First, Congratulations! You did it! It doesn’t matter how you did it, or how long it took. Your hard work has finally paid off, and you’re officially done with your undergraduate career.
You’re probably wondering, what happens next. The truth is, nobody can fully prepare you for what is about to happen in your life. Just be ready to expect the unexpected.
The transition from college to adult world will catch you off guard. Actually, it’s the most uncomfortable, lamest, and craziest journey of your young adult life.
Most of us leave college with unrealistic expectations. 1. We think we’ll get our dream job, 2. We think we’ll make lots of money right after graduating, 3. We think people will hire us for higher-up positions just because we have degrees, and 4. We think we’ll never have to move back in with our parents. Well let me break down some harsh realities and offer some guidance.
When I graduated from college, the only sure thing I had going on was starting my graduate program that following fall semester. With everything else, I was just kind of going with the flow. I didn’t have a career plan or post-graduation plan – I was a hot mess.
The first job I had was a temporary summer position at my college that also came with free housing. I figured working there over the summer would give me plenty of time to plan out my next move.
Things to expect….
Accept the fact that you may have to move back in with your parents.
Moving back with your parents feels like a setback. When you went to college, you were probably thinking, you finally made it out. Then you move back, and you feel conflicted because you’re an adult, but it’s hard to feel like a real adult when you’re living under your parents’ roof.
By the end of the summer, my position ended, I had no job and no place to stay. I ended up moving in with my father (and it’s crazy because I didn’t grow up with him). He conveniently stayed in the city where I attended college, and this is how our relationship began.
But that’s only the beginning…
Your friends will be miles away.
Remember in college when you had easy access to all of your friends. You could visit them by walking next door, or across the street – simple. You could also meet them in the cafe, go to campus events or parties together. Good times, good times.
Get used to being alone.
Adjusting to being alone was something that took me a while to get used to. I was always used to being around crowds of people, even as a child, we had a full house. Now it was just me and my father. Most of the time, I was alone trying to figure out my life and, of course, job searching. (Longest 2 months of my life!)
Now, all you have is time.
Definitely prepare to have lots of time on your hands. You’re used to going to class all day, going to work, and hanging out with your friends. Now you have to adjust to having a not-so-busy schedule.
Hold on to hope, things will get better.
You may not be able to see it now because you’re going through it, but eventually, everything will work itself out. For me, I realized what I thought were major setbacks, actually prepared me for the next chapter of my life.
First, I moved in with my father, and we were able to develop a closer bond. As scary as it was, I learned how to embrace being alone. I also ended up getting a job as a Residence Hall Director. This was the perfect job for me at the time because I had a free place to stay as well as flexible time to focus on my academics.
Anyway, I said all of this to let you know that you’re not alone, you’re going to experience some struggles during this transition, but just hold tight, and ride this thing out. At the end, you will come out stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the next challenge. Remember, this is just one of many transitions, and you will be even more prepared for the next one.
Stay focused on your goals.