First of all- congratulations! Whether you graduated a little over a month ago, like me, or three years ago graduating from college is a great accomplishment to be proud of. Now, let’s get real- the last few weeks (and months- if we’re being honest) of undergrad are filled with so many questions. Will I land a job before graduation? Will I land a job three months after graduation? Should I go straight into a Master’s program? Do I Have any idea what I’m doing with my life?! There are just SO many questions for those of us who are waiting to hear back from employers, acceptance letters, etc.
I have found a few things that have helped with the transition from being a college student to entering the real world. Even though I just graduated a little over a month ago there are very clear distinctions for post-grad life. Hopefully, the following tips help you feel productive, happy and ready to take on every day.
- Stay busy- This will be easy to do if you land a full-time job after graduation but the timing does not work out for everyone this way. If you’re on the job hunt try signing up for a workout class or volunteering at a non-profit a few days a week to keep your motivation up. It’s important to have a somewhat steady schedule so you don’t stop trying to find your purpose.
- Stay in touch with college friends- one of the hardest adjustments is one-month being minutes away from your closest friends & seeing them several times a week to moving away/ getting busy and maybe seeing them once a month. This may be easier to do if you live near your college town but the beauty of technology is that you can keep in touch with your besties who live over 500 miles away! Life gets crazy but it’s important to make time for the friendships that matter most.
- Keep learning – really Lauren? I just graduated from college and you want me to do homework? No, not like that! Just because your college classes ended doesn’t mean you should stop being curious about this vast world we live in. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or reading books about topics you aren’t well versed in it’s important to keep pushing yourself to grow. I recently started reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson and I’m learning more about psych wards, criminology, and the minds of criminals than I bargained for. This is a must read if you’re a psychology nerd like me who appreciates investigative journalism.
- Reminisce but don’t regret – Yes, we all long for our college days. Spending almost every day with our closest friends, facing new challenges every day, going to sporting events, and most importantly, getting free food all the time. Kidding…. Kind of. I would be lying if I said I don’t get a pang of sadness sometimes when I think about road trips visiting my best friends and boyfriend in college. However, it’s important to not dwell in that sadness because the best is yet to come! As college graduates, we can’t get so caught up in what we had that we miss what lies ahead.
- Rest- If your college career was anything like mine I would rarely get home before 8 pm. I get home around the same time from my full-time job but I am SO much more tired. Why is that…? I’ve learned it really does take a few weeks to adjust to working full time.
I hope this list helps those of you who are also adjusting to this huge life change. Post- grad depression is real. It is a subject that isn’t talked about very much, but if you feel like you are experiencing this you’re not alone. While one in four students suffers depression during their university years, there are no official figures for the post-graduation period, according to The Guardian. Mike Burton, of the Sussex University Counselling service, says that this group “slips through the system”. On Instagram, we are living our best lives, but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to figure it out. Here is a great article on the subject from The Washington Post.
What has helped you adjust best after graduating from college?
Proud college graduate,