As much as we students would love to finish our studies and enter what people call “the real world”, finishing college can actually be, and usually is, less exciting than we expected. You just finished partying with all of your classmates, got your degree diploma, took a thousand pictures and after all the excitement you find yourself wondering around the simple question of “Now what?”
Your race of many years has finally come to an end, and the finish line you just crossed gave way to a new season with new challenges, new landscapes and more than anything new requirements that will definitely involve an expansion in whatever you thought was the end of your capacity.
Finding a Job
This is something you may have dreamed about for years! You will finally get to stop being a waiter, a cleaner, a retail sales person or whatever casual/part time position you had in order to survive your college fees. This obviously has its ups and downs, ups because you finally get to look for a job based on your interests instead of a job based on your needs, even though sometimes you may have to get a job simply to save up some more money before you jump into the search for that dream job.
As an international student, who moved overseas (again) after finishing college, I would love to advise you that if you do the same, you should be mindful of all the paperwork that moving overseas implies, specially when it comes to job permissions. Find out all the legal requirements before you move, so you can then financially plan for the months it will take for your working permission to be granted.
Another thing I realised when it comes to finding a job, is the unrealistic expectations we place on it. Lets be honest, your first job after college may or may not be your dream job, and that’s fine. This is a journey we are all in and every job you go through will teach you something you didn’t know before and expand your range of experience anyways. At the same time, do not lose hope and do not lose sight of whatever dream you have for your future, and make sure you are running towards that. Remember that Zig Ziglar said it: “If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time”.
Creating a routine
I’ve found that one of the hardest parts of finishing college is that awkward transition time, that time of uncertainty in which you still don’t have a job, you still are figuring out what your days will look like and ultimately the time where you desperately crave for a routine.
I have found that the best way of navigating this season is creating a routine yourself. If you still don’t have a job, why don’t you create a plan for exercising? Or do you have people you would like to catch up with? Have you ever been used to cooking? Well now you have the time to do it! If you still don’t have a job this time is perfect for you to just figure out what your habits can look like in this new season. Create a small routine that if you get used to it in the “quiet season” of your life, it will be easy to apply to your life once it gets a little bit more hectic.
Learning to balance
It is easy to forget your priorities once you don’t have any teachers or trainers giving you some guidance. It will be on your hands to learn to balance life specially once it becomes fuller, with jobs, social time, and more. You will have to learn when to say no to things out of personal responsibility rather than college duty as before.
One of the coolest and more challenging things about this season is that whatever you do, you will hopefully get to do it out of desire and not simply duty. You will get to choose the job you want to, the habits you want to and the schedule you want to, but this has its downside that in life a greater freedom implies a greater responsibility, so you would be the main (if not only) person keeping yourself accountable for how you balance your life.
In other words “Congratulations! you are now officially an adult!”
What else have you found amazing or challenging about finishing your time in College?
What else would help graduated students navigate life well? Let us know!