Life After Graduation: A View from a Recent Graduate

Tanya Soria

(edited by Brianna LeBlanc and Jalen Wells)

There is a huge sensation of relief when graduates realize their freedom from homework, projects, and exams. The days right after graduation are wonderful as graduates can relax without the stresses of re-applying for school and preparing for a new year. Graduates commonly take this opportunity to take trips or do activities they weren’t able to do while in school. This stage, however, is short-lived as the fear for finding jobs and making a living strengthens more each day. Each story is different, and this is my experience.

As graduation approached, my relief of finishing school overshadowed my stress for finding a good job. I packed my bags and moved to Southern California as I had landed an amazing internship. Internships are great to get your foot in the door and make connections; however, they won’t last forever as much as one may want them to. As mine came to an end, I had to step it up and look for a real job.

Your first job straight out of college will most likely not be your dream job—and that’s okay! That also doesn’t mean you will be absolutely miserable in your first position. Perhaps the pay won’t be great and you’ll dread waking up in the morning, but every job is a start. Every position is an opportunity to expand your connections and make yourself known.

Learning doesn’t stop right after college. In fact, my time after college has been a huge learning experience. Learning to adult takes a lot of maturity, acceptance, and cramming session.  Learning to cook, budget expenses, pay bills, and manage your time is just a few of the things that one needs to master in the process of becoming an adult.

College prepares you to be successful, but not to leave your closest friends and family, which I found to be one of the hardest challenges in my life. I went from seeing my best friends every day to sending text messages once a week. My advice to those getting ready to graduate soon is to spend time with your friends and those you care about. Life takes people on different, unexpected routes. In essence, life after college can be great; however, it may not be exactly what you expect it to be. There’s nothing wrong with starting small and climbing up the ladder of success.

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