The Post-Graduation Question

I remember the day I graduated from college. I felt I had conquered the unconquerable - I stuck with something for four long years! Waahoo. 

There was celebration, surrounded by family and friends, plenty of good food, and fun. But as quickly as the excitement came, it left. When I woke up the next day, I thought to myself...

"Now what?" 

There was no job in my left hand, but I still had a diploma in my right. That was something...right? Graduation didn't feel like much of an accomplishment anymore. It felt like I now had a tremendous hurdle in front of me:  the need to figure out the rest of my life. 

So, for all you out there who are asking, "Now what?" here are some things you can do post-college life. If you don't have a job lined up just yet, don't panic. It's the worst thing you can do in a stressful situation. Stay calm, and read on. 

1. Spend time volunteering. 

Volunteering can be a real eye-opener. It can give you experiences that you might not get in a job setting. Plus, at the end of the day, volunteering leaves you with a good feeling! 

2. Spend time studying companies you have an interest in. 

The worst that will happen is you will learn something interesting! If you're having trouble landing a job, take a break from the job hunt for a minute. Instead, look at companies that you have an interest in, not necessarily ones that are hiring. Look at the company's culture and how they operate. Go in, and ask questions. Then, maybe you'll find something that truly sparks your interest, and you will have a whole pile of company research to help land you the job! 

3. Take some time for yourself. 

It's no doubt that college is a strenuous four-year journey. Reading books that you have no interest in, taking tests, studying, doing projects and research for four years of your life....You deserve a break! Take some time to do things that interest you. Read a book, learn a new craft, pick up a hobby, join a group, or use this time to work on your professional portfolio. After your mental break, you'll be ready to get back in the game! 

4. Travel! 

Exploring new places and meeting new people is a way to grow your personal and professional life. The world is full of opportunities, don't close any doors! Go somewhere you've always wanted to visit, and soak in the experience. 

5. Get a job that has nothing to do with your degree. 

Trying something different can be a rewarding risk. It may be out of the box, or it may be totally unrelated to what you studied, but there is no harm in that! When I graduated from school with a journalism degree, I got a job at a veterinary clinic. It turns out that I was able to bring something unique to the team - I used my journalism skills to help with the website and social media. You will also learn a lot of new things this way! Let yourself experience new things, and then bring those experiences with you in the future! 

The road to success sometimes has some unexpected turns. No matter what, stay positive, and make the most of every experience that comes your way. You never know what opportunities you may find! 

Take care and good luck to all graduates!! 

Mallory