Worried about what’s next after graduation? Tips to flip the anxiety and stay grounded

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We asked one of our Student Support and Wellbeing Mental Health Advisers, Tilly Fisher, about some of the common experiences of final year Kent students, and how to deal with the uncertainty of finishing a degree.

As you head into your final term of studying for your degree, you might be managing lots of conflicting emotions with excitement for completing your degree, but also worry about your final assignments, and what’s going to come next after you graduate.

Life is full of changes: good and bad, big and small. If you’re coming towards the end of your degree, then there’s going to be a lot of change to face. It’s okay if this feels overwhelming initially – it’s how we approach change that really matters.

Dealing with uncertainty

Keep an open mind: the future can seem uncertain at times, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sometimes we focus so hard on all the things that could go wrong, that we don’t consider all the exciting new opportunities that could be heading our way. Having worked so hard throughout your degree, nearing the end can feel somewhat surreal, and often unreachable. It is common for people to doubt themselves in these final stages.

Coping strategies

If you’re struggling, it is important to highlight your own coping strategies and put them into place. Perhaps this means talking to friends and family about your worries or keeping a diary to document your journey through graduation. Perhaps, like me, you’re a forward thinker – maybe it would help to set some clear plans and goals for the future, so that things don’t feel so uncertain. Explore your options.

Remember your self care

This last one might sound a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. Final year can be heavy and time consuming. You’ll be busy studying for exams and finishing off your last assignments, but don’t forget the little stuff: Are you getting enough sleep? Eating regular meals? Making time for socializing and enjoying life outside of academia? These things are important too. Whatever the future brings, you have worked so hard to get here and that is an accomplishment in itself. So embrace the change, you just might surprise yourself.

Support at Kent

For information on wellbeing support and resources available to Kent students (including 24/7 support services), have a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing webpages.

You can also @UniKentSSW on Instagram for tips and reminders on staying well throughout stressful times.

Written by Tilly Fisher, Student Support and Wellbeing, 15.03.23.