(side note: this picture is not me. I haven’t decorated my cap and gown yet, but I thought whoever this is has the same hair as me 🙂 )
So, last night I finished the last college lecture that I will ever have to sit through. Yes, I still have finals and essays and projects that I have to finish but that was the last time that I will be sitting in a classroom, in a desk, listening to a college professor give a lecture. It didn’t even really hit me until I said it to my friend Justine, and she replies, “So how do you feel about that?” Initially I burst out laughing because she sounded like a therapist. 🙂 But once I stopped laughing, I was like HOLY S&@T!! I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to skip all the way to my car (which, mind you, is parked about a mile away in the school parking lot haha). I was so excited but also kind of nervous too. This is a whole new chapter in my life that I’m about to start. I was thinking, Am I ready?, Am I prepared? Have I done everything that I wanted to do? And the answer to that, is yes! I have worked my butt off to get to this point and have had so many amazing experiences over the last four years. I have made the best of friends that I will keep forever, I have done so many cool things, and I met the love of my life and the man I plan to marry. But besides all that mushy stuff, I’m just so over-the-moon excited. In thirteen days I will be a college graduate; the first one in my family I might add.
So, I wanted to share a few tips for my fellow graduates about what to do after you’ve thrown that cap in the air and realized that college is over.
I think it’s safe to say that most graduates main concern is getting a job. So keep in contact with the people that you met during internships, class lectures, etc. Because when you start looking for a job, if you haven’t already, those are the people that are going to get you in the door. Yes, having you college degree and beautiful things on your resume is very important, but networking and keeping those connections is so so important. And even if your contacts don’t know of any jobs right now, you will have put yourself on their radar for the future.
2) Practice Some of Your Interview Skills
Once, you’ve landed an interview, it’s time to remember how to successfully complete one. Just because we have graduated does not make us a big shot in the job market. We still have to present ourselves in the best possible ways during those interviews. You also want to make sure that you’re interviewing for a position you are interested in. Your first job might not be your dream job, but it should definitely be one that makes you happy.
3) Decide Where You Want to Live
Take some time to yourself to think about where you want to be for this next chapter of your life. If you are not sure, narrow your options down to about three cities you would want to live in and make sure you are interviewing for jobs in those cities. Whether that means moving out of your parents house, or moving to a new location, or staying where you are, figure out the location that suits you best and sets you up for the most success (and the place you can afford.)
4) Set Up Your Finances (If you hadn’t already)
Creating a realistic budget is crucial after graduation. Figure out where you are financially. Most of us will not have full time jobs right off the bat, so figuring out what you can be spending is so important. Maybe talk to your parents about getting a little bit of help while your playing the waiting game on that job to call back. Having a serious plan and talking to your parents about it and getting their tips, will make you even more responsible later on.
5) Chill Out
This is such an amazing time in our lives. Enjoy it! Don’t stress so much about those small things because everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. While this is the beginning of an exciting new phase of life, it’s also the end of a very special chapter. Don’t get so caught up in making plans for the future that you forget to enjoy the present! While finding a job and deciding on a place to live might seem stressful, there’s really no rush. You have your entire life to start working, but you only have a few weeks left to be a college student. Enjoy this time and make the most of it!
Congratulations Class of 2015! We did it 🙂