Life After College

Having just recently graduated from my university, I feel that I should give the upcoming graduates some advice and insight as to what life will be like once that diploma is in their hands. Life is pretty great, but there are a few things to watch out for.

I was lucky to have a job in my field upon graduation, but don’t expect to make great money. No matter what field or direction you choose to go, employers don’t (and won’t) pay you a lot at first. That takes years, experience, and hard work. It was a big shock to me when my first “real” full-time job decided to pay me less than I was making at part-time boutiques and nanny positions. Don’t let this make you lose hope. Scoring the job you want is going to take a lot of effort, and you will no doubt hear a lot of no’s before that big YES.

Not every job you apply for will call you back to set up an interview. You will hear a lot of silence. If you’ve applied for many, many jobs and aren’t hearing anything back, consider updating your resume to look more professional, concise and visually pleasing. One great way to make your resume shine is with Monster Jobs’ free evaluation from a resume expert. I uploaded what I thought was a really good resume, and found out that a lot could be done. You will be assigned a real person and they will give you great tips and advice on what to change or fix.

Don’t have your heart set on staying in your hometown with a perfect job. Life isn’t fair, and getting a great job definitely has its ups and downs. In applying for jobs, you will have the choice to stay as close or far away as you want, but don’t expect to land your dream job in your friends and family’s backyard. Often, entry-level workers will have to move away for a few years before moving back to their hometowns for the job they really want.

If you find yourself moving away for a job, it can be tough to make friends in a new city. It takes a lot of courage and extrovertedness to put yourself out there to meet new people. Where do you go to meet new people? It all depends on what kind of friends you want. I know that for me, I’d want something similar to what I had in my hometown. This would mean finding a good church and befriending individuals there. Other relationships can come from your job. Most people that moved for a job will find solace and a degree of kinship with other employees. They can then branch out and meet new people through the employees’ outside friend circles. Creating new relationships will take some time and patience.

The last thing that I want to mention is depression. College was the best four years of my life and I definitely wasn’t prepared when it ended. Entering the “adult” world can be quite a shock. You might feel like you don’t have friends anymore when your younger friends start their new semesters and seem to forget about you. It may seem as though no one understands what you’re going through. It’s important to recognize these strange feelings and always have the truth in the back of your mind. You are NOT alone. It’s normal to feel lonely and lost after graduation. Things are new and totally different. Do you have friends that graduated with you or a couple years before you? Reach out to them for advice. And for the friends that seem to have “left” you in the dust when a new year of college arrived for them? Remember that their graduation dates are fast approaching and soon they will be in the same boat. Try not to get too upset with them and let them enjoy their last year or two from reality.

It takes time to get into the swing of being a true and working adult. You will have some ups and downs, but eventually things will become easier. Besides, there are many pluses to life after college (like being able to afford something other than ramen to eat). Tests and studying? Forget about it! Spend that time watching Netflix and relaxing. You’ll no longer have to schedule your weekends around school. You’re free to do what you like! Enjoy this new time in your life and try to look at it with a positive attitude. You’re blessed with a degree and an amazing education. Use it to your advantage and nothing can go wrong.

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