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CU Counselling, Health and Well-being Service – Part Two

14 July 2015

Graduation for many students is a time of excitement, joy and relief! However, students can feel the pressure of graduating – facing the world of employment or further studies can leave graduates feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

At Cardiff University there is a wealth of experienced staff and resources at hand for those students that may feel like this. Following on from yesterdays blog post here is more advice the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing team.

What advice would you give to recent graduates, especially those that are feeling overwhelmed with facing the working world?

Firstly we would want to normalise the anxieties they have about the future and encourage them to remain as mindful as possible. Our meaning for remaining mindful is about trying to stay in the moment and not get too tangled up with their thoughts and worries about the future.

Our minds can get quite future focused and most students/graduates benefit from taking one step at a time and focusing on what they can do now to help themselves.

Tips:

  1. Set SMART goals and tackle one problem at a time. If they can problem solve any barriers that are getting in the way of them working towards their goals that can be useful. If they cannot problem solve it there and then it can be useful to put that worry on hold for the moment- thinking over something that we cannot do anything about can lower mood.
  2. As most students are moving away when graduating we would also encourage them to look after themselves and work on getting in to a balanced and healthy routine. For example, looking at getting a good amount of sleep, eating well, looking after their health and finding a good balance of work related activities and activities that are purely for enjoyment and re-energising.

What advice would you give to friends and family of students that are now feeling the pressures of being a graduate?
From our perspective, family and friends can offer a listening ear, at what can be a potentially difficult time for them and the student. It can be a challenging time for family and friends where they feel worried for the student or they also feel pressure themselves for the student to find work or do well.

Where possible, if you are the family member or friend, it is really helpful to remain as positive as possible and contain any anxieties you may have for the individual- you can almost guarantee they are feeling the pressure themselves, without being reminded of it.

Gentle encouragement and support can help ease the student’s stress levels and help them to feel less isolated.

For some students not achieving their goal e.g. getting an interview or a job can feel like a failing on their part or as though they are not as good as others. Trying to support them to see that this as a normal part of the process and that this can provide good practice and experience for them can be useful. Equally, offering an alternative perspective for problem solving specific issues can be helpful where they are feeling stuck with something.

For more advice please go to the following:

http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/studentlifecu/ – Cardiff Universities Student Life Supported Blog

http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/studentlifecu/what-will-you-do-after-graduation-tips-for-what-next/ – (Advice on what to do after Graduation)