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So You’re Graduating from College…

It’s graduation season, what are we to do now? 

So You're Graduating from College

It’s safe to say we always have our work cut out for us in our formative years. In school, it is a simple 1-2 routine of what everybody else is doing. We go to class, we take our exams, we do our projects and it’s over. Then we venture out into our college years, and there we have a bit more freedom, a bit wiggle room. College is a playing field of experimenting with your skills. (If you’re lucky,) you’ve chosen a major that caters to your interests and is carrying you toward the career of your dreams. For many, their college years were their first taste of freedom, which is why so often we find people relish in them. 

Late-night hangouts with your best friends and staying up all night to work on a project are the things that define our college years. As they come to an end, we find ourselves reminiscing about the little things that made our college years what they were. In all their greatness and all their sourness, they are a phase. 

Between finding a job and figuring out what you want to do with your degree, graduating from college can be a shocking and stressful experience. 

We spoke to some college graduates about what they wished they had known at the time, and what advice they could give. 

EVERYONE ELSE IS AFRAID, TOO 

When going through a transitional phase in our lives, we are often compelled to believe that we’re completely alone in what we’re experiencing. Our minds have us believing all sorts of untrue things about ourselves and how the people around us are coping. 

Truth is, almost everyone goes through the stress of feeling like they’re lost. By circumstance, graduating college is an uncertain phase in every student’s life where their plans are not set in stone, and no one likes feeling like the rug’s been pulled out from beneath their feet. 

Zeina, 21, shared with ELLE, “I feel like I already knew how hard life was about to get, and any advice I received I didn’t really listen to. I was being quite stubborn at the time. I wish I would’ve relaxed a bit.” 

POST GRADUATION DEPRESSION 

It’s completely natural to feel lost after a big chapter in your life ends, especially if it also means the beginning of your adulthood. Our college years are the last time we’re all more or less on the same track, once that unity is removed, it’s easy to feel like there’s more room for failure. 

Menna, 23, tells us she spent the first four months after her graduation in denial. “I loved my college years so much, it actually broke my heart when they came to an end. I felt stranded.” 

Farida, 25, shares that she felt empty after graduation. “I didn’t get a job straight away and there was just this huge void. I had no idea what I was supposed to do now, it felt like suddenly everything was a series of unanswered questions.” 

She continues, “The thing I wish I knew then, though, is that there’s a lot of room for experimentation. For some reason, I had this belief that I was stuck, but it’s completely false. The worst that’s gonna happen is you’re gonna get a job you don’t like, then you’re gonna move on to something else. It’s not the end of the world.” 

IT WILL BE OKAY 

Some things in life come to us as a right of passage, and this is just one of them. Graduating from college is a monumental milestone, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as you step into the unknown. Remember, it’s okay to feel lost and uncertain; you’re not alone in this journey. Every graduate faces similar fears and challenges, but it’s these very experiences that help you grow and find your path.

Embrace this period of transition as a time for exploration and self-discovery. Allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them. The pressures of finding the perfect job or knowing exactly what you want to do can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that life is not a race. There’s plenty of time to figure things out, and each step you take, even the missteps, will bring you closer to where you’re meant to be.

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