April 29th 2018
“‘Welcome to the real world’, she said to me condescendingly”~John Mayer
April is just about over and, for many college students, that means graduation time. This is an exciting and terrifying time filled with new experiences, new lessons, and quite a few new struggles for some as the case may be. For me, the transition out of college hasn’t been nearly as linear as I have expected, however, I decided that my atypical experience may be valuable for someone who may eventually go through what I have gone through and experience feelings similar to mine.
That is why I decided to compile a list of “things people don’t tell you about graduating college” in order to (a) get you prepared for what may happen to you personally (b) make you aware of what others around you may experience (c) let you know that nothing that can happen is worth sacrificing your mental health over (I am still working on c myself, haha)
- No matter how useful or practical your major was, you may not find a full time job as quickly as you’d expect- Within 4 years, I received my BS in Marketing and MBA with a concentration in marketing. With titles such as those, you would expect me to get scooped up by any place I apply, however, it isn’t that simple. Over the past year, I have been working mostly part time gigs and doing some freelance work whenever possible. It is not my ideal and I am still searching for full time, but sometimes the right thing just isn’t out there yet.
- It is okay to take some time to do things for yourself- The first thing I did after graduating college was sign up for Yoga Teacher Training. It was something I really wanted to do and college had forced me to put it off so I finally decided to do it. It forced me to put off my job hunt for a while, but it was something that meant a lot to me so it was worth it. I recommend you do the same. After spending about 20 years in the school system, it is perfectly okay to not jump directly into full time.
- Everyone will move at their own pace and do their own things- Some people will get jobs straight out of college, some people will choose not to use their degree, some people will go back for even more schooling…you don’t have to be like “some people”. Do what you want to do and do it at your own pace. If you see peers getting jobs and you’re not, don’t stress because that just means you haven’t been presented the right opportunity yet.
- To some people, the transition may be drastic- When school started back up this year and I wasn’t going, I felt really strange. I am the kind of person who really enjoyed school as well as the structure school offered my life and schedule. When that structure was taken away, I had to find new ways to keep myself occupied and comfortable. I put more of myself into yoga and writing because those are where my passions lie. I recommend you find something you’re passionate about to keep you busy, especially throughout the job hunting process.
- It is fine to ask for help, it doesn’t make you any less adult- I had this horrible sense of pride after graduating where I didn’t want to ask for help or admit that I was struggling. I am starting to accept the fact that asking for help doesn’t make you weak or immature. It is a hard pill to swallow, but once you suck it up and ask for help, things may get a ton easier.
The most important takeaway that I have to offer is, just be your best wherever life takes you. You don’t have to be THE best, just YOUR best. Life will take you many places and graduating is just the beginning. Hang tough and don’t sweat the small stuff. You will get where you want to be someday.