stronger than ever. I can do this.

Month six

So now four months later after starting work, I would love to be able to say that everything fell into place and I’m now working full time and have achieved everything I had hoped for, but sadly – I’ve come to realise that my life isn’t some kind of perfect film ending, and that unfortunately, due to budgets – I was unable to be kept on working at the design agency I have so many fond memories of, and was full of amazing opportunities.

I’m taking some time to myself at home over Christmas and New year now to have a much needed rest and time off, then I’m heading straight back up to Edinburgh in January and starting a fresh. I keep having to remind myself that this isn’t me back at square one, this is just the next chapter.



Welcome to The Little Things, a Scottish travel and lifestyle blog. Written by Louise, a graphic designer, living and working in Edinburgh. Sharing all of the little things in life which make her smile along the way. With her boyfriend Luke, and their cat Gizzy.

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  • Rachel Hardy

    My brother finished university in May this year and I know how much he misses it! Luckily for him he's going travelling for 18months, starting in January 2015, and I still have university to look forward to! I know a lot of people suffer from leaving uni, and now more than ever it's harder to find a post-grad job, however, it sounds like you're doing really great! Keep optimistic, I'm sure everything will turn out fine ('Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end'). xxxx

  • It's always interesting to hear about people's journeys after university. It reminds you just how different everyone's routes are and that it isn't always a case of falling into the perfect job. Sounds like you've had a bit of a whirlwind the past 6 months but with the experience you've gained, it can only be a good thing for the future! Good luck!

  • Hi Louise,

    The time after graduating uni is definitely a tough one. For me, it was not know what was going to come next. At school the plan is to pass your exams and get into uni, at uni the plan is to pass each year and move on to the next, and then after graduation to get a job. Even though I now do have a good job that I enjoy, I'm always thinking 'but what am I going to do next?!' with a bit of a panic!

    It sounds like you are doing really well though, with a bit of experience behind you now I am sure something will come up for the new year.

    Best of luck with everything!

  • I'm so sorry that you weren't able to stay on at the design agency, but I'm convinced that it's because 2015 holds some amazing opportunities for you! xo

  • Ah I bet Edinburgh is lovely, I so want to visit next year. Job hunting can be so difficult but it is great to get as much experience as you can! I hope it works out for you in 2015 πŸ™‚ x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog