How to avoid stress burnouts about your future
While your final year of university should be a whirlwind year of partying, holidaying, eating and convincing yourself that you and your friends would be more productive if you skipped your tute to discuss the assignment over a well-deserved cappuccino, the reality is somewhat different. Before semester even starts, the excitement of your final year intermingles with the fear of unemployment looming after graduation, and the thought that you’ll be stuck in your dead-end retail job for eternity starts giving you nightmares. In order to stay out of the depths of anxiety, there are some small things you can do to help you feel more in control of your future – and your life.
While university and your 20s call for night-time hangs, partying and late nights spent frantically finishing assignments, getting up early may just be your ticket to being productive and feeling a little more control in your life. A Harvard study has linked morning people with proactivity, higher wages, greater career success and better job performance. Getting up just half an hour earlier each day can make you feel more prepared – and when you’re stressed, feeling ahead in something is better than feeling constantly behind.
You might have applied for all the graduate programs under the sun and are feeling hopeless about your chances about getting past the rigorous testing. The easiest thing to do in this day and age is to hop online and search through job boards such as SEEK, The Loop, CareerOne or the like. Search for junior positions and entry-level jobs to get an idea of what you can qualify for straight out of uni. Look at the skills they require – this is where the magic is. Even if it doesn’t match your degree title, skills are really what it’s about. If you can do it, who cares what your title is. If you can’t do it, can you learn?
Have a bath, get your hair cut, lie down for 20 minutes on the grass – treat yo’ self! Nothing productive ever happens when you’re too stressed to function. Find the balance and take a breath. Life is overwhelming without a moment to remember all the rad stuff you’ve got going on in your life. Forget about the weight of the world for an hour and just take in the now.
Get your transcript
You’ll need it, I promise! Applying for a grad program? Going for a placement? Trying to land a relevant part-time position? Trying for an industry internship? As graduation steadily approaches, your transcript becomes more necessary – yes, it will cost you. But don’t wait until you need it instantly to discover it takes three weeks via post.
Applying, Interviewing, networking – it’s exhausting and terrifying. But fear is crippling, and the last thing you want in the job market is to feel crippled. Do some things outside your comfort zone to get used to the feeling: get lost in a different part of the city, do some public speaking, take on a new task at work, or go to the cinema by yourself.
Get an elevator pitch
Learning how to sell yourself succinctly and coherently can move mountains in professional spheres. Get an elevator pitch so that every opportunity, connection or happy coincidence has you walking away leaving a positive lasting impression. When you know you can represent yourself better than you actually are, you’ve got no worries.
Ngaire is studying Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney and believes coffee should be included as the sixth food group.