7 tips for surviving life after university
Finally the time has come for you to be freed from exam stress and deadlines! Here are a few things to consider now you'll be out in the big bad real world.
As exciting and surreal as it can feel finishing up at uni, it's also pretty normal to find the prospect of graduating pretty daunting.
Once the university bubble has popped, you're likely to feel a bit lost, and the best way to fight that feeling it to start planning what exciting things come next!
We've put together a few things worth thinking about now you're a fully-fledged graduate, so you can be in the best situation and avoid any nasty surprises!
How to survive life after university
Don't lose your student discount!
Just because you're no longer technically a student, doesn't mean you'll now miss out on all the great student deals up for grabs!
We've also got a great little trick that'll mean you can continue getting a student discount for years to come!
Open a graduate bank account
Once you're all done and dusted (graduated), choosing the right graduate bank account for your circumstances is a crucial next step to think about.
Whilst some student bank accounts will transfer into graduate accounts automatically after three years, some don't – and the repercussions of this happening (or not happening, to be precise) can involve some hefty charges.
This is because a regular bank account isn't likely to offer a 0% overdraft, so as soon as your account no longer has it's student status, you'll be getting charged interest on whatever amount you're overdrawn. And since student overdrafts can be as high as £3,000, this can involve a pretty penny being added to your debt!
You can avoid this situation completely by choosing one of these graduate bank accounts and start slowly paying off your student overdraft at your own pace – without any charges.
Start thinking about your career
As if you needed reminding! We all know looking for a job after university can be a seriously daunting task, but once you get into the swing of things, it does get easier (promise!).
Another important thing to ask yourself is what sort of career you see yourself moving into – your first thought is likely to move into something related to your degree, but if you've fallen out of love with you uni subject, that's ok too!
Less than half of UK graduates end up in job they studied towards, and thinking outside your comfort zone could throw up some interesting new opportunities. These high paid careers don't care what subject you studied, as long as you have a degree!
Our guide to graduate job-hunting has all the tips you need to get the ball rolling.
Start saving cash
Ok, we get it – the concept of saving at the same time as you're trying to pay off your student overdraft might be pushing it, but it's definitely worth thinking about saving now you're finally freed from the shackles of relying on your student loan to survive.
Even just putting aside a few quid a week all adds up eventually! Start by looking into automatic savings apps, which save tiny bits of cash into a virtual savings pot on your behalf every few days (depending on what it assesses you can afford). You can even earn between 1-5% interest on what you save by referring friends.
Our guide to the best savings accounts will also give you a run down of the best interest rates on offer at the moment for fixed rate and instant access accounts.
Also, if you're hoping to get onto the property ladder in the next few years (or ten), you could get a 25% bonus from the government towards your first home if you start saving with a Lifetime ISA.
Assess your living situation
Now it's time to make some big decisions regarding where you'd like to spend the next few years of your life!
After spending upwards of three years away from home, the idea of moving back (and even in with the 'rents!) can either be exciting or pretty suffocating!
Regardless of whether you choose to stay on in your university town, move back home, or choose to live in a different city entirely, start thinking about your options. Use this period of transition as an opportunity!
If you are considering moving to a new city, take a look at our city guides for some inspiration.
Don't stress about repaying your loan
Sure, no one likes the idea of being in debt, but don't let it stress you out! You'll only begin repaying your student loan once you're earning above a certain amount, and even then the monthly amount is a manageable amount.
There's also a really high chance you'll never get round to paying it all off – use our student debt calculator to see how much you're likely to repay before it's wiped!
Don't let these tuition fee myths make you stress unnecessarily.
Go back to uni!
If you're considering an academic career, or feel like you're just not ready to leave uni yet, postgraduate study can be a great option to look into.
The government have also started offering postgrad loans for Master's students in the UK for the first time ever, so now's a better time than ever to give postgraduate study a try!
We have everything you need to know about applying for the Postgraduate Loan (PGL) right here.
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