Four Ways to Survive Post-Graduation

“Life is funny isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, just when you finally begin to plan something, get excited about something, and feel like you know what direction you’re heading in, the paths change, the signs change, the wind blows the other way, north is suddenly south, and east is west, and you’re lost. It is so easy to lose your way, to lose direction.” ~Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

ashleyThere is no manual to life and certainly no instruction guide for what to do with yourself after graduation. For some of us, that transition means finding a job and for others it means continuing their education for a higher degree. No matter what your journey may be, the feelings associated with graduation (with any major change) are often the same.

Explore your Options

The summer after graduation is the best time to travel, figure out where you want to go in life and how you plan to get there. I wasn’t able to travel, but my wanderlust has not been crushed. Now is the time to take a breather after four years of hard work and just find time for yourself. Allow a grace period of fun and relaxation to ease you back into civilian life, just make sure you enjoy it.

Stress conceptCrying is Okay…Even Encouraged!

On an average, I have a breakdown at least once a week. And by breakdown, I mean crying about not having a job and the uncertainty of my future. It’s a great release from the stress buildup of the week. It’s okay to feel this way. I feel like a failure at many points during the week, whether it’s not hearing back from a company after I’ve applied, or if I have to stay in for the night because I don’t have cash to go out. It can be extremely frustrating.

While I know I’m not a failure, the simple fact is that society likes to portray unemployed people in that light. Finding a job is a serious struggle and it’s okay to feel down about your situation as long as you build yourself back up the next day and go in with the attitude that things will get better.

Find Things you Love

As I mentioned before, doing something you love can help melt away some of the stress and anxiety. My relaxation comes through reading because I feel like I can solve any problem through the pages of a book. Find something that calms you and relaxes your mind. The happier you are, the more optimistic you may feel about the future.

Don’t Worry Too Much

This is easier said than done. I am an inherent worrier–I can get anxiety about something months before it is said to occur. I worry on a daily basis about finding work and having benefits. It’s usually where all my stress stems from. It’s okay to worry. It’s okay to be unsure about everything, but don’t allow that fear to overpower the knowledge you gained while at school. There was a reason you were able to graduate—you learned something. The skills that you learned are important and someone out there will give you a chance to showcase your talents.

Nothing about change is foolproof. Just relax and do your best!

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