Today I’m handing This Northern Gal over to Sammy. Sammy used to attend St Andrews and was constantly inspiring me at Creative Writing events! I’m so happy that she decided to get involved and have been desperate to share her story with you!
It’s only been about seven months since I’ve been out of Uni, but it feels worlds away. This is probably only emphasized by the fact that I moved home, which is 6,000 miles away from St Andrews.
The reason I moved back was kind of ridiculous. I thought I accidentally poisoned myself by brushing my teeth with laundry detergent. Yes, I was drunk. In that moment, I realized that I didn’t have to face life after Uni alone. I could go home. I could be with my family and figure out what I actually wanted to do with myself, instead of running away and avoiding what I considered my ‘reality.’ So I did.
Reflecting on the last six months of Uni, I realize I made a mistake if I wanted a job right out of college. For some reason, I couldn’t wait to face the big wide unknown. I fantasized about graduating from college and having nothing I needed to do for the rest of my life.
I could be spontaneous, I thought. I could be exciting, I thought. I could drift and wander and explore, I thought.
A week after graduation, sitting by the beach in Venice with a few Italians I met, I had an identity crisis. I began telling a story about FS, and realized that if I wanted to, I would never have to associate myself with FS again. St Andrews is a strange and beautiful place where everyone has an identity and you have to see people repeatedly, even if you don’t want to. In the real world, you only have to see the people you want to see. Mostly. And you don’t even have to tell people the truth about your past. Everyone is so busy, so focused on their own lives.
Suddenly, I felt blank. I couldn’t remember my past. I couldn’t remember who I was or what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. This erasure lasted for the next two months. My self-esteem slowly crumbled. I started off applying to literary and publishing internships. After no response there, I began applying to newspaper jobs. I began applying for jobs as a toilet assistant at five star restaurants. Every so often, I would think about buying a one-way ticket to Malaysia. After a few responses, I got one interview for Red Hen Press Marketing and Publicity Assistant. I had the interview, and waited. I got it! It just so happened to be in LA, too.
I decided to go home and give it 115%. Now, I’m the M & P Assistant. And I work at a bookstore. And I know what I want. I’ve been applying to jobs still. It took me some time, but I am beginning to understand the rules of the real world.
Here’s a few tips for finding jobs:
- It’s a numbers game. Apply, apply, apply! Apply for jobs you’re qualified for, apply for jobs you’re not! Put yourself out there. Most of the time, it is not you – it is other circumstances outside of your control. The only thing you can control is being an option.
- Canva has great resume formats.
- LinkedIn is the king.
- What Color is Your Parachute is a very helpful book.
- Once you know what you want, go and get it. It’s not the end until you get a job. You won’t and can’t stop until you get a job. There is no other alternative really.
- Stay optimistic. Reflect. And enjoy the process.
Good luck with Life After Uni, and celebrate the present.