If you ask any senior in college how they are doing right now, you are going to get a jumble of words amounting to “excited, but nervous!” This May I am graduating from UMass with a BS in Psychology and Neuroscience, and then I will be off into the real world. Where will I be working? Where will I be living? Am I going to pursue a master’s degree? I am pretty sure a lot of people can relate to being asked countless questions by everyone you know about your plans for the future. This period of transition is bittersweet. There is no better way to put it. Whether you are moving in with friends or back with your parents, starting a new job, going to grad school, or taking another year in undergrad — all of these plans are valid! Here are some of the things I have been doing to prepare myself for the transition out of college.
1. Friendships after college. When you are an undergrad you are constantly surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of people your own age. You spend almost every day with your friends going to class, eating dinner, and doing laundry together. For this reason, this time in my life I have made a goal of identifying who is in my support system. Who will be physically around you next year and close to home? Who will be a phone call away, but you know you can always count on them to pick up the phone? I think it is okay to normalize smaller friend groups and really hone in on those close friends who will make up your support system. Friend groups are going to shift in this period of life and being aware of that will make it a little bit easier.
2. No comparing. Since kindergarten, you and all of your peers have had plan after plan, going from one grade to the next. Now, for the first time ever, you will be stepping out into uncharted territory and everyone is going to scatter and do their own thing. It is so important not to compare successes and failures during your twenties. There are going to be people who climb the professional ladder quickly. There are also going to be people who take a little bit to get on their feet after graduation. All of the above is okay and focusing on your goals and your expectations for your own life is pivotal during this period of adjustment.
3. Be resilient. One last piece of advice to prepare yourself for life after graduation is to be resilient. All of these changes in your life are going to require you to be flexible with your time and expectations. Adapting to new living and work environments and learning to make the best out of whatever comes your way is going to be important for your success. You can read all about perfecting resilience in one of my latest articles!
No matter what your post-graduation plans are, be excited for the new growth you are about to endure. Be present in these last few weeks of school and ground yourself in knowing you can make it through anything!