To the Class of 2020
Congratulations on coming to the end of your programmes and finishing your degrees! You have worked extremely hard, experienced difficult times, and graduated in unprecedented circumstances so you should be extremely proud of yourselves for reaching this milestone.
You should be extremely proud of yourselves
As you approach the final weeks of being a Cardiff University student, the prospects of being a Graduate in a post-COVID-19 world may seem daunting. However, I want to remind you that you are not alone. All members of the Class of 2020 around the world are in the same position. We all feel worried about future employment, finances, and are feeling vulnerable. If you are feeling lost or isolated at this time I want to remind you this is natural. But, remember there are support networks in place to guide you through any uncertainty. At the bottom of this article I have listed some Helplines.
In this blog I have included a range of support networks and useful information to for you to take forward into future endeavours, wherever these may be. I understand that lockdown has been a difficult time. I myself have found the pressure of seeing peers on social media being very lockdown-productive quite overwhelming, ashamed that I had not used my time to learn a new language or pen a novel.
I then remind myself that I have used this time to breathe, organise future plans, and accessed the support services when I recognised that I needed them. These services have been more beneficial than I could’ve imagined.
Your Students’ Union is so proud of you, regardless of how much you feel you have achieved this lockdown.
I hope that you enjoy your initial virtual graduation, and mange to celebrate your incredible achievements in the proper way next Summer. As a member of the Class of 2020 myself, I am looking forward to that distant day immensely! I encourage you to continue to explore academic interests and passions when you enter the world of work. I encourage you to reach out and access support and helplines, these services are there to listen to you. We hear you and we are here for you. Graduation is not a goodbye, but the celebration of a new start and new beginnings that will come in time.
Congratulations, Class of 2020.
Caitlin - Mental Health Officer 2019/20
Common Concerns for After Graduation
Keeping in Touch
Many students will find the prospect of leaving full-time education a daunting one , especially as it will typically mean moving away from the close network of friends you have made in Cardiff during your degrees. There are many ways in which you can continue to keep in touch whilst following local Government Guidance (and after lockdown too if you now live in different cities!).These can include online quizzes, video chats or joining events such as online discussions about similar interests such as books or film together.
Moving on from University life can be a stressful period of time. It is common to find that you may be the only one in your friendship group continuing studies or starting a professional life in Cardiff. If you are worried about finding accommodation in Cardiff by yourself then you can join the Student Advice Housing List and find spare rooms across Cardiff ready for you to move in to.
Loneliness in the student community is something that many groups across the Students’ Union try to tackle, especially Student Led Services such as Talk It Out. During the next academic year, these services are run by student volunteers. Although they may be temporarily closed I want to remind you that Student Advice is available throughout the summer.
Seeking Support After Graduation
Counselling, Wellbeing, and GPs
If you have been receiving support from Cardiff University’s Counselling, Health and Wellbeing team, then you should discuss your future support requirements with your Counsellor or Wellbeing Practitioner. It is also important to note that depending on where you are living after graduation, you may have to register at a new GP.
Your Student Careers Account is open for you to access for up to 2 years after you have graduated to provide support in finding internships or employment. This service could be an extremely useful tool in finding the next step once you have finished studying, with a variety of opportunities listed relating to all types of discipline studied here at Cardiff University. Visit Cardiff Careers for further information.
There will still be an opportunity to celebrate your achievements this summer, though in an untraditional setting online. You can stream your own virtual School specific celebration on YouTube with your family and friends
Below is a list of UK helplines that provide support in -
- Mental Health
- Abuse (Sexual and Domestic Violence)
- Addiction (Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling)
- Eating Disorders
- Anxiety UK
- Anxiety UK provide support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
- CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
- Mencap work with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
- Mental Health Foundation
- Mental Health Foundation provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
- Mind promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
- National Women’s Register
- No Panic
- No Panic is a voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They also offer a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.
- Papyrus is a young suicide prevention society.
- Samaritans is a confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
- Sane is an emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
- Sharing Voices BME Support
- Stonewall Cymru
- Young Minds provides information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
- Campaign to End Loneliness
- Find out how to volunteer in your local community and give your time to help others with Do-it.
- Next Door
- Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbours and your community. A great way to help each other out in lockdown.
Abuse Helplines (Sexual, Domestic Violence)
Addiction (Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling)