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Three students crossing Waterloo Bridge. ;

Embracing the journey into the 'real world'

Sapphire Francis
Student, MSc Mental Health Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and Student Services Communications Intern, Student Knowledge & Information

15 August 2023

Sapphire Francis, a student in MSc Mental Health Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, is approaching the end of her masters studies. In this article she writes her thoughts about the transition from university to the 'real world'.

I'll start by quoting the meme, 'tough times never last, only tough people last'. As I prepare to finish my masters, I find myself reflecting on my time at King's and contemplating what lies ahead. The transition from the structure of academia to the uncharted territory of the real world can be both exciting and intimidating. Here are some lessons I'm currently learning.

Embrace uncertainty and be open to new experiences

It's natural to feel uncertain about the future. Sometimes, the best experiences come from leaping into the unknown. The job market might be unpredictable, and life may not go as we planned. Instead of fearing the unknown, I am choosing to view it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Now is a great time to take risks, try new things, and be open to unexpected opportunities. In uncertainty, we have a unique opportunity to explore different career paths and engage in activities we’ve never considered before. This can help us discover new passions, strengths, and weaknesses, helping us grow both personally and professionally.

Stay curious

Graduating from university doesn’t mean we stop learning. Instead, it marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of curiosity. I’m not personally thrilled about jumping into work and having to do the same thing every day, but there is nothing to stop me from continuing to explore the world in other ways. Whether it's by reading books, or engaging in meaningful conversations, remaining curious can enrich our lives and broaden our perspectives. What have you always wanted to know? Now is the time to find out.

Celebrate your achievements

Completing a degree is a significant accomplishment. However, we can be quick to move onto the next thing. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, not only academic, but your growth, friendships and memories made along the way. A graduation dinner, spending time with friends or simply taking some well-deserved rest are all great ways to celebrate. Taking stock of what you’ve accomplished is a great self-confidence boost, and will be a useful motivation for life ahead.

Remember it’s a journey

Graduating marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, even if we’re unsure what it holds. You’re not alone in this transition, but this is just one of many. The last couple of years may have been difficult, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the pressure to define the rest of your life straight away. Life is an ever-evolving journey that we should approach with excitement and optimism. Enjoy the process, be patient with yourself, allow yourself to fail knowing that it is from those failures that we learn how to succeed.

Congratulations to all graduates! Make sure to check out Student Services Online if you have questions about Staying connected after graduation.