Sunday, 21 June 2015

Post-uni Life Lessons

In honour of Father's Day, here's me and my dad (looking all smart!) at my graduation :) 

So it's been about a year since I left Bournemouth, and to say my life has dramatically changed has been an understatement. While i've seen plenty of my peers enjoy their post-uni freedom by going travelling and taking trips, i've settled into a full-time job and my own place with my other half. Although not envious at all, it's definitely made me reflect on this past year and the thing's i've learned, and some i'm still struggling to wrap my head around:

I've learnt...

That living in a student house isn't the same as living in your own place
Living in student accommodation has the advantage of having someone else taking care of your bills. Yes, you need to pay them, but no one has to deal with meter readings and all that rubbish. Now it's all down to you - from setting up the internet to making sure the direct debits come out on time. It's stressful at first, but when you get the hang of it, there's a sense of responsibility and confidence that's totally new. Is that sad? Quite possibly!

That being broke is just a way of life
When I was practically living in my overdraft I thought of having no money was part and parcel of being a student. It wasn't until I moved away I realised I wasn't exactly going to be swimming in cash after my first 'proper' paycheque. Accumulating savings is hard, and although my parents have been a great help, there comes a point when you can't simply run to mum and dad whenever you need a bit of extra cash. You're an adult now, jeez.

How to cook without using a packet mix
I never used to really bother about eating well during uni as I lived so close to home I would just head to my mums for a good meal when I fancied it. But since they now live 100 miles away, i've learned to make my own comfort food. I now know what foods to make when i'm feeling sad or sick, and i've started actually getting excited when Rob brings home a new kitchen appliance for me to play around with (fresh pasta maker? Yes please!).

How to appreciate the weekends
I actually get two days off in a row now! I never had the luxury of being able to go without a job during uni, so I didn't get to have hangover fry-up's on sunday's at Wetherspoons or go shopping with my friends on a Saturday. So now, I make every weekend count. Sometimes I need the two days to recharge my batteries, but I try to make use of my time by not sleeping in, going on day trips and visiting friends and family whenever I can.

How to make a Netflix series stretch for more than a week.
During the summer between second and third year of uni, I watched nine seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Nine. Oh, those were the days! I've now learned to ration my programmes to give myself something to look forward to when i've had a particularly stressful day at work. Deadlines are a lot less daunting when there's new Pretty Little Liars to look forward to when you get home!

That living with a boy is hard!
During the last two terms of uni, Rob and I were basically living at each other's houses, making me think that living with another person would be a breeze. But be warned: You will argue about the washing, paying the bills and not cleaning up after each other. You don't want to become a nag, but sadly, it's inevitable. But the good definitely outweighs the bad and I couldn't imagine it any differently now :)

How much you need family your family and friends
You lean on your family and friends more than you ever thought you would. When I was at uni, I was still close to my family but I could go a fair few days without making contact. Now, I try to speak to at least one of them every day, and i'm constantly making plans to visit. Living on your own is hard, but living 100 miles away from everyone is even harder. It's important to stay in contact with everybody and ensure that the effort is equal from both parties.

I still need to figure out...

How to separate washing properly
Colour catchers are my new best friends, but yet the thought of turning something pink still terrifies me. I have a red and blue top that's been sat at the bottom of my washing basket for the past 4 months - what do I wash it with?!?!

How to make a bed
There's nothing quite like having your mum make your bed for you. Why are my sheets so creased? Why do they keep pinging off of the mattress? Are my children destined to sleep in crappy, half-made beds as i'm not blessed with the bed-making gene? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

What I even want to do
I thought i'd have it all figured out by the time I graduated. However, I see so many people straying from the traditional path of 'uni, work, house, marriage children' and completely making up their own rules. At 23, i'm incredibly lucky to have the life that I have and for the opportunities that have arisen for me - but it scares me to think where my life could be another year on from now! I suppose it's okay not to have all of the answers, but it makes me nervous all the same.