It’s funny, there’s a lot of hype around the primary to high school adjustment and maybe just as much discussion over the high school to university acclimatization. But no one has mentioned the uni to work transition. At least not to me.
Perhaps it’s because you’re an adult now and things are easier?? Or perhaps you’re meant to be able to adjust without a problem because you’ve had 21 years of life experience so far? Whatever the reason or rhyme, the fact remains that one day uni life will stop and work life will start. And not many people will bat an eyelid, except of course, you.
From my personal experience I can definitely say that the adjustment from uni life to the life of 8-5 hasn’t been a seamless process. I’m one of the very few (and by few I mean 4) of my friends, let alone those I know, to have graduated from uni. (Cough, cough I don’t actually put on those Hogwarts robes and Mortar board until next week). I am also only the second to have found myself a full time, salary giving and equally demanding job.
I’m most happy, and fully in my element when I’m spending my day with friends or surrounded by those I know. Uni has given me an endless supply of these days. And I’m extremely thankful. But it’s hard to start a day knowing you’re only going to hear your best friends voice or read her texts, and even then only during that golden lunch hour – shout out to those God-sent friends who have already come to see me during that time. Oh, and when I say God-sent, I’m not being sarcastic or ironic. I mean it. Change is never easy. For me however, I’ve always found solace, continuity and peace in God, particularly in prayer.
Full time work offers you the wonderful new opportunity to have routine and structure again in your life. [For the first time, since, like, high school!]. You may not feel like you have as much freedom, but I have actually found work to have –allowed me more freedom in the long run. Firstly, work isn’t brought home. You no longer always have something (“study”) to do. You know what time you’ll be getting up tomorrow, and so that ten minutes of prayer you’ve been meaning to squeeze in for the last four years has a time slot. And that rosary you’ve been meaning to pick up again ever since you stopped doing Politics readings in second year, fits perfectly into that 7.30 – 8pm slot, when you’ve just finished eating and there’s not much on TV.
Only having the 5 – 9pm block to squeeze in as much social interaction as possible has also given me perspective in terms of worthwhile friendships. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going round with a list crossing off names. But you are forced to prioritise. And the friends that are going to be there when your wedding dress needs holding and will gladly babysit your children when you win that trip to France, shine through. It’s somewhat sad but also extremely liberating. As change usually is.
It’s very easy to feel lost and alone, when everyone looks at you like ‘you’re so grown up.’ When in reality you are no older than they are, in my case often younger, and are no more qualified than the next person to help your sister decide what topping she should have on her tutti-frutti. But it’s even easier to turn to God and be rest assured that “I can do all things through he who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)