Planning For After Graduation

I’m a planner. I like feeling in control even when I can’t be. Planning for after I graduate is something I can control even though it can feel like anything I’m doing after graduation is uncontrollable. To allow you to feel in control of your life as well, here are my tips on how to properly plan. 

First, set a timeline for yourself. Most of the timeline can be controlled. I can control the exact date I’m graduating. I can control when I can start looking at jobs to apply for. I can control when I look for houses.

You’ll need to apply to graduate a year in advance. To do this, go onto Piperline, then Student records, and go into Apply to Graduate. It’s about three buttons from there, taking three seconds to apply for graduation. Academic advising will then email you to tell you what credits you’ll need to get to graduate. It’s best to go over with your academic advisor what you need left of your specific major, for some times your advisor will have different knowledge specific to the major. Make sure you don’t have any classes that you need to get signed off to go towards your major such as an internship.

Now that you’ll be officially graduating, it’s time to stress about jobs. As a person who likes to stress, I’ve set a timeline for myself regarding when I can start looking for a job, knowing that, without a timeline, I’ll try to do it too early and just stress myself out. By telling myself I can’t start until winter break, I know I won’t start too early and I won’t push it off until it’s too late too. I’ll have enough time to do it then, or at least start the research.

The Career Development Center (CDC) is a great resource.  Their Handshake is great for internships and jobs. They allow you to see what other jobs Hamline students have gained and what jobs are available for specific fields. I honestly find this site has more jobs and is easier to navigate than Indeed, LinkedIn and other job sites.

If you need help with resumes and cover letters, the CDC is also open to review those as well. They’re very helpful and friendly. Having been there myself, I didn’t find it intimidating or humiliating at all as they constructively helped me with my resume and cover letter. They have general drop in times on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 2-4 p.m. You can also make appointments if you need different times. Making an appointment ahead of time can get you a longer session as well. 

Don’t be afraid to go for jobs that only seem halfway in your field. If it looks like you’ll enjoy it, it doesn’t matter if you might only be there for a couple months. If you want a job right out of school, it’s okay to settle a bit but look for things that won’t make you hate your life and will allow you some stability. If you know you won’t mind leaving the state, look at jobs out of state. If you wish to stay, make sure you look for jobs in your specific area. It’s nice to have options, so don’t limit yourself too much. Have an open mind to anything.

Next will be thinking about where you’ll live. Parents or family can be an easy fix to this. If you’re like me and wish to live in a state that you have no family in, you’ll have to look at other options. Decide if you’ll be able to afford living alone or not. This can depend on what jobs you’re looking at. It’ll also depend on what apartments and/or houses you’re thinking about in what neighborhoods.

No matter what you’re looking at, there are somethings to check out before you move in. Parking: Will you have a car? Will you need to take the Greenline downtown? Will you need easy parking? Do you have to pay for parking? Neighborhood: Where is it in relation to your new job? Is it far? Is it an easy commute? How is the landlord? Do they live close if anything happens?

All of this can be very uncertain and stressful. It could all be temporary too. Where you end up right out of college could not be where you are a year afterwards. It all depends, and it can be therapeutic to think that it doesn’t matter, that it’s all fluid and noncommittal. It’s still vital to plan, but it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get it right at first. Life isn’t a competition, but a journey. Planning can just make that journey easier.