Graduating with a bachelor’s degree from The Florida State University was an amazing milestone for me. I am a first-generation college graduate and the process was a journey to say the least. But that was definitely just the beginning. If graduation was a mix of emotions, Life after Undergrad is a whole other roller coaster. Here are a few things to look forward to:
More time: Since graduating, I’ve had so much free time. There are no assignments, no mandatory meetings, no tests or exams, and no schedule to adhere to. There’s more time to do things like start a business, pursue fitness goals, learn a new language, pick up a hobby or literally anything you want. And this also leads to having more time for yourself to learn and explore things you didn’t know beforehand. I’ve used my time to really focus on my new career and doing more for myself like create a fitness routine and it is definitely paying off. I’ve also had more time to focus on building and rebranding my business in a way that suits my vision and goals.
More Money: If you are fortunate enough to secure a job or a stable source of income after graduation the money starts coming in honey! Having a salary or a consistent paycheck gives you the opportunity to do the things that you wanted to do in college but were too broke to actually do. Traveling, splurging, saving, investing is all at your disposable now because you’re not breaking the bank to do it (hopefully).
More Connections: After Undergrad your network expands due to the new environment. If you have a job you are introduced to a different industry of networks that each have their own pool of networks as well. You have access to a whole world of connections that you wouldn’t have been able to make on campus or in a school setting. I currently work for a start-up tech company, for instance, and since starting, I’ve been able to connect with a plethora of software engineers, product designers, programmers and an assortment of others in the tech industry. This, however, only came with this new environment and I could not have made these same connections on campus.
Less Structure: You have to create your own schedule now. Even though technically this was done in Undergrad as well, it is different because nobody is there to guide or coach you. You have to figure what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. There are no deadlines and there is no “time-frame” for anything. You are literally figuring it out as you go.
Uncertainty/Fears/Pressure: This transition also requires you to figure out what the hell you’re actually doing. You have to constantly determine whether or not you’re making the right move. And you start to really think about if that degree was worth it and what happens if everything doesn’t work out. You question what you really want to do with your life (Fun fact: I haven’t figured it out yet). And you also run into internal pressures you place on yourself as well as external pressures placed on you by your friends, family and society. Life after Undergrad consists of a lot of unknows and honestly, it is very intimidating and nerve racking initially.
Making friends: As lame as this may sound, this has been the hardest part of my transition from Undergrad to post grad. It is not discussed, and I think it should be addressed more because I didn’t even fathom it ever being an issue. Making friends, as an adult, outside a school or social setting is very hard. In college, even if you don’t see or meet people every day you will see them in class or in the Union (a social hotspot at Florida State University), or the cafeteria, or a campus event or at a party. I never thought it took much effort. After college, you actually have to put in a lot of effort to make and maintain friendships. And Making friends in a new city or state, especially if you don’t know many people, is not for the weak. When I first moved to New York City I knew one other person and I stuck to her like glue. Personally, I thrive off of genuine relationships and I’ve had that my whole life and in college and it was not difficult to maintain. After graduation, I expected it to be the same way without realizing that now people have completely different lives, schedules and agendas. If I wanted to make friends/maintain friendships, I had to put in more effort. I had to reach out to people and plan things and go outside of my comfort zone and attend events and spark conversations. Believe it or not, I am innately very shy but one thing that has helped me is attending things that are tailored to groups. Workout classes, for example, give me the opportunity to exercise and meet and interact with other people. I’ve also been meeting people through other people (friends of friends) and that’s been fun. Honestly, I am still figuring it out, but baby steps are still steps nonetheless.
The transition from being an undergrad college student to a post graduate individual is different and it comes with a variety of challenges and obstacles. Despite everything, it is a lot of fun, once you get the hang of it. The best part, in my opinion, is having full control of everything and the liberty to create the life you want. You learn so much along the way
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be diving deeper into how I secured my post-grad job!