Well guys, I freaking did it. With the help of coffee, wine, Quizlet and free tutoring in the campus library, my dream of receiving my college degree finally came to fruition. And to be honest, it’s still a bit surreal. And also, it was much harder than I ever expected! But man, having something that you work so hard for that you will be able to use and show for the rest of your life is one hell of a feeling, and the late nights and lack of social life in between made it all worth it once I crossed that stage.
So.. here I am. A twenty-something college graduate. Hi. Um. Now what?
As most things in life go, starting off my college career I foresaw a future that was a little different than how I see it now. If you are new to my blog, let me do a quick little background on how I got here:
Me, at 18: No idea what I wanted to do with my life. English and Journalism were at the top of list, but without a clear plan of what would come after I had no real motivation to get through school. I was enrolled in my local community college, and did this for a couple years on and off.
Me, at 25: Went through a nightmare of a breakup. One of those that really bring you down to rock bottom and desperate to do ANYTHING to make yourself feel better. What I did? Went to see a therapist. SHE CHANGED MY LIFE. She helped me so much that I was inspired to enroll back into school because I wanted to help others the way in which she helped me.
Me, at 27: A Psychology major, enrolled in 20+ units per quarter, coming home from class after 10pm and going right back at 8am. Staying up until 2am to finish papers and putting together an entire research proposal, experiment and final project. Extraordinarily passionate about each one of my classes and my major as a whole. All of the things I never expected to be doing at 27, but also realizing in the moment, as well as after the fact, how lucky I was to be able to get such an amazing education and how much I will benefit from this experience in the future.
When starting this journey a couple years ago, I had originally planned on going to grad school after receiving my bachelor’s as this was necessary in the field of work I wanted to do (become a counselor). However, little factors here and there throughout this time changed my direction a bit. One of the main reasons I decided to put off grad school at the moment was because at 27 years old, I got this overwhelming feeling that I needed a change and a little more independence. Most people at my age have moved away from home by now, or at least experienced living away from home for a period of time. Within my 27 years, I have yet to have this experience. And although moving out was never my number one priority because I am so close to my family and love being at home with them, this last year I had just felt like it was time. SO, I changed my direction a bit. It has been nerve wrecking, because I hate the idea of the unknown, but also exciting, because I knew I still had so many options available no matter what direction I went with. I also take comfort in knowing that if I ever did want to, I can easily go back and enroll in grad school.
But now that leaves me with my original question: I graduated college, NOW WHAT?! And because I like to think of my blog as a place to come for inspiration, wine humor and maybe even direction, I have been researching for myself, and YOU, a recent college grad. These are some tips I have found for the #PostCollegeLife — Leave me a comment down below about what you did right after receiving that expensive AF diploma!
1. Drink yo’ wine girl. You deserve it
2. Set up a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one.
It’s kind of like a Facebook but for career professionals, and a lot more intimidating because people will know if you are stalking their profile
3. Update your resume and cover letter.
Get help with it from either a professional or at least someone who knows what they are talking about! This will now be used as your golden ticket, if you will. I have been working on my resume for weeks trying to perfect it, and have really loved the website MyPerfectResume.com — They help with formatting, specific job descriptions, and advice on what to include on your final product. 10/10 would recommend
4. Use sites such as LinkedIn to start networking.
I’ve been getting a lot of advice the last couple months as I started rounding out my college career, and everyone I talked to told me that networking and connecting with people in the field you are looking into is key. As an introvert, this is by far the hardest step for me. However, with a banging resume and my new title of “college graduate”, I am feeling a bit more confident. It also may be the celebratory wine I’ve been enjoying, but either way it’s a win-win
5. Get out there!
Start interviewing everywhere and anywhere that interests you, and don’t worry about whether or not you will get the job. If you don’t, you will have at least gotten practice with going on interviews, and that will come in handy when you land an interview at your dream job!
6. Enjoy the journey.
This is now, officially, the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It may be messy, intimidating and confusing, but nonetheless, you worked your ass off to get here and that deserves a lot of freaking credit! Have confidence that the education you just received will be the perfect foundation for your next journey into the professional workforce, and don’t get discouraged if things don’t start happening right away. This has been the hardest part for me to adjust to so far. I kind of just assumed that with a college degree, I could get a job anywhere! (Lol, #ImNew). But it takes more than that, and that’s okay. If you just spent the last 4+ years working your a$$ off in school, you definitely have the patience and drive to wait a little bit longer to land your perfect job.
It’s exciting times, for sure. But with any change often comes uncertainty and stress. My advice? Take. It. All. In. This is such an exciting time of our lives, and whether or not you get a job immediately after graduating should not change that. Get out of your comfort zone, master LinkedIn, catch up on sleep, binge watch a Netflix series, send your resume to every job listing on Indeed.com, and never stop being proud of yourself for the incredible accomplishment you have just achieved.
My road here was difficult and challenging and at times, dark. But looking back at all I went through since graduating high school 10 years ago, I could truly say I am so proud of myself. I found something that made me passionate, and I held onto that motivation the last few years. Amazing things happen when you believe in yourself and what you are doing. I hope that you can also be proud of yourself, and do not forget to carry this newfound confidence with you into every job interview you get.
She believed she could, so she did. GO GET ‘EM!