Real World: Graduation

Graduation; one of the most bittersweet words in our vocabulary.  To some it means freedom, and to others it means fear.  Most of us have been in school nonstop for quite a while and were thrown straight from high school into the adventures of college.  The schoolwork might have driven us crazy and the professor’s rules never seemed fair, but the nights out with your best friends and the memories created is what makes college, college. 

Throughout your four, maybe five years at UCF, you have been thrown into classes that are supposed to prepare you for the career you hope to have one day.  You have been presented with situations that have made you a stronger person. You have hopefully had the most amazing years of your life, and have grown into a person that is ready to enter that scary place called the real world.  But what if you’re not ready?  What if you don’t know what you want to do when you receive your degree? You’re not alone.  There is a very slim amount of us that actually graduate with an abundance of confidence, a job waiting, and a life we are looking forward to.

I admit I am a person that is extremely terrified for the day I walk across the stage.  I have no idea what I want to do “when I grow up,” and I cannot imagine life without school and the social atmosphere I am surrounded with everyday.  I have never been happier than I am at UCF.  I love every moment of being a college student, and I feel like it is supposed to last forever.  Since this clearly is impossible, I have started to accept the fact that this world of Greek life, class two days a week, and intramural sports will soon come to an end.

If you’re in the same denial mode as I am, take a few of these thoughts into consideration.

  • You’re young! Don’t let the fact that you’re graduating college make you feel like you have to grow up and become a mother, a wife, and have a full time career.  There is honestly no rush to delve into the grown up world. Things will happen when they should, so don’t force anything that you won’t be happy with.
  • Take advantage of your last few months at UCF! Use career services, internship programs, job fairs, professors, and your peers!  Networking and getting your name out there can make easing into the after-college-life a lot easier and open up an array of possibilities.
  • Consider grad school! If you have a major that you know you need a few more years of studying for in order to achieve your career goal, start applying now!  Going straight from undergraduate to graduate is a great way to continue to be surrounded by the college atmosphere. 
  • If you can afford it, remember that you can always take some time off to really figure out what you want to do with your life.  Do some traveling, find a new hobby, or discover some new interests.  Who knows, this may spark curiosity in a new career field that may take you back to school or to an opportunity that’s been right in front of you the whole time.

Graduating is an exhilarating, terrifying experience, but try to embrace it.  Look at how much you have accomplished in college and how much you’ve grown!  Nothing but positive things can come to you once you have that degree in your hand, so seize the day and take advantage of what our amazing world has to offer you (even if it isn’t a job)!