Advice On Life After Graduation, Part One

Life after graduation is a scary adventure that can cause a lot of stress leading up to the day we walk across that stage. I decided to reach out and ask four of my graduated friends what their experiences were like and what advice they’d give to a senior in his or her last semester. 

The people interviewed are Virginia Allen, 23, with a B.A. in Government (currently serving as a missionary in South Africa); Sarah Limardo, 21, with a B.A. English (currently working at CBN); Jonathan Slayton, 23, with a B.A. in Cinema Television (currently freelancing as videographer) and Beth Young, 22, with a B.A. in Cinema Television (working as a production office coordinator).

Her Campus (HC): What is post undergrad life like?

Virginia (VA): I am a currently serving as a missionary, so my post-undergrad experience is a little unique. Life as a missionary has been very restful, but also full of changes. God has definitely allowed me to be in a season of rest this year as I have more time to read His word, pray, and take care of my self. But my life is less focused on me now then it was as a Regent Student.

Sarah (SL): It’s a transition. Suddenly I don’t have school work to worry about, which is nice, but I actually miss having something to learn about. The transition is mainly in going from having a home base with parents to looking for my own place, my own job, and my own life. It’s finding out what kind of adult I’m going to be, how to pay bills and taxes and be a functioning adult on my own.

Jonathan (JS): Some days are full of work, while others can be boring. When you're in school the path is really clear but after you graduate it gets a bit more complicated.

Beth (BY): It’s easier because life seems to slow down, routines begin to develop, and the constant, ominous cloud of quickly-approaching homework deadlines are not perpetually looming right behind you.  But it’s also much more difficult at the same time, because the community you’ve been forced into and surrounded by for the last four years is gone

HC: What advice would you give to students graduating this May?

Virginia (VA): Practice living in the moment now: if you can’t relax and enjoy the season you’re in now, it will be difficult to be present in the next season God places you. Practice not complaining; being positive makes life more enjoyable. A super practical piece of advice is utilize Career Services, especially when it comes to mock interviews.

Sarah (SL): Expand your horizons and dream big. You can go anywhere, do anything—don’t let yourself be confined to the place you went to college or where your parents live. I dreamed of going to New York City and getting into publishing—that didn’t happen, but it gave me a direction to work toward, and I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t had that dream. Also, know how to access your loans. If you have any extra money, throw it towards your loans early.

Jonathan (JS): Start job searching before you graduate.

Beth (BY): I would tell them to read Jeremiah 6:16a and Matthew 7:24-25. As you graduate and begin adult life, your life is going to seem confusing and unfamiliar. You’re also going to realize you’re a different person than you thought you were.  That’s normal, and that’s okay. Hold fast to the truth, because even though your entire life is changing around you, Jesus never changes.  There’s a reason we call Him our Rock and our Anchor. 

HC: What advice would you give to people searching for jobs?

Virginia (VA): Network and ask around. You never know who might have a lead on a job and then go for it, because God will open and close the right doors.

Sarah (SL): Don’t freak out. Job searching is scary and it takes a lot of patience. Apply to everything, and even if you have to work a small job for a little while, it will give you time and money to look for a job you want.

Jonathan (JS): Go through your Facebook friends and just work your connections. Post on Facebook what your trying to do. I feel like the most likely employment opportunities are going to come from people you already know.

Beth (BY):  I would encourage people searching for jobs to not take the rejection personally.  During job searching, you’re going to encounter a lot of “no” responses, and you may not even get a response at all.  This has nothing to do with who you are.  Really, it just means that there’s a better fit out there somewhere.

Next week, we'll share what these alumni have learned since graduating from Regent, what they wish they would have done differently before graduating from college and more!