Post-Graduation Life Is Not What I Expected and I'm OK With That
Start writing a post
Adulting

Post-Graduation Life Is Not What I Expected and I'm OK With That

What feels like the end is often the new beginning.

346
Two girls wearing graduation caps, sashes, and cords.
Clariza Adao

It's been a year since I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. College was a bittersweet experience: I was elated to attend my dream school but being a first-generation college student was challenging. I had a rough transition: I had to learn everything on my own, such as filling out FAFSA by myself and figuring out what classes to take. Being a full-time student while working part-time (I had Work-Study), and participated in extracurricular activities was stressful. Fortunately, I overcame those obstacles with the support of loved ones. I had a plan: graduate followed by starting my Big Girl job. It did not work that way. Here is the not-so glorified version of what actually happened:

Deep down, I didn't know what the hell I wanted to do after college. I was too focused on surviving college! It seemed like everyone around me knew what they wanted to do after graduation. It was intimidating. My classmates cannot know that I DO NOT have a concrete plan. I lowkey always dreaded telling people my post-graduation plans. My copout answer was that I was job-hunting and had a few interviews lined up. It was an acceptable answer and no one ever questioned it.

I spent all senior year mass applying to jobs through LinkedIn and Handshake. I applied to over 200 positions. As a result, I either did not hear back from companies or got denied. I felt defeated and burnt out. Looking back, I do not recommend mass applying to jobs. Chances are, you are not even qualified for the positions because you don't have enough experience (yikes, you need the experience to get experience).

I was happy for everyone that managed to obtain a job after graduation. As the school year was coming to an end, every time I saw those "I am excited to announce…" posts on social media, I felt like a loser. My self-confidence was declining and my frustration was rising. Having "University of Illinois" attached to my name was not enough for a guaranteed job offer. The job market is rough and you essentially competing with thousands of people who have the same credentials as you, more or less.

Eventually, I managed to get a job as an editor at a non-profit news company. I loved having the freedom to create and helping others become better writers. However, something was still missing. Unfortunately, I burnt out and mentally unstable so I unexpectedly left after 2 months.

I enjoyed not working for a bit. It didn't last long because the six months grace period for student loans was coming to an end. To earn extra money, I was a part-time waitress. Many people saw this as me wasting my potential. People's opinions were getting to my head and I felt unproductive. My coworkers at the restaurant reassured me that everything will fall into place and that my priority right now is to survive financially.

Transitioning from college to "real life" is an eye-opening experience. As college students, we were fortunate enough to be in our bubble: we're focused on our academics and extracurricular activities. Whatever you may be stressing out right now, whether it is you stuttering during your final oral presentation or drama within your fraternity, it will not matter after graduation. You will have more important priorities, such as paying for bills and working.

I cannot emphasize this enough: WE ARE STILL YOUNG. It's okay if you don't have a definite idea of what you want to do yet. Others will pressure you to figure out what to do. Some will try to tell you how to live your life and overhelp (yes, there is such thing as overhelping). You know yourself better than anyone else. Choose whatever is best for yourself and enjoy the journey. Be in the moment. Be prepared. Life is unpredictable and will get hectic. You may lose yourself along the way but remember who you are.

Congratulations, Class of 2020.

"Oh, the places you'll go!"

-Dr. Suess

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.

288
tiktok

Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

1013
writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something
c1.staticflickr.com

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Exploring the Superbowl's Historic 50 Year Legacy!

Building up to next Sunday

2578
football game
astros / Flickr


The Superbowl is the biggest football event of the year, and the 50-year history of the competition has seen a lot of memorable moments. The event first began in 1967, when the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game was played in Los Angeles. Since then, the NFL has grown from a small regional competition to an international phenomenon. Over the course of the last 50 years, the Superbowl has seen some amazing plays, memorable moments and incredible records. This includes Tom Brady's record of five Superbowl titles, the first time the Patriots won three consecutive championships, and the Steelers' record of six Superbowl titles. The event has also become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of people tuning in each year to watch the big game. There are now commercials, halftime shows, and other events that make the Superbowl a true American spectacle.

Keep Reading... Show less
11 Genres Of Music That Originated From Black Culture

Numbers don't lie, up in the charts many times, black culture has defined the music industry. Music is a worldly language that can be understood by people all over the world. You bet black culture has taken over the music industry, but not from the way you may think. I'm not talking about their prominent presence in the rap game, but the origins of eleven different genres of music. Black culture is always using their heritage and ancestral knowledge to transmute the current energy to a higher frequency. Personally, I'm not surprised that many of these music genres have originated from black culture. Thankfully, I've been able to grow up in a diverse environment. I can only thrive in a diversity of friends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Influence Of Music

Music is more than just instruments and vocals.

2309
Elyse Music

Music is a powerful concept all on its own. There’s something alluring about being able to cut out the rest of the world, and surrounding yourself with harmonious sounds that synthesize together in a pleasant manner.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments