Livin' La Vida Lucia

So You’ve Just Graduated…Now What?

Life in the College Aftermath

By Lucia Rossi

Post-graduation life may be a scary one if you have no idea what you’re doing. Don’t continue riding that plateaued slope, it’s time to ascend to bigger, better and different things.

As afraid as you might be, you must be brave enough to take those small steps forward to making your dream a reality. The real world can be a harsh place especially on newbies, so let’s try to get you ready.

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After graduation you need to ask yourself a very important question. Do I want to: A) Go to grad school and continue my education B) Look for a full time job or dream job C) Travel or D) Do nothing. I know that D option is very tempting, but you should probably go for either A, B, or C.

Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to start getting your shit together. Prepare yourself accordingly for what you choose because going out to drink five nights a week is called “substance abuse” in the real world and you can’t get away with it anymore if you plan on getting a keeping your real world job. Try to improve your lifestyle and routine so employers see that it’s a healthy one and will be more inclined to trust you.

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If traveling is your option, then that’s a good choice because everyone says the best time to travel is after you graduate. Take a big bite of the world before you commit to that 9 to 5. Think about where you’ve always wanted to go, save up some money, and go talk to a travel agent, a loved one, go back packing with your best friends, or go alone if you’re brave and confident enough.

You could also travel by volunteering and working abroad like with organizations such as Peace Corps, Global Vision International, Cross Cultural Solutions, or the Red Cross. You could also teach English abroad in Asia or Latin America since they’re eager for their citizens to learn the language because they’re export countries. You could even volunteer closer to home in America by doing a gap year program through Peace Corps, City Year, or Teach for America. It may not bring income but it will keep you busy, give you time to figure things out, teach you valuable life lessons, and will look good on your resume.

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If you’re not ready or that full time job yet, take smaller steps by getting a part time job or internship that is in your field of interest. Introduce yourself and get more familiar with the field you;re interested in. This is a good way to get your foot in the door without too much commitment.

When it comes to jobs you should have a plan B or even a plan C. Consider getting more serious and investing into your hobby. Whatever you love to do, think about making it a side job for extra cash or something to fall back on. For example, if you love yoga, consider taking a teacher training course and getting certified. You could also build on a hobby you do at home, like create a shop on Etsy for things you make.

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Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to become more financially independent, or be prepared if your parents decide to cut you off. A part of becoming a adult means to learn to handle your finances and budget. If you don’t have that dream job yet, don’t sweat it, help your parents pay for some of your loans or phone bill or start saving up to move out. If you plan on moving in with your friends be sure you know what you’re doing, we’ve all seen Judge Judy with those cases. Living at home with your parents until you’re married isn’t a bad choice either, but expect to lose privacy and run the risk of still being treated like a child. If you can deal with that, God bless you.

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If you’re single after gradating college you might want to consider getting a little more serious about dating. In college, you have a sea of people to choose from, but out of there it gets tougher. If you believe in soul-mates, maybe now is a good time to look for yours. If you’re not interested in true love right now, at least keep in touch with your college friends. After graduation everyone will scatter and who knows when you’ll see them again. Keep in touch and maybe visit where they live sometime in whatever city they’re in. This will be fun and give you an opportunity to travel a bit.

From graduation and on, you will be dealing with a lot of success and failure. Don’t stress if either one gets to become too much. You must accept that you will experience both. A job is just a job, there will be others and people change their jobs and careers multiple times in their lives. Enjoy the good moments and don’t let the bad ones get you down.

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Getting the job you want is all about your reputation, past experiences, and people you know. Go over your resume, go research several companies to work for, fill out a pile of applications, present yourself well in interviews, make co-workers your friends, and get the job of your dreams. Collegeaftermath.com is an insightful website to help you if you feel stuck.

Just because you have that real world job, doesn’t mean you should completely let go of who you are either. You can be responsible and still have fun. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re completely grown up. You can have a real world job and still be awesome, and just wait to have your life crisis at 30.

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