Right after college, life was about a job search. The job search lasted a lot longer than I thought it would, and I was still living at home during that time. I followed all of the career advice I got from the counselors and read What Color is Your Parachute to try to figure out what job was best for me. With very little work experience, it was hard to find that first job. The exercises in the book helped me clarify and organize things I already knew, but it was worthwhile to go through the exercises, and it encouraged me not to give up even after many job search dead-ends. That first phase of life after college ended when I finally just started submitting resumes for every job opening that I might be able to fill, and I took the first reasonable job offer that was in my field so I could move out of my parents' house and start out on my own. That's not how they recommend you do it in the job search books, but it worked for me.
That next phase was fun and I got a lot of independence. I got an apartment, bought my first car, and started paying down my loans. I had a mattress and eventually bought a futon and an old TV but I still sat on the floor a lot when I was at home and I ate a lot of frozen dinners during that time. That part of life was mostly about doing the job in front of me and getting rid of debt. I changed jobs and cities several times, looking for a climate and city that I liked and looking for work that paid well and was related to my major--Computer Science. That phase lasted for a long time, and it was mostly about getting the job and working the job.
I'm still working the job, but I'm realizing that there are more constraints on my time as I get older. There's always been too much to do at work, so that is normal, but other concerns pull you in more directions as you get older, like helping family. In the previous phase of life, I thought that the most important thing I had to offer was my skill set, so I worked hard to get a variety of skills by doing lots of different jobs, and that has made me employable. That helped me a lot, but I am now realizing that the most important thing that any of us has to give is our attention, our time. There is only so much of that we have to give.
If you work hard and have a positive attitude about taking on difficult work, you will do just fine. You might get really tired sometimes, but that's OK as long as you remember to take care of yourself and those you care most about. It's important to find the job, get the job, and work the job, but you also have to know how to manage your time outside of work. Learning that is something that college will help teach you, but it is still a struggle for me.
After college, there won't be any degree plan or set of courses arranged for you by someone else. You'll have to arrange that for yourself and give yourself structure. The bills will have to get paid, so some of the choices will be obvious to you, but you do have a choice about how you go about your life. Try to choose the rewarding and sometimes more difficult path. Try to find useful work that is meaningful to you. Do the things that are necessary, even if they are hard. Check in with your family and friends too, and make sure you balance your time with them. Try to see the world a little, and have a good time while you are at it. Good luck to you!
prepared - i would say college prepared me to be successful in my next step in life. It gave me tools to help handle work and personal life so i never felt overwhelmed. It also gave me the friendships i needed when i was unsure of where to go and needed guidance. With these tools i never felt i was in a situation i could not handle. Does not mean i did not have stressful situations with limited options, it just meant i was better prepared with a mindset and set of actions steps to be as successful as possible with it.
Hi Jakayla! My life after graduating college is completely different. However I was 30 before ever attempting college. Before college I could only find minimum wage positions and there was no way I was going to be able to support my family if something happened to my spouse. With this in mind I went to my local community college and graduated with two Associate degrees. Not only have I doubled my salary after college, but I also have such a huge sense of accomplishment that I never had before!
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I landed my first job a few months after graduation (stay positive during the search and be open to new ideas and opportunities!!) I think I thought I was a lot more prepared and ready for the real world than I actually was. There was a big learning curve and recognizing that I didn't know anything yet (and that's ok) and to learn to listen and learn first and then start to be more forward in my ideas and actions. Find a mentor at your first job, someone to help you navigate the culture and day-to-day operations.
I also had so much free time?! After the crazy schedule I maintained in college, I found that I had so much time to explore my other interests and hobbies.
I had to make a much bigger effort to keep in touch with college friends and to make new ones. That can be difficult since your friends aren't right down the hall anymore.
Definitely start paying back you loans and put more towards them if you can!
After graduating college, it was a huge adventure for me. I moved three hundred miles away and pursued work in the theatre. I stayed with a friend for six months. Obtained a career job four months and an apartment in six months. This was all a very , very long time ago when the economy was much better. I remember being fearless and curious and happy about getting a job in the professional theatre after getting my degree in theatre which a lot of people expressed light ideas about. I didn't care. Don't let anyone or anything discourage you. At that young age, I had quite a strong spiritual and high values, good work ethic, so that was the basis of how my life went after college.
I paid off my student loans in 4 years. Times are different today, however, and it may be easy to get discouraged, but each era has their upside and that is something to always remember. I had to go through four years of college without the internet or video cameras (LOL).