I am am soon entering the last year of my course. And that means going out into the real world, and I feel anxious because the world seems so complicated, and there's so much that's new. I think that as a student, I think you are in a relatively protected environment, but a lot of the support will be gone after graduating.
I was wondering if people here would be willing to share their experiences in the real world? Anything from how to deal with transitioning from a student to an employee, finding a competent job as well as one you enjoy, how to deal with networking and communication in your job, making friends at work, also practical life skills like learning to drive, or renting/buying and maintaining a house, and maybe things like insurances, and investments, and taxes, and lawsuits (these are things I've heard but never really had to deal with). Many thanks!
Have you asked these questions of anyone supporting you at the moment?
Are your parents / siblings / friends any use?
What course are you studying and what employment do you expect afterwards? Is it more practical or theoretical?
Do you have any idea of what jobs you'd like to do?
What life skills do you have now? Are you living at home or on campus?
Be assured - if you're clever enough to be in further education, then there's nothing complicated in doing 'life', just a lot of little things to remember.
Thanks for your reply, Plastic. I've asked for support from the university disability centre earlier this year and we've had several meetings. This is a topic that I had been meaning to bring up, but haven't got to yet, as we have been discussing other things that I am currently and more urgently struggling with. I will try to bring up these questions at some point!
I don't have many friends to talk to about these issues and and pretty much all of them are students as well. So I think it would be helpful to hear from people who have more experience.
I'm not really sure what kind of job I would like because I've never really left education. I am interested in research, so I thought of academia, but it seems to require a lot of social networking skills, which I'm not good at. And for industry, I feel that my field is too specific, and most industries don't require my skill set (and I don't have the skill set they require).
I feel I have quite poor life skills. I'm quite bad at keeping my room clean or remembering to shower. And as I said, as a student, you are taken care of fairly well, so I currently live in college accommodation (....I don't know how to rent from a landlord, and it seems scary). There are housekeeping staff who regularly clean the common areas as well as everybody's rooms. If something from college accommodation breaks, they have maintenance people to fix it (I don't think I will what to do if some day I own a house and my sink starts leaking). Do I need to worry about these issues?
You're in the same boat as every other student. They probably don't show their worries externally so you may think they're all confident about their future.
Why not do what you've done here - write all of the problems down and chat to the support team - go prepared and get them to go through it all with you.
Renting a house - exactly the same as your college room - you have a lease, deposit etc. Assuming you have a proper landlord, on the day you get the keys, go around and video the condition of everything - every detail - any damp, damage, mould, cracks, both sides of doors, carpets, furniture, kitchen cupboards etc. so you have a dated, agreed condition report - it saves a load of hassle when you move out and they blame you for something that was already there.
Jobs - most people flop into their first job - call centre, McD, whatever - if you're thinking of staying within a college, you need to start approaching your possible future bosses and asking them if they have any grants coming up for research - or can they point you in the right direction.
Research in industry is hit and miss - it's a cost to the business so it's the first thing they dump if trading gets tough.
Also worth sorting your CV and approaching a few recruitment agencies to see what they've got.
New Scientist mag has loads of jobs in the back pages - get digging and e-mailing you CV to anything that looks interesting.
Thanks for your advice. I'll write them down and ask the support team.
Good suggestion about checking the condition of everything before signing house agreements (I hadn't thought of that). I'll remember to do that when the time comes.