Dear Green and Gold,
I am a senior this year and am not sure what to do after graduation. Should I start my career after graduation, should I go to graduate school, should I take a year off to have a break from school, should I flee the country and never return? Help me!
A Lost Soul
It’s not uncommon to have a pre-graduation crisis, as I like to call it. There are plenty of options you can pursue after you’ve gotten your degree.
One option we have on our campus is Lisa Wallace in Career Services.
Wallace is able to talk students through their options.
Career service also has website resources so students can keep an eye out for jobs that they’re interested in. If you haven’t reached out to Wallace yet, I strongly encourage you to. Her office is located next to the Dean of Student Life office in the Bair Student Center.
If getting a job right away doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options.
A lot of people decide to travel the world after they’ve received their degree before jumping into the workforce.
While this may seem expensive or impractical, there are options that make it attainable.
There are tons of volunteer opportunities that allow people to travel to various places across the world. Another option is finding a job that enables you to see the world. I’d definitely look into these options.
All in all, you don’t have to know what you’re going to do yet! It’s ok to take time to figure out what you really want to do. Good luck and congrats on graduation.
This is such a great question for various reasons, but basically… It’s hard growing up. There are so many emotions that come with growing up (especially when a big event like college graduation comes around), such as nostalgia, excitement, melancholy, anxiety, disbelief, and fear. Plainly stated: It’s ok if you’re confused.
When I make big life decisions, I honestly try to fol- low my gut. If starting you career right after college doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t start it quite yet.
If a huge dream of yours has been to backpack through Europe and that is what your gut is pushing you toward, then do that. Follow your instinct. It’s usually right. One physical thing that you can do is create a pros and cons list for every option you have in your brain. Think about big things like finances (Are you going to be able to provide for yourself without stressing over money in all instances?), think about how much joy each instance will bring (is this truly feeding my soul and bringing me joy?), and think about what you might be sacrificing (if you go travelling, for example, you might be sacrificing time with family and friends.
Losing time with them might be a nonnegotiable for you, so you might not end up traveling).
Weigh out everything and anything that’s good and bad about each instance. Usually, the option that has the longest list of pros and the shortest amount of cons is the first thing I do if it feels right in my gut. Then, I keep the other options on a list of things I want to do and try to follow them sequentially if I still feel passionate about them.
Remember that you only have this one life to live.
Don’t let your family, friends, or even society push you to do something that, in your deepest heart of hearts, doesn’t feel right to you.
The world is a playground. Just because we grow up doesn’t mean that we can’t still play. Have fun with whatever it is you choose to do, but, most importantly, enjoy the present moment.
Congratulations! Green and I are proud of you.