This one is for my GRADUATES.
YOU DID IT! It’s incredible, isn’t it? You successfully completed your undergraduate career, and you should be SO PROUD. All those late nights, tears, COFFEE, study sessions- did I say coffee? ALL of it was worth it. I know when I graduated I was on TOP of the world. Nothing anyone did or say could bring me down, and still can’t tbh. It is genuinely my proudest accomplishment in my life thus far.
While this is a momentous occasion and you’re celebrating a new life of no homework. I want to keep it real with ya’ll because I don’t feel this is spoken about as heavily as it should be in a realistic light – POST GRADUATION.
Even though I’m only 2 years postgrad, my reality was NOTHING I thought it would be. I was NOT prepared. When I came down from the high of being finished reality hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like okay I’m finished, now what?
I’m sure most of you are thinking …okay… so… get a job.
Which brings me to my list of some things I wish I would’ve known to expect after I graduated:
- You MAY not land your dream job right after you graduate. It sucks I know, but it’s the reality, and it’s OKAY. The first job you have will help mold you into a young professional, outside of that student role, and it will help you with jobs that follow. Take that time to learn and don’t get discouraged, it all works out in the end. It took me MONTHS before I received my job offer. Patience is KEY.
- Do NOT compare your journey. One of your peers may have landed that excellent job FOR THEM and their post-grad life may seem to be easy breezy (And that’s amazing, continue to be supportive) but just know what is for YOU will be for you. PERIOD. It’s hard not to compare positions in life, salaries, wardrobes, etc. but remind yourself that you’re in YOUR SEASON for a reason.
- Post-Grad depression is REAL. This is something I dealt with after graduating, and I had never heard of it prior. I just want to really encourage you to talk to someone. Hell, you can speak to me. I know what it’s like first hand to be confused and frustrated because life isn’t going directly as you envisioned right after you’ve completed such a huge milestone.
- You don’t HAVE to rush to grad school – unless YOU WANT TOO. You’ll see a lot of people will go right back to get it over with or because their timing is right. Do what’s in your best interest. I’m JUST now returning back to school this fall because I’m MENTALLY ready. Had I went right back after graduating, I would’ve failed and wasted my time.
- Be proactive with your student loan repayments (if you have them). Remember, you have 6 months, and then you have to start paying back. If you can’t pay immediately, at least call and let them know. It’s better than not saying anything at all. Also, depending on your industry you may qualify for loan forgiveness opportunities. Go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation for more information.
- If you don’t have one yet, make and follow a budget.
- It’s Stressful & freakin expensive – which is why you’ll need your budget.
- Find your doctor. Unless you remain near campus, on-campus health centers are no longer easily accessible and making sure you’re up to date with everything is IMPORTANT. At the LEAST, find a general practitioner and a dentist.
- It’s easier to move with support in your new city, I was fortunate enough to have my Dad in Houston which made my transition a little smoother. HOWEVER, if your situation has allowed you to move solo dolo. DO IT. There’s so much world out here. Explore while you’re young and are being given these excellent opportunities.
- Lastly, making friends outside of college is … a little difficult. It may not be for everyone but because I moved it was for me. If you’re not in a sorority or fraternity where you have that common bond, meeting people can be somewhat of a struggle. My Advice is to join some young adult and/or volunteer organizations. I joined the Houston Area Urban League – Young Professionals, and it has been the light of my life since I’ve lived in Houston. I’ve met some truly beautiful people and have definitely taken away some valuable lessons. I also joined a melanin magic group on facebook and was able to make some connections there as well. Don’t worry, You’ll make friends. You just need to take the initiative, get out there, and find like-minded individuals.
One for the road: If you’re with your parents or have the opportunity to live rent-free, Don’t be in a rush to move out. SECURE THE BAG AND SAVE.
To end on a good note, POST GRAD LIFE IS LIT. All the things I’ve stated above are real, and you need to be aware, but post-grad can be everything you want it to be WITHIN your means. You’re able to travel more, you’re ready to grow as a young adult and find new things you love, take time to get closer to God or work on your spirituality. MORE SLEEP – depending on your schedule, Meet awesome new people, just KICK IT. At the end of the day, you’ve survived 4-5 years with a CONSTANT hunger to finish, and YOU DID. That in itself is an accomplishment NO ONE can take away from you.
CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!
For the ones who have been out of school for some time, what is some advice you’d give to a recent graduate?? Let us know in the comments!
Love Always, JoJo♥