College is one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. You gain a sense of individuality, responsibility and freedom. You meet lifelong friends and create memories that you will never forget. But what happens when it’s all over?
In most cases, by senior year the thrill is gone. You’re over the people, the work, the professors and you’re ready to start your life. You’ve set goals for yourself and exhausted all efforts to achieve them. You’re ready! You walk across the stage, shake hands with the school’s president, grab your expensive piece of paper and that is when your life changes.
You’ve just achieved the greatest accomplishment of your life. You have a degree. You’re officially qualified to snag the job of your dreams. Then, six months later, you’re working at a doctor’s office as a receptionist, wondering what went wrong?
The fact of the matter is, you did everything right. Adulting is just hard.
The premise of college is to prepare you for the real world, however, the only preparation college provides is on freedom and responsibility. The real world is much more complex. So, in the event that life after college isn’t exactly as you imagined it would be, don’t fret. Things happen, life comes at you fast, but there is always a way to get through it. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you along the way.
- Be patient. Everyone believes that the job of their dreams will fall into their lap, as soon as they graduate. However, that is not the case. Quite frankly, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. While, some people do get that golden opportunity right after college, it’s very rare. But, don’t get discouraged because your time will come. For those of you still in college, it helps to have a few interviews lined up prior to graduation. Therefore, you’ll be on the front line for that position that most recent graduates will apply for after graduation.
- Get a job. After spending all of that money on a degree, it is normal to feel entitled. However, you are one of millions of students who just graduated. Some with more experience than you, others without. On top of the millions of recent grads, there are also millions of unemployed individuals who may be looking to snag the same job as you. So, the competition is stiff. But, your dream job is out there, just be patient. In the meantime, get a job. Just because you work at as a receptionist for a few months, doesn’t mean your life has no purpose. Your degree still means something and you are still qualified to reach your goals. But, it doesn’t hurt to get money in the bank while you’re waiting. If you are still in college, intern. Internships help build your resume and give you the experience most employers are looking for.
- Interview. Interviewing is one of the hardest parts about finding a job. But, the best tip I can give you is to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, and sell yourself to the employer, they have no choice but to believe in you as well. Practice in the mirror, prepare in your car. Make sure you have questions for the employer, research the company, and sell yourself. Even when you get a job, if it isn’t what you were looking for, continue to take interviews because it doesn’t hurt.
- Save your money. In college, most of the time, you are broke. But, there are a few times when you run into some money that’ll last you until Christmas break or the summer. In the real world, you run into road blocks that cost you money. It’s like, whenever you try to save a little, something happens to bring you back down to zero. You get your first check from your job and then your car breaks down and you have to pay for repairs. Or, you’ve saved some money and then, you get a ticket and your savings is cut back to half. Not to mention student loans. I’d say, open an additional account that you don’t see often. You don’t touch it, not even for emergencies. Just put money into it and never take it out. In the meantime, keep a checking and savings account that is readily acceptable for emergencies and miscellaneous spending.
- Don’t get down on yourself. It is easy to feel hopeless or unmotivated after all of the hard work you’ve put into your degree. But, just remember, hard work always pays off. Personally, it took me an entire year to snag a good paying job after college. Now, life is on the up and up and I couldn’t be happier. But, in life there are always obstacles. It just takes a strong person to overcome them. Life isn’t easy and the real world is worse, but the best is yet to come.
Besides if all else fails, there are other career options. *cues Juvenile – Back That Ass Up*