After university: work or travel?

Life after university can be a daunting prospect. Grasping that graduate job is something most third-year students worry about. However, many students are increasingly choosing to travel after university as opposed to going straight into the world of work.

There are values and limitations to both options. For example, earning money is something most young people want to do as early as possible to afford a home and also for things like travelling.

However, the likelihood of gaining a graduate job straight after graduation is not very high, therefore many students like the idea of travelling at a time in their lives when they have no commitments or responsibilities. In the long-run, both options have their benefits: gaining work experience is good for filling up your CV, and travelling gives you so many useful life experiences which are unattainable from just staying in the same place you have lived all of your life. But it is different for every person.

Grace Horner, a first-year history student, takes the view that travelling is the better option for a graduate student because it is “an experience you won’t be able to take full advantage of when you have a full-time job and only 28 days off in a year.”

Sam Hewitson, a first-year Politics and International Relations student also prefers the option of travelling, for a gap-year after university to travel around the world is an appealing prospect for young people who want to get out of the U.K. and see the rest of the world.

However, Florence Garnham, a third-year history student at UEA believes that money-making is more important before travelling is considered as an option, in order to start saving up and gain experience on your CV. There are many reasons why one may not want to work immediately after leaving university, because many people do not know what they want to do upon leaving university. That is definitely the case with me, for I have no idea what I really want to do, and travelling might give me some inspiration as to what that is.

However, so many young people nowadays are becoming obsessed with the fad of travelling. Although there are obvious benefits, such as meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing new challenges, the constant posting of trips onto social media can cause jealousy amongst friends and create a sense of boastfulness as to how many countries you have visited.

But the sharing of information on social media is a separate issue from travelling and the US. Travel Association often publicises the benefits of travel on an individual’s health, as well as the health of the economy.

Therefore, working or travelling after university is a fine option and it is up to the individual making that decision, but either option will have obvious benefits in your life and hopefully you will get to do both throughout the course of your life.


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Dorothy Reddin

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January 2022
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