Hey you collegiate graduate you. Congrats! You’ve spent the past 16 years of your life fulfilling your duties, as assigned by society, as a student and now it’s time for you to enter “the real world” (thankfully not the MTV show). Yup, the minute you walked across that stage and moved over your tassel to the left side, you “officially” became an adult.
Fast forward a couple weeks, maybe even months. Your diploma still has the smell of fresh ink (at least, hypothetically), Vitamin C’s Graduation Song still pops up on your playlist and you’re living the post grad life. However, it’s not all chalked up to be what the movies, your parents, teachers and the media made it seem. That good grades + good school + degree/diploma formula doesn’t always equal a good job. So my fellow postgrad, here are some truths (that I hope you can relate with) to life shortly following that graduation ceremony.
1. You’re going to get bored.
With no school and no job, there is going to be an abundance of free time; more than you’ve ever had during your time as as a student. Soon Facebook statuses and tweets on Twitter will become redundant and you’ll be able to (proudly) say you’ve binge-watched every good show on Netflix. So what’s there to do? Spend this time reigniting your passion for an old forgotten hobby, volunteer or get a part-time job even if it’s not in your desired field. Oh and obviously scouring job boards for that dream job. It’s out there somewhere!
2. Time will pass by quickly.
One day you’ll find yourself playing The Sims on a Monday, and the the next thing you know it’s Friday. Procrastinating may have worked in your favour in school, but nothing good comes from pushing back the job search or application process. As soon as you see a position you’re interested in, apply right away, regardless of when the deadline is. Also remember it’s summer! The sun is out, the weather is warm, enjoy it. There’s no need to stay crammed up indoors just because you’re not technically on “vacation” from anything.
3. Living at your parents’ house is not going to be easy.
Of course this is all dependent on your home life and family. But whether you’ve spent the past four years fending for yourself on residence or off-campus housing, or stayed at home and suffered the commuter life, as you get older your desire for more freedom is greater. And when you have your mom still barging into your room to remind you to clean, eat or sleep, it can be a struggle. However, there are major positives that come with living with the parentals, like those home-cooked meals, clean laundry, and absence of rent bills. Remember as you get older, so do your parents. So spend time with them while you can, ask them questions, learn from their experiences and sometimes even, take their advice.
4. You will find yourself continuing to work for minimum wage.
The moment you receive your degree/diploma, is not the minute your hourly income goes up. Unfortunately that retail or restaurant job you had during college doesn’t care that your name is printed on a fancy paper from the University of BlahBlahBlah and that after many sleepless nights and bottomless coffees you can finally recite every single metaphor in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
5. Entry-level jobs are not easy to find.
That being said, expect to continue working your college job postgrad. Whether you’re ready for that 9-5 life or not, finding a full-time entry-level position is a huge challenge. Seeing 5-6 years experience under the requirements of a job will become the norm, but don’t be discouraged, continue the hunt.
6. You will feel unsuccessful and lost.
When you see all of the Facebook statuses and LinkedIn updates about classmates and friends landing their dream jobs, let alone a paying gig in the first place, it’s going to put you in a down mood. Not to mention the marriage proposals and baby showers… But life is not like school, where everyone is expected to graduate at the same time. People will find success at their own pace, and it’s more than normal not to find it immediately upon graduation. You’ll only see the good things broadcasted on social media. “Still unemployed and broke!” is not a Facebook status you’re likely to see. So keep in mind that while three people are working jobs with full benefits, thirty are still searching.
7. You will lose touch with your friends.
The moment classes end, friendships will start to dwindle. First to go are those who you just talked to when you saw them in the hallways or in class, but soon the ones you counted on to hold your hair back on Friday nights and shared inside jokes with will also drift away. Wrangling together everyone for some drinks won’t be as easy with different schedules and even different cities acting as roadblocks. In order to keep up relationships, real time and effort needs to be put into them. Don’t wait for someone to message you, send a simple “hey, how’s it going?” text in order to keep in touch.
8. The future is scary.
Like break down in the middle of the night because you don’t know what you’re doing with your life scary. For the first time in a long time, you don’t know where you’ll be or what you’ll be doing in September let alone the next year. But that’s okay, you’re not going through this alone, and you have the rest of your life to decide what you want to do. “The best things in life are unexpected–because there were no expectations.” – Eli Khamarov ”