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Here Are Three Simple Ways for Finding Life After College 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

It’s here, it’s finally here— the last semester of your undergrad journey. Some students are perhaps able to finish their degree in four years, which is socially expected. Others, like me, take a little bit longer (six years, to be exact). Especially if you transferred colleges and added a second degree, you’ll know the struggle of never-ending courses.

However, after Hurricane Maria left the island powerless for more than half a year, and after a global pandemic, the day of graduation is finally in sight. And even though this is exciting news, it’s also terrifying. After twelve years of school and six years of college, I will stop calling myself a student in just three months. Sure, we are students throughout our entire lives since we are constantly learning, but the fact that I will stop using “student” as my personal label in life, scares the heck out of me.

The truth is, I love college. I have loved it ever since I entered in 2017. All of those years have brought me so much personal and professional growth. Ending my favorite season in life, so far, makes me wish I could stay a little bit longer. But now, as I find myself in a classroom full of second and third-year students who know every single TikTok reference, I know it’s time to go.

I always thought that after undergraduate studies I would immediately continue to graduate school. Nevertheless, last year I came to realize that studying for 18 years straight has actually been a lot, and that maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to be tired and in need of rest.

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 This is why, last semester, I surprised myself by actually not applying to grad school, and instead decided to gift myself, after graduation, a trip to Europe for the whole month of July 2023. I realized that even though I really want a master’s degree in the future, I don’t necessarily have to pursue it right now. Graduate schools are not going anywhere, after all.

So, now that I have let you know that I actually don’t have a plan after college and that I may or may not sometimes lose sleep thinking about it, I thought that I could share what is working for me at the moment. Because, really, what is life if not just a series of spontaneous moments one after the other.

1. Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you want.

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The first time I saw the flier for the Europe trip via email, it felt as if a new lightbulb had turned on in my life. It was the first time I actually considered doing something because it seemed fun and adventurous, instead of going for the practical route. I sat down and listened to myself, then talked to some of my loved ones and tried to take in different perspectives on the matter. Ultimately though, I decided to go with what my gut was telling me.

Will I come back broke? 100% yes. Will I come back with incredible stories to tell? I hope so.

2. Keep in mind your goals.

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Even though it may seem like you can get derailed from the plans that you’ve been making your entire life, it’s okay to change opinions. The important thing is to keep track of what you want to achieve in the future. Even though this trip is what I’m looking forward to next, I have not lost track of what I have always wanted, which is to get a higher level of education. It’s important to have these goals present in your head, whichever they may be, and written in a journal or somewhere you check constantly so that you can be reminded to work on them. You don’t want to wake up 20 years from now wondering what happened to them.

3. Enjoy the present moment and know that nothing lasts forever.


I am very conscious that my one-month trip to Europe is exactly that, a one-month experience. This means that when the time comes, I will enjoy every single bit of it. But, when I come back, I will not live in the memories of the trip, but in the present back home, probably without a penny to spare and looking for a job, most likely a full-time job and regarding something that has nothing to do with what I studied. But, I am determined to enjoy and learn from every experience and not drown in the sadness of where I wish I could be instead of where I am. As I said before, nothing lasts forever, and we can find ourselves in a completely different spot with just a flick of a finger, or, in my case: a flier in an email. 

Myrangely Méndez is a Comparative Literature and Drama student at UPR, Río Piedras Campus. She loves having a laugh with a good romcom, browse books through Reese Witherspoon's bookclub and daydream about moving to Europe. She hopes to graduate in May 2023 and dedicate her life to writing.