Plans After College

One of the subjects that engulfs a senior college student’s life is what they’re doing after college. Relatives ask about our plans at every family gathering and friends ask at least once a week if any news has come up with interviews and offers. The pressure builds up and if you don’t have a job offer two months before you walk across the stage, you feel like a failure.


But sometimes, we aren’t looking in the right places. Sometimes we don’t know what we want and sometimes we are fulfilling someone else’s dream for us. We’re 22 years old, trying to find a job that pays us enough to live on our own. We might not even like our major anymore, but at this point, we stick through it until the end. We had to start making life decisions at 18, a time when we didn’t even know our full capabilities.

But there are so many other things to do after college. You can’t settle for crappy jobs in a field you don’t like, and you don’t have to stick with that 5-year plan we came up when your high school boyfriend broke up with you. The four years you spend in college are four years of growing into who you really are. You learn about your strengths and weaknesses, you meet your future bridesmaids, you take classes and learn about what you hate and what you love. At this point, you know that you can’t do what everyone else is doing because it’s the norm. And yes, that means that other people will not understand that.


We have the freedom to choose our own path. You can work odd jobs for a couple years. Save your money up so you can move into that dream apartment. Learn some new skills that are actually important and help make your life easier. Date people, break up with people, try some new “mature” drinks at the bar. Explore every option you have. Apply for jobs that have nothing to do with your major and gain some interview skills. Work your way up from an entry-level job and explore and set the goals of your dream job. Take a road trip to national parks, volunteer at an art museum, get a job at a coffee shop.

There are so many things that can peak your interests, especially when you’re in your early 20s. Just because it’s not normal and it’s not what others expect or wants of you, does not mean that it’s wrong. Don’t feel less than adequate because you don’t have the job you planned for when you were 12 years old. Not everything will work for everyone.


Set some short-term goals for yourself, and when people ask what you’re doing with your life, tell them you’re working towards the dream. It’s frustrating that not everyone will understand what that dream is, but it’s also satisfying to be happy with yourself. The best part about life is that you’re finding out everything about its mystery.



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