Niamh Shields finds out why it’s okay not to have everything figured out after graduation.

It’s still hard to believe that I’m graduating with a 2:1 degree. 

Life after college is different from what I had expected. 

I envisioned myself to be like Elle Woods, straight out of college with a degree and a dreamy job in the bag, (minus the excessive amounts of pinks). 

But reality hit. 

Seeing people my age in jobs or on their J1s, I felt lost as to what I’m going to do with my life. It sounds dramatic. However, I found a MASSIVE response from people my own age who are feeling the exact same way. It was so reassuring to know I wasn’t alone. 

Young people today put so much pressure on themselves to be independent and thriving. But it’s okay not to have everything figured out. Our twenties are for living and learning. 

Here is what myself and my peers are currently feeling:

Part Time Work: 

Okay so you’re a graduate and still in your part time job, what’s the big deal? 

I realised that a key characteristic to be a top journalist, is the ability to listen.

Everyone on this earth has a story, so when I see a customer in the shop, I liked to ask how their day is going. Sometimes you get the generic answer, but other times you get some of the most heart-warming answers, which always leaves me wondering what that customer is doing now. 

I find myself in love with being a profile writer, writing about people and their stories, and that’s all due to my part time job.  

Part time jobs, as described in the title, are only temporary, so stop with the self-judgement if you are in one. Focus on the reason why you’re working. 

Chloe McDonnell, a DCU Communications graduate, beautifully described the pressure young people face with not being in their dream job yet: 

‘For me I did have to find a job in Dublin so I could afford to live here but there is nothing wrong with working in retail or waitressing to save some money… you don’t need to find your dream job straight away so I don’t know why there is so much pressure.’ 

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Social Media: 

Online comparison, the worst! I have decided not to go online as much, the social expectations was getting WAY too much for me. Online we only ever post the good. 

Social Media isn’t real life no matter how hard we try it to be, so don’t compare yourself to others via online. 

Orla Carr, graduate from UCD, stated social media as ‘a filtered version of everyone’s lives’ Orla claimed that last year in the middle of her final exams and assignments felt a sudden panic to figure everything out immediately after exams just looking at her peers and their career journeys via online. 

Throw the phone away and invest in your own life rather than others. 

Photo by STIL on Unsplash


Between part time jobs, socialising, interviews, updating LinkedIn, CVs etc, sometimes it can be tricky to remember what we started this for, our dreams. 

Give yourself a break, take some time out of your day to just breathe and escape the pressure. 

Whether it be reading a book, hitting the gym or even a nap, have some TLC time, dreams don’t happen overnight! Get plenty of rest as your journey of a lifetime awaits. 

So, if you are stuck in the same bubble as most of us newly graduates, note you are not alone and give it time, this is only the beginning to an amazing career path.