I Graduated, Now What?
July 10, 2018

As I gear up for my last full year of university, I felt the need to settle my mind and accept that the overwhelming mix of feelings I had toward my future were normal. To do so, I spoke with four of my friends from the class of 2018 about this new chapter of their lives. They were gracious enough to let me know what excites them about this newfound freedom as well as what scares them. Additionally, they offered a bit of advice to current college and high school students.

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Name: Faizah Sesay. School: University of California, Riverside. Degree: Business Economics & Psychology. Intended Job: Marketing/Human Resource

What worries you about this next chapter of your life?

Paying off my student loans, and figuring out what exactly I want to do for my career

What excites you about this next chapter of your life?

Being out of school, and being able to figure life out in an unstructured setting.

What have you done to make yourself more marketable in the job market?

Internships and Working in a psychology lab

What was the best piece of advice you were given about this new chapter of your life and who gave it to you?

To enjoy life after graduation and to take as much time as I need to figure out what that next step is going to be– my lab supervisor Seth

What advice do you have for current college and high school students?

That it’s okay to not have everything figured out, and to have fun.

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Name: Danielle Spooner. School:  University of Hartford. Degree:  Bachelors of Science. Major: Health Science/Physical Therapy. Intended Job:  Physical Therapist

What worries you about this next chapter of your life?

I am worried about not getting into grad school. When I do, I may struggle throughout my three years in the program. I am also worried that student loans are going to pile up and interest is going to increase before I have a chance to pay them back.

What excites you about this next chapter of your life?

I am excited about getting a job, getting accepted into a good PT program, and becoming an adult overall.

What have you done to make yourself more marketable in the job market?

During my summer breaks, I interned at various PT clinics. During the school year, I volunteered as a mobility volunteer and interned as a PT intern at a transitional school.

What was the best piece of advice you were given about this new chapter of your life and who gave it to you?

Make sure that your break is not too long- Everyone

What advice do you have for current college and high school students?

Advice I would give to current college and high school students would be to have fun while they are in college. It’s okay to take a break and figure out what you want to do/study, and yes college is difficult and you may want to quit, but you can make it.

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Name: Dominique Spooner. School: University of Hartford. Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice. Intended Job: Lawyer

What worries you about this next chapter of your life?

My biggest worry about the next chapter of my life is not finding a job I would actually like. Another worry is that when I start to pursue my career I would hate it. However one of my biggest fears is letting my parents down after all of their hard work.

What excites you about this next chapter of your life?

Being able to support my family, going above and beyond and breaking down barriers that are placed to stop women from going further.

What have you done to make yourself more marketable in the job market?

I participated in internships outside of my major – more communication classes, internships as well as political internships. I’m more marketable because I have an understanding of both the communication world as well as the criminal justice world. It also makes it easier to express my thoughts.

What was the best piece of advice you were given about this new chapter of your life and who gave it to you?

Do not just get a job. Find a job within your field so it can help you figure out what you want in the future.

What advice do you have for current college and high school students?

Make a checklist of what want from your school. There are schools that allow you to do your bachelor’s and master’s at the same time. I wish I knew that when I went to school.

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Name: Alicia Jones. School: California State University, Long Beach. Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Film and Electronic Arts. Intended Job: Film Producer

What worries you about this next chapter of your life?

My biggest worry is not knowing what could happen or where my future lies. I worry that It will take a long time for me to get where I want to be and I will just be unhappy with the journey.

What excites you about this next chapter of your life?

I’m excited for the freedom. I’m free to make my own choices and ultimately decide my future

What have you done to make yourself more marketable in the job market?

I created a LinkedIn, I created an infographic similar to a resume in a class and also posted it on my LinkedIn, and I also list all of the qualities/qualifications that I possess even if it doesn’t seem like it would pertain to the jobs I’m looking for because you honestly never know what employers are looking for.

What was the best piece of advice you were given about this new chapter of your life and who gave it to you?

My boyfriend’s aunt told me to consolidate my loans so I don’t incur too much interest over the years. I had no idea that consolidation even existed so that advice forced me to research more about my loans and the best ways to pay them off.

What advice do you have for current college and high school students?

Stay organized and network!!! Make yourself vulnerable. College is supposed to be fun but don’t forget the reason why you’re getting that degree. Have a healthy balance of studying and partying. If your friends never want to study or never want you to study then maybe it’s time for new friends.

It’s safe to say that no matter your school, your major, or intended career, we all have the same fears and anxieties. As we graduate and find ourselves in uncharted waters, it’s important to remember that we aren’t alone in what we’re feeling. Furthermore, it’s important that we don’t allow those fears to hold us back. To the class of 2018, as well as those who are still on their journey towards graduation, I hope you too are comforted by the experiences and advice of my friends. I also encourage you to speak to those around you. Whether it be friends, parents, or mentors, many have been in your shoes and I’m sure they’d be happy to alleviate some of your fears or offer some words of encouragement.

This post originally ran on the One Public Education Blog

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