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Overcoming Expectations After Graduation

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UW Stout chapter.

There are so many expectations after you graduate from college. It’s expected that you automatically know everything about taxes and how they work; You’ll get an amazing job that you love and will want to stay at for the rest of your life. These expectations can make you go crazy as you constantly try to live up to everyone’s expectations. Though I’m sure family and friends mean well, here’s a couple tips to start setting your own mindset to how you want your life to go. At the end of the day, nobody can change your life but yourself.

Expectation #1: You must land your dream job immediately after graduation.

Although this is a goal, it doesn’t always happen like that. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable to still be unsure after graduating where and what career you want. Often times, the job you land could be completely different from the major you graduated in. Realize that for the majority of you life so far, you’ve been in school and haven’t had a chance to get your feet wet in the career world. Education was your world for the last 16+ years. As you now make the transition to concentrating fully on just work, there will be some adjustments. Trust yourself and the process of finding what you really love to do. No matter what anyone says, your happiness is all that matters.

Expectation #2: You must buy a big house, a nice car, etc. right away.

In a perfect world you would buy these things. However, many of us are stuck with little money in the bank and an outrageous student loan debt. So in reality, this isn’t always plausible right away. Just because you’ve graduated from college doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be making the big bucks. Take some time to build up your savings and sort out your finances before running off to make big purchases.

Expectation #3: You must be married or in a serious relationship in/after college.

Everyone seems to think that it’s vital to get married or to be in a relationship in or out of college. If you aren’t in a long-term relationship or even close to getting married, don’t fret! This is an unneeded pressure at pivotal time in your career. If focusing on yourself and your own success is important, then, by all means, go for it! This isn’t to say, people in or out of college shouldn’t get married. I personally think it’s a great decision if that’s what you truly want and are 100 percent ready for. But, I too often see graduates stressing out because they believe that they have to be married right out of college (especially when the family starts asking at every holiday). Just remember, your relationship status doesn’t define who you are; so don’t let it.

Expectation #4: You’re now seen as an adult and are expected to be paying for everything.

Congratulations on graduating college! Now with your abundance of money we assume that you have, you’re now supposed to pay for everything yourself including rent, food, water, health insurance, etc. Many of you may already be paying for expenses and bills on your own. Yet suddenly, this expectation expands to thinking you have all this money laying around and you can afford everything. Often times, it’s hard to get back on your feet after college as you had little to no time to save money. Money still doesn’t grow on trees (sadly) and if you need some help from others, it’s perfectly okay. The transition from school to work can be difficult at first.

There are so many expectations of graduates nowadays. Just graduating college alone is no small feat. It’s important to understand that you have been busting your butt for years to get that little piece of paper. The transition from school to work can be intimidating and hard but believe in yourself. Trust that what you learned in school and the skills you’ve learned will come in handy and help pave the way to success in your future. In case you ever forget: you’re smart, you’re successful, and will do amazing things in life. No matter where your path takes you, I hope you find yourself and who you are in life. Surround yourself with those that love you and forgive and forget those that don’t. Life is short, so don’t take it too seriously. The most important part to remember and to never ever forget is: Have fun. Congratulations graduates!

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Jacobson, but most people call me Liz for short. I am a sophomore this year at UW-Stout to get my Bachelors degree in Business Administration. I plan to have an emphasis in entrepreneurship so that after college I can pursue my dreams of owning my own store. I have a passion for writing. I love new ideas, meeting new people, and exploring different things in life. 
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