When you and your friends discuss the future, did you have everything planned out? Did you imagined life after college was going to be like an episode of “Sex and the City”?
Caught up in the dream of adult life, with dream jobs and Pinterest-board apartments, you might be straying from the reality of the post-grad experience.
Before I even continue, I just want to give a shoutout to all of the college students and the college graduates trying to navigate life during the pandemic. You all are doing a great job and keep killing it out there in the world (SAFELY, of course)!
So, you made it to graduation. As soon as you flip your tassel, you officially start your past-graduate journey. No more college dorms, a lighter workload, and you don’t have to look at another textbook ever again (unless you decide to get your Masters or PHD). Daily and weekly hangouts with your roommates and friends turn into FaceTime dates and random text messages saying, “Just thinking of you. I hope you are doing well”. The biggest change that comes with post-grad life? I have three words for you: Living. At. Home. You haven’t lived with your parents in a few years, and now you are existing in your childhood bedroom: old posters splattered all over the wall, clothes from elementary school, old diaries on your bookshelf, the list goes on and on and on.
For most of us, we have this idea of what our post-grad lives are supposed to be like: working your dream job and living on your own. For others, post-grad is more about their personal life than getting another degree (AirBNBs, engagements, weddings, and babies galore...we love to see it). Post-grad can also give us a severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) too. Personally, if I could tell you how many times I’ve said, “I wish I could do that” or “I would love to relive that moment again” while scrolling on social media; it would be an 8 hour Snapchat story.
Do you know what is the WORST thing about post-grad life? Aside from missing your friends and no more on-campus events, it’s searching for your dream job. Job hunting is the biggest challenge that comes with post-grad life. It’s like finding the missing puzzle piece to your fantasy life. So, where do we realistically start on job hunting, you ask?
Ahh, let me give you the tea on that: Throughout your four years of college (or even high school), you already have an idea of what you want your dream job to be. For example, you dream about becoming a doctor and you already planned out where you want to do your residency after medical school. After graduation, you start filling out job applications.
These applications will ask you to upload your resume and fill in your work experience...what kind of mess is that?! Then, these applications require a detailed cover letter, too? After that, you play the waiting game for a while. Days and weeks go by, and you are still hoping for a response. Even with the pandemic (I graduated from college two years before there was such a thing as a coronavirus), jobs are not hiring right away.
If I can just give a few pieces of advice about how to deal with post-grad life & job hunting:
1. It’s okay to miss being on campus. If you are close by, you could take a trip with your college friends to visit campus or even get involved as an alumnae member.
2. You are allowed to take breaks from job hunting. Applying for jobs is just as exhausting as having a job.
3. Living at home is not as embarrassing as it sounds. Think of it as extra family time you didn’t have while you were away at school. Save up as much as you can, help out around the house, and continue to plan out what’s next.
4. Prioritize your mental health! - Self-care is SOOO important here. Take the time to assert boundaries. Do things that bring you joy like reading, drawing, playing instruments, exercise/yoga.
5. Seeing others accomplish their goals before you is okay. Stop comparing your timeline to everyone else’s.
6. Always do what’s best for you. It’s okay to not follow certain people’s advice. As long as you follow your intuition, everything will fall into place.
I hope that these tips help you embrace adulthood in all of its complexity! You got this!
Written by: Keronhica Desir