The Ups and Downs of Post-Grad Life

Congratulations, you just finished one of the most significant accomplishments ever. You have spent the last 4+ years working your butt off (with a little bit of partying in between) towards a degree that’s going to help you enter the field of your dreams. So, what’s next? Everyone has different plans and paths after graduation. Some people will jump right back in and prepare for Graduate School for the next semester, some will take that job offer in a new city, and others will take a much-needed break. No matter what you choose (because you don’t compare yourself to other recent grads!), there are going to be some ups and down to your post-grad life. So, what are some ups?

Relaxation! NO WORK! You are finally free from tests, papers, and homework. You can finally sleep in and watch TV without feeling guilty and worrying about your 11:59 pm deadline. I caught up on at least three of my shows and slept in until 3 pm for weeks after graduation. It is indulging in activities you couldn’t do for the last 4+ years.

You get to catch up with your family. I didn’t know I was going to miss my family as much as did, epically during my last semester of college. You miss out on so many family events and sometimes even new little family members. Reuniting with my family was hands down my favorite part of Post-Grad life.

Traveling and New Adventures. Before college, you were too young and mainly living off your parent’s money to plan trips and go on different adventures. And while in college, your time was dedicated to classes, school work, campus organizations, and jobs, so there wasn’t any time to plan extravagant vacations/trips. After Grad Life, especially after the graduation parties (You know what I’m talking about $$), these things are now attainable. After my Graduation, I went on a cruise to Mexico, two concerts, and an impromptu trip to Washington DC. Because whether you're applying for a job, taking a break, or waiting for Grad school to start, there will always be a little break long enough you to make at least one trip or experience something new. Everything from above is great, but there are some down for Post-Grad Life:

Your Mental Health. From experience and even talking to others who have graduated, issues like depression and anxiety creeps in after graduation. You constantly worry about your future, especially when you don’t have a set-in-stone plan. You stay up most nights looking at the ceiling or roaming the internet trying to look for answers for your next step, but then it all becomes too much, and you start freaking out. You begin to question every decision you made to figure out why you’re not where you feel you should be at in life. When you start to see other graduates moving on in their life, and that causes depression to settle in. You compare yourself to them, which you should never do, and you feel like there’s something wrong with you. Why can’t you figure this life thing out? Am I even good enough to achieve these dreams I’ve had for so long?

Job Searching. Searching for a job is one of the hardest things EVER! You just got a degree that you thought would help you conquer the job search…but it’s not that simple. With a bachelor’s degree, you do have more opportunities that you wouldn’t have had without, but you’re still limited. Some ‘Entry-Level” jobs that are always being extra. They want you to have a master’s degree and 8+ years of experience! How do you want me to have more years of experience than the number of years I was in college? And where do you want me to get experience while trying to give 100% of my time to my academics? It’s all a little stressful, and this can make the job search a little longer than you planned.

Even though there are ups and downs, and you have the good and bad, Post-Grad life is what you make it. Focus on yourself. Listen to your heart. Think carefully about what you want your next step to be, and never settle for any position just because it was offered to you. And most importantly, remember everyone has their unique path created just for them. So, when you see your fellow graduates moving to a new city for a job/school, be happy for them, because your dream opportunity is coming soon.