Transitioning Out of University

Even though graduating and moving onto life after university can be thought of as a time of great excitement for students, leaving college can present many challenges. This may well be due to the increased uncertainty that comes as result of ending one chapter of life and beginning another. The transition out of university can coincide with feelings of uncertainty. (Yazedjian, Kielaszek, & Toews, 2010). Many students find that this uncertainty “makes them feel anxious, even… panicky”. (Barry, 2021, p. 47).


After graduation, well-being rates can be high for those entering the workplace (Lindfors, 2014), but those who find themselves unemployed are at higher risk of psychological distress (Cassidy & Wright 2008). Students who see themselves as having a low adulthood status may struggle with the transition out of university due to a sense of low self-efficacy (Halstead & Lare 2018).

Transitioning out of university can make students anxious “as it is commonly associated with self-judgement or self – rating”. (Barry, 2021, p. 53). If students cannot achieve the (often impossible) demands that they make of themselves, they become frustrated. (Barry, 2021, p. 53). The more a student negatively self-rates, the more emotionally depressed they will feel. (Barry, 2021, p. 126).
Transitioning from university to employment or postgraduate study may always lead to uncertainty and frustration. It might be possible, however, to assist these students with the transition out of university by teaching them effective coping mechanisms and facilitating the development of healthy habits and lifestyles.

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