How to conquer the post-graduation transition

Graduating from college is as terrifying as it is exciting. You’ve accomplished something amazing, but at the same time, you’ve closed the door on a huge part of your life, leaving you to find your next purpose.

That purpose typically starts with securing a full time job; however, that’s easier said than done for many of us. So, whether you’re freelancing, haven’t found what you’re looking for or even have the job but are kind of overwhelmed, here are some tips to getting your bearings in the real world:

Start planning

Photo by Alexis Paige
Photo by Alexis Paige

Finishing up school, you’re going 100 miles a minute. The second they hand you that empty diploma folder, you come to a full stop. Planning gives you that schedule and routine that school once did. You can visualize everything that needs to get done and when. Even go as far as to block out time just like your classes used to be. It’s an easy way to give all of that time some structure.

Track your money

A main concern post-grad is money. How much do you have saved? How much should you be making? And so forth. Get yourself organized and on a budget to see where you stand. Write down your savings and expenses to get an idea of what you want/need to be making. This again will give you a grasp on something that is sometimes daunting, as well as give you one less thing to stress about since you’re on top of it!

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Set goals

Photo by Emily Creighton
Photo by Emily Creighton

The hard part about graduating is that “What now?” feeling. We’re so used to getting out of school in the spring knowing that we’ll go back in the fall. Without it, the future can seem ominously empty. Setting goals and rewards can help by giving you something to look forward to. Make them weekly, monthly, semesterly or yearly. Just keep working towards something so that you have natural progression in your life.

Send out that resume

If you’re freelancing for a while or just haven’t scored a job yet, keep sending out your resume. Not only does this increase your chances of finding a job, but it’ll give you the opportunity to learn what employers are really looking for.

Keep learning

Photo by Emily Creighton
Photo by Emily Creighton

Just because you’re technically out of school doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning. As you read job descriptions, maybe you’ll come across certifications that’ll help you out. Or, simply pick up a book about something you’ve always wanted to know more about. Keeping your mind engaged in critical thinking will keep you motivated to move forward.

Have some fun

Everything will work itself out with time. Stressing out about it all when there’s only so much you can do will get you nowhere. Be sure to take some breathers and get out! Hit the beach, travel, hang out with your friends – whatever you like to do. You’re still young, and you’ve only just graduated, so go celebrate!

Take time for yourself

Photo by Emily Creighton
Photo by Emily Creighton

If you’re willing to get up early every day for a job, you should be willing to get up early for yourself. Getting up earlier can lead to more productivity, so train yourself to become a morning person. This’ll give you some quiet time before the rest of the world is awake. Use it to workout, meditate, read, watch some YouTube or anything that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Or, go the extra mile – literally – and get out of town to explore!