Life After College: It’s a Marathon not a Sprint

(Image Credit: Minerva Studio)
(Image Credit: Minerva Studio)

So, you’re walking across the stage at your college graduation, preparing yourself to receive that diploma you worked your ass off for (give or take) four years to get. It’s such an exciting time! It really is, so drink it in! Because shortly after obtaining that certification, the door to adulthood swings open and before you know it, you’re back in your hometown, frantically searching for a job; anything to put those skills you spent the last four years refining to good use (for decent money, of course).

Don’t fret though; you’re not the only one in that position. Don’t get me wrong, it’s stressful, but it’s a position that holds a lot of opportunity, and here are a few reasons why:

Not getting a job immediately is ok: Pick-up something part-time (waiting tables comes recommended), while considering which path to follow next.

You can take time to build credit, especially if you didn’t take out student loans in college: Credit is the answer to finding an apartment or even taking out another loan if you want to continue on with more school.

Talk to as many people as possible even if you don’t necessarily want to follow “that” path: Networking is important and, in my experience, you’ll find connections in the least likely of places. Think outside the box.

Don’t compare yourself to others: You’re you, and don’t compare yourself to those who come out of college making close to six figures. You presumably followed a different path, in pursuit of an occupation that may be very different from theirs, so don’t beat yourself up about it. If you have a degree, chances are you’re driven, and something will come around in due time.

Pick up skills you might use later: As opposed to just frantically searching for jobs, take the time to pick up practical skills like cooking or yoga, a stress-relieving technique – any skills that will prepare you for the future.

Sleeping late is still ok: Or is that just me?

Making out in your car is still ok, because you live at home (I should specify that I interviewed a few friends for this thing): Living with your parents is a wise choice (if you can tolerate them). They support you, (hopefully) understand your situation, and there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. This may lead to a few comprises like privacy and the need to be more discreet than usual. If you are living at home with your parents, it might be hard to be productive in a place so comfortable. Need to send an important email? Head to the local coffee spot!

So, if you’ve heard this all before, pardon the redundancy and clichés. And if you haven’t heard this before, also pardon the clichés. I’m not trying to be an unsung hero or anything. I’m just letting you know that I’ve been there, and you’re not alone.

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Jesse Tabit is a native of Charleston, WV. He studies journalism at West Virginia University.

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