The Things They’ll Say: Dealing with Graduation and Life After College

The excitement of my first (of hopefully many) blog posts had a multitude of ideas of what I want to write about race through my mind. (DIY projects, smoothies, animals, fitness, reviews, travel, etc.) For the time being, however, I decided to write a little more about life. Specifically my experience as a graduating senior in college, and the summer following my graduation.

I understand not everyone has or chooses the opportunity to pursue a college/university degree, but I chose to do so. I am proud to say I was able to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Marketing in exactly four years time. I was overjoyed for the reality of graduation and the end of the seemingly endless years of books, lectures, and exams. Yet, despite my excitement for graduation I found myself in the middle of a parade of stress. Not only did I have to come to terms with the inevitable loan bills I would be seeing in a few months. I also found myself dismayed, anxious, and unprepared for what was to come after graduating. My final semester of university was welcomed by a bombardment of serious and concerned faces from friends, family, co-workers, and even customers regarding my plans after graduation. The truth was, although I knew what I would like to do and what I had learned at school, I was still unsure how to pursue my ambitions and passions. I was faced with a series of dreaded questions following the short remarks of praise. After awhile I actually viewed the subject of graduating as one I’d like to avoid altogether, as it was always accompanied by the dreaded questions of,

“What are your plans? ” “Where do you want to work?” “Have you applied to jobs?” “Will you go to Graduate School?”

I had realized that, unlike my colleagues, I wasn’t entirely sure which opportunities I wanted to pursue or what my dream career was in so and so company. I had a resume but it had yet to see the inbox of hiring managers’ emails. So I continued to politely smile and try dodging the continuing questions with a hint of embarrassment.

At first I felt pride, relief, and joy crossing the commencement stage and looked forward to time I thought would be filled with me enjoying myself during my favorite season of the year. A chance to catch up on sleep, pursue hobbies, de-clutter my storage, and find my passion. Instead I found myself stressed still surrounded with the pressure of expectations. Although I continued my two part-time jobs I felt as though I was failing, because I wasn’t flying across the country or locking down a full-time career. I soon became unhappy and irritable at work and uneasy at home. Somehow still I had yet to update my resume or open up the search tab for employment. And as I sit here sharing these thoughts and emotions with you I would like to share the realization and acceptance that I am fine and if you find yourself in a place like me that you will be too. Because sometimes we just need life to be simple for a while. I would rather spend a few moments collecting myself and feeling the sun on my skin and the sand in my toes than rush into a job I count the hours till I can clock out for a company I have no passion for.

There’s a quote that has resonated with me over the years since I found it on a calendar I had, that I had let slip my mind that I found to bring me great peace and joy in the past few weeks:


And with this, I hope you find peace with uncertainty and sometimes overwhelming expectations surrounding you as I have. It is okay to be confused and maybe a little lost too. The key is to find happiness in your decisions, stay true to yourself, and keep moving forward to your passion. It is true that in this life we all need to make a living, but we must also not forget to live too.

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