Senior Suggstions: Planning life after graduation

jen_WEBWith only a little more than two weeks left until graduation, there is only one thing on my mind: finding a full-time job. I’ve spent countless hours scouring the Internet, applying to any and every entry-level position I can find. Although I have been lucky enough to hear back from a few so far, that doesn’t really ease my worries, considering I don’t have a job secured yet and I have to start paying back my loans soon. Every few days, I, along with my fellow senior friends whom I’ve spoken to, keep having mental breakdowns at 3 a.m. as we lie in bed wondering what is going to happen next in our lives.
One thing I’ve come to realize — in between feelings of being ridiculously scared of having to be a grown-up and completely excited that I’m almost done with school — is that there really shouldn’t be a time stamp on when seniors should have a job. We’re all constantly being bombarded with the dreaded question, “So what are you doing after graduation?” I think it’s OK if we say, “I don’t know yet.”
We’re groomed to believe that working hard throughout our years of college, getting involved on campus and snagging a few internships to build up a résumé will automatically ensure that job offers will come pouring in. By the time May rolls around, we’ll have a set plan of what is coming next.
I don’t think there needs to be a rush, though. I’m a firm believer that what is meant to be, will be. Everything will fall into place when it’s supposed to, so there shouldn’t be this pressure, making us feel that, if we don’t have a job lined up right away after graduating, we’re failures.
In reality, the fact that we’ve made it to the point that we’ve finished all our undergraduate courses and have earned a Bachelor’s degree is something to be proud of. There are plenty of people who go away to college and don’t necessarily make it to graduation. Instead of worrying about how we’re going to pay bills and whether we’ll be living out of our cars or in an overpriced studio apartment in a month, we should be enjoying these last few weeks of freedom. This is the last time in our lives when we will be responsibility free — and at 22 years old, last time I checked, that’s still pretty young. We have plenty of time to find jobs and figure out what the next step is.
When I walk across the stage on May 16 to receive my diploma, I’m going to be proud that I reached my goal of graduating college, even if I don’t know what is going to come next. To me, that is part of the beauty of graduating. We’re all closing a chapter in our lives and moving on to the next page. For some of us, the next chapter is still unwritten and I think that’s the way it should be. We’ll figure it out as we go along.

-Jennifer Maldonado
Senior journalism major

 

Printed in the 04/30/14 edition.

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