As soon as you turn the tassel on your graduation cap, you know exactly what you’re going to do… right? Unless you’re really, really lucky, that’s probably not the case. What you can be sure of, is that life after college is a whole lot different than life during college.
For many grads, the biggest change is moving home and sharing territory with mom and dad again. Gone are the days — and nights — of doing whatever you want to do. Once again, you’ll have to fall in line with your parents’ preferences, although rules will probably not be as strict as they were in high school. Either way, though, the complete autonomy you experienced in college will be gone until you’re on your own again.
The first three months after college will undoubtedly bring you a bit of stress on the job front, too. For most, this is the first time they’ll be applying to full-time professional positions, so the process requires a lot more thought and finesse. You can expect to spend a good amount of time tailoring your resume and cover letters to the specific jobs for which you’re applying. Furthermore, you’ll have to take time to polish your answers to any interview questions that you can foresee. Since you’ll have more free time without the stress of classes and exams, you can dedicate a good portion of your day to finding and acquiring the perfect entry-level position.
As all of this is going on, you might also experience a bit of uncertainty or confusion as to what you want to do, why you studied what you did, etc. This is completely normal, especially for graduates who have received their diplomas as recently as you have. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not alone in this sentiment, and that the fear of the unknown is completely normal. However, you chose your major and studied hard for a reason: you wanted to pursue a career in this field, and you will eventually get your foot in the door. And, if you do get to work and realize that your position might not be for you, there’s no harm or shame in trying something else. Your whole life is ahead of you, and the future is bright; celebrate these facts accordingly and then use them to inspire you as you find your place post-grad.