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Navigating the Post-Grad Scaries

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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 UPRM chapter.

With graduation season coming up, many soon-to-be grads are expected to jump with joy and excitement. While in reality, the most common feeling for graduates at this time is an overwhelming wave of anxiety about what’s coming next. If you’re wondering why you’re feeling this way and are on the lookout for tips to go through this transition as smoothly as possible (even if you’re not a recent or soon-to-be graduate), this article will provide some supporting insight for you or the graduates in your life.

Post-graduation anxiety can arise from uncertainty about the future; which could be finding a job, applying to grad school, or planning a move. Graduation for many students also means mourning the place and the friends you made many memories with throughout those formative four (or five) years of your life. 

Now, soon-to-be grads, listen up: what you’re feeling is completely normal and expected– seek advice from alumni or talk with friends going through the same transition for reassurance. Breathe in and breathe out because you’re going to be okay. To manage these big plans more effectively, break it down to smaller tasks and goals. If you’re applying for grad school, make a checklist composed of smaller tasks that may include (in no particular order): meeting with an academic counselor, researching programs of interest, requesting and submitting transcripts, completing forms, etc.

For those going straight into your field, consider not only applying to jobs online, but also networking! Ask friends, family, peers, or professors if they know about any openings in your field of interest you might be eligible for. Even if they don’t have something to offer themselves, they’ll point you in the right direction and connect you with someone who does.

Take time to make your last few weeks memorable by planning activities with your friends. Attend senior events, capture memories with pictures and videos, visit that local restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to, explore nearby spots, or go to a sporting event. You could also reflect on your experience by journaling the lessons you’ve learned, your favorite memories, and acknowledge the growth and changes you’ve gone through in the years you’ve been in college. Staying in touch with your now long-distance friends can be hard, but planning ahead is key to make sure you can carry on your best friendships beyond college. Plan a reunion,a group trip to your college town, or somewhere you’ve talked about wanting to visit throughout your time at university. This will provide something to look forward to and assure a date for your friends to spend time together while navigating your new busy schedules. This could turn into a tradition to cherish the time you spent at college and create new memories with each other at a new stage of your lives. 

Remember that the uncertainty you are feeling is natural and by welcoming new opportunities, following advice  and hearing other’s experiences, you’ll navigate through this transition with ease. So, give yourself the grace to enjoy this milestone – props to you, grad!

Patricia Sánchez is a writer for Her Campus at the Mayagüez Chapter. Currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Political Science, she brings her passion for writing to cover diverse topics. Patricia is deeply involved on campus, participating in what others may describe as too many extracurriculars, but the sense of importance and friendships she has gained throughout those experiences are invaluable to her. In addition to her role at Her Campus, Patricia serves as a Functional Diversity Student Assistant at the OSEIRUM office at the university. Her writing extends beyond the campus, as she has a knack for crafting lifestyle pieces and insightful commentary on current events, blending her love for writing with her political science background. Outside of her academic and professional pursuits, Patricia finds joy in playing racquet sports like tennis and pickleball, staying active at the gym, doing pilates or cozying up with a good book. A Taylor Swift enthusiast and pop culture aficionado, she enjoys staying informed and engaging in discussions about the latest trends. Balancing her academic, extracurricular, and personal interests, Patricia also values quality time with loved ones. Whether it's cooking up a storm in the kitchen or delving into a good book, she cherishes moments that add depth and richness to her college experience.