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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Looking after your wellbeing as you prepare to leave University

Published: 19 June 2020
People sitting outside
Remember that leaving university will look different for everyone

For final year students, the end of University can feel a little overwhelming at the best of times. This feeling is probably heightened for final year students this year, with lots of unexpected changes and lots of unknowns when looking forward. Some students may even have found themselves moving into the world of work sooner than expected. However, it is important to remember that it is completely normal to feel anxious about change and to take some time to look after yourself, take a break and know that there is support available wherever you are.

Have realistic expectations

Try not to compare yourself and your next steps to others.  Remember that sometimes what people portray is not a true representation of someone’s life. 

Whether you are going onto further study or are starting to look for a job, you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do in the long term.  The world of work is very different at the moment; with lots of industries closed completely, recruitment delayed or frozen or businesses putting plans on hold.  This can be worrying but this will not last forever.  Try to see the positives, this time gives you a chance to research and really think about your next steps.  Completing application forms and updating your CV is all a learning experience and can be good preparation for when you do find the job that you want!  Remember that you still have access to the Careers team while you are a student here so make the most of this. Contact them if you would like some advice about any step of the job-hunting process, especially during these uncertain times.

Moving back home

Due to the current circumstances most of you will probably have already taken this step and are hopefully adjusting to this change. However, if this is taking some time, remember that this will feel different now as you are more independent, and your parents will have changed too. On top of this, everyone staying in the house for most of the day, every day, is bound to lead to some frustrations.  Try to talk it out with your parents before it becomes a bigger issue.  Use your newfound independence to give back and help around the house. You could cook your parents a nice meal or help with some cleaning.  Remember to compromise and respect each other’s need to have some space too. Try to think of the positives of being at home, like home comforts.  Most importantly, you will not live there forever!

Find Balance

After the pressure of the end of term and having dealt with all the changes that have taken place over the last couple of months, it is important to take some time to rest.  The prospect of what to do next can be daunting and can provide some challenges but try to arrange some fun things to do, which can make this transition easier. Need some ideas? You could:

-Catch up with friends outside or in a garden

-Go for some exercise in the sunshine

-Spend time with your family

-Catch up on that series you have wanted to watch for ages

Celebrating the end of your studies

Even though things have not ended in quite the way you had imagined they would, it is still important to recognise and celebrate your achievement of completing your degree.  The Graduation and Student Comms Teams have created a short survey to ask your opinions on How you would like to celebrate the end of your studies, which you can take part in here

Please be reassured, this online celebration does not replace the traditional graduation ceremony!  These will be planned when it is safe to do so.

Want to talk to someone?

If you are leaving or have already left Southampton, this may mean that you’re moving away from your usual support network and resources.  However, there will be support available wherever you are. 

You could try listening to a podcast for your wellbeing or download and NHS app to help you learn some techniques to maintain your wellbeing.

It is important to ensure that you have registered with a GP back at home so that you can book an appointment should you need to.  You can also find out information about your local equivalent of ‘Steps to wellbeing’ if you would like to access support from a talking therapy.

Additionally, Samaritans are available 24/7 by phone and email.



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