Female degree students can now confide in the help of graduates across the UK, thanks to a new and empowering digital community founded by University of Reading alumnus, Brontë King.
The social media grown platform, Gals who Graduate, was created by Brontë to reassure students about the natural anxiety that surrounds life after university.
And it has already attracted more than 4000 engagers across its Facebook and Instagram pages since launching in June.
The model and influencer said: “After speaking to my friends at uni, I recognised that there were very common feelings of worry and anxiety about life after graduating.
“I wanted to use my [social media] platform to spread awareness about this feeling and to create a community where everyone who shared these worries could support each other.”
And it wasn’t just other people’s experiences which convinced Brontë that some sort of support network was needed for those going through the stress of adjusting to both life after graduation and university in general.
She said: “When I joined [university] I was so out of my comfort zone. I called my parents crying a lot during the first few months and I really didn’t feel great.
“I was wondering why I wasn’t having ‘the time of my life’ and why this wasn’t ‘the best year ever’, but I pushed through it all and second year really was the best year of my life.
“I absolutely loved my second and third years of uni. I felt so much more settled after my first year and finally got used to the routine.”
“Living with such an amazing group of friends was also a huge help.
“My advice for anyone not enjoying university is to persevere through the bad times and think positively about what is to come.
“If I could go back and help my first year self through her tears, I’d give her a massive hug and a pep talk.”
Commenting on her decision to connect members of Gals who Graduate using events in the real word, Brontë said: “I want members to feel like they are in a supportive community.
“By joining the social media groups and attending events, they can make friends who are going through the same thing.
“They can give advice and receive advice while getting the reassurance that they are not alone during this stage of their lives.”
Gals who Graduate was first introduced in the form of a Facebook group where members were invited to post about their university experiences, request advice on various topics, and share motivational quotes and videos.
Brontë said: “In a way, the Facebook forum has more of a community feel.
“It’s a closed group so everyone who’s a part of it has something in common with the other members.
“When someone asks for advice, there’s always likely be someone else who has been in the same or a similar boat.”
“It’s so lovely having such an amazing group of girls.”
And although the project was designed initially as a support network for newly graduated girls, Brontë expressed that students at any stage in their degree can join the community.
She said: “[Gals who Graduate] is full of graduates, students and freshers. Anyone can join.
“A girl messaged me the other day saying how she felt so much better about going into her third year after reading all the girls’ stories.”
Just two months after its launch, Brontë decided that members would benefit from the community even more if they were able to meet and engage with each other in person.
The first event took place in the evening of August 21 at London, Percy Street’s café Kailfornia Kitchen and was attended by 65 people.
Delighted by the success of the gathering which included talks from beauty giant Superdrug, goodie bags, and refreshments, Brontë said:
“I was overwhelmed with the support from those who attended and brands that I’ve grown up around.
“Superdrug, Charlotte Tilbury, 21 Buttons and Skinny Dip all sponsored and donated products for the goodie bags which was amazing.
“I had to pay for the venue myself which, although an investment, was definitely worth it.
She added: “I met so many new girls who are now friends and lots of people turned up alone and left with friends.
“The room was buzzing with such a friendly atmosphere. It was amazing.”
The event was also attended my members of Brontë’s family including her parents and older sister, Chessie King.
Brontë noted that Chessie- known best to internet users for her empowering social media platform and body confidence motivation- was another of her inspirations behind Gals who Graduate and life in general.
She said: “My sister is my biggest inspiration and best friend. Every single day she gives me new ideas and always lifts my mood.
“She is always behind me pushing me every step of the way and I couldn’t ask for a better big sister. We just support each other with everything.
“Witnessing the positivity and support that she brings to others using her platform is what inspired me to use my platform to create a support system for university students and graduates.
“As my sister didn’t go to uni, she finds the whole thing so interesting and is always the first to hear my ideas.
“I voice note her most mornings with a new idea for gals who graduate.”
Brontë’s long term goals for Gals who Graduate include hosting monthly events and providing more support and advice to members by working with relevant brands.
She added: “The next event is a panel talk with some very exciting people.
“I want a panel of people from different companies to come together and help members with a variety of topics.
“For example, finding a new place to live, what to do next, the option of travelling before employment, what do I do about overdrafts, and so on.”
“It’s all in talks and meetings at the moment, but keep an eye on my socials (brontekingg) and (galswhograduate_) for more information.”
The Spark are huge fans of Brontë’s initiative and can’t wait to see what she achieves next.
Keep up the great work, gal!