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People say the best years of your life lie at university. Three, perhaps four, maybe more for the medics, years of education, self-discovery and all round shenanigans. Of course, those hours in the library are important, but there is so much more to university than just the certificate you frame at the very end. Be careful, because the person you went to university as may not be the person who graduates.

There is a certain sense of emotional and mental maturity that accompanies a degree. A rite of passage. The surprise on your parents’ face when you somehow manage to navigate a sticky situation (even if it just the laundry) without running to them for help. Now that is the hardest part of being a graduate.

Some are fortunate enough to have a job lined up as soon as they tossed their mortarboard into the air. For others, like yours truly, it’s somewhat trickier to get your foot in the door.

Ah yes, the job application. Or rather, the endless job applications. The ones that make you question if you really did proofread your CV, and if your cover letter is actually as persuasive as you initially thought. The first rejection is both the hardest and the easiest. Hard to accept, but easy to bounce back from. They eventually became commonplace to me. Although, rejections were easier to handle than cold, hard silence.

My lucky break came to me in the form of a job as an Administrative and Marketing Assistant at International Profile. Getting to work with the big guns in the fashion industry is something of a dream; even if it’s not directly the line of work I one day want to end up in. From working on a Hackney market, to interning with Lulu Guinness; if I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that sometimes your dream isn’t down a straight path. Right now, I’m happy co-ordinating projects for one of the fashion powerhouses out there and exploring creativity in my hometown. This job isn’t set in stone, but it’s a blessing I am grateful for.

Be willing to work your ass off. Start every morning with a coffee and your own company. Eat your vegetables. Call your mum every Sunday. And remember, you aren’t the only one struggling with your post-student status. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed in one go. Keep plugging away, you’ll get that job one day. Then you’ll have bills and taxes to pay, and you’ll realise that being a graduate really isn’t all that.

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