This is my warning to all the graduating seniors this year! You will experience the “Post Graduate Blues,” so accept it now, prepare for life and learn to cope with the unexpected tumbleweeds blowing your way.

You may be anxiously waiting for graduation day, that very moment when the announcer calls your name and a new chapter finally begins. You will walk across that stage, proceed to shake the President’s hand, have dinner with family and friends and then what?

Well… then life happens.

The economy is bad, people aren’t really hiring and gaining a stable footing after graduation is harder than ever. There are ways to deal with it, but “The Plan” (the detailed way you’ve arranged for life to occur in the months leading up to graduation) never turns out exactly how you envision it. Most college kids have dreams of grandeur but soon find out that dreams are not fairy tales. You find yourself pissed off because that four-year degree you acquired seems to just be a meaningless piece of paper, and suddenly no one understands what you’re going through. Or at least that’s how you feel. Then there’s that tinge of depression, or pseudo-depression, that conjures up negative emotions, leaving you feeling so hopeless that things will work out.

Will those four years of college pay off? Will you ever get to that dream job you blabbered about in Kindergarten? “When I grow up, I want to be…”

I’ll be the first to say how tough it is to pick yourself up after the real growing pains set in. Face it, you may have to crash at your parents’ house once you leave school, you may have to get a mall job…or two. Hell, you may even be working at the job you’ve had for the past seven summers, but I promise you, things will get better. There will always be obstacles in life, but life is about rolling with the punches. Once you leave that comfy, collegiate atmosphere, everything’s all on you, so don’t dwell on the things that don’t work out. Keep pushing.

I think J. Cole said it best:

“To the college kids no scholarships, starting your semester, Unpacking your suitcases filling up your dresser. Enjoy it while you got it, after that it’s God bless ya. Life is your professor, you know that b-tch is gon test ya…”

As raw as it is, that’s some great advice.

But to break it down a little bit more, here are five things college students are continuously told, but usually ignore. Now, it’s time pay attention.

1. Start looking for jobs now! You actually should have been looking for jobs this entire year, but hey, better late than never. Send that resumé out every single day because the economy is not your friend right now.

2. Be your own best friend and motivator. You may have a great support system, but when you’re out on your own, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. There will be fewer people to lean on, but you’ll realize more of your own strengths.

3. Don’t stop dreaming, but balance it with reality. Obstacles will come out of nowhere like never before. People will look at you funny as you try to reach those really big dreams, but don’t stop. The road to those dreams may be a bit harder than anticipated, but there’s room for big dreams in reality.

4. Be your own teacher. It’s going to be weird not having a routine for your days, but set your own schedule. Wake up early, be productive and take in all the knowledge you can. Learning doesn’t stop once you graduate. [NOTE: This is also a good way to stay busy and keep your mind off of what may be going wrong.]

5. Be patient. You have to be mature enough for everything to fall in place. Things will happen when they’re suppose to. So don’t freak out too much.

Lastly, take life’s lessons in stride. The big day is approaching, so celebrate that once-in-a-lifetime moment! Just remember that the PGB’s may come, but they will also surely go.

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Kit

    1. Get work experience in the area you want to pursue while you are studying.

    2. Network like you have never networked before! Those people with connections may be helpful later on.

    3. Apply for jobs the year before you are graduating.

    4. Don’t pass on the less exciting, low-level jobs. They may look unattractive, but once you get your foot in, you can show people what you are capable of… and at least you’re not unemployed. The longer you remain unemployed, the less appealling you become to employers.

  • This is perfect advice. I graduated a year ago and I’m still weathering the Post-grad storm. I haven’t given up hope, and I won’t. Nothing. I repeat: NOTHING has gone according to my plan. Nothing except me waking up everyday and thanking God for it. As dreary as it seems, there is a blessing in all of this. I realize that if I had walked straight into my choice MFA programs (as I planned), I wouldn’t have had a reason or desire to finish that screenplay or start my website. The website is called ‘will write for love’ and the whole point behind it is that sometimes you won’t get paid follow your passion. It’s in those times that you do it for love. I’ve learned so much through this process. I’ve found that I’m stronger than I ever could have imagined. I’ve also found that just because my dreams haven’t manifested yet, it doesn’t mean that they won’t. It simply requires more action and more faith. I can honestly say that the things I wanted so badly that I didn’t receive (the MFA program, screenwriting fellowship, etc.) have shown me why I don’t need them. I get it now. I just hope that I can shake the “Post-grad blues” long enough to be effective in helping my future. God bless to everyone in this same position! Like J. Cole insinuated, we’re going to need it! :)

    • Lauren

      My sister I feel your pain! After I walked across the stage last May, nothing went according to plan for me either. I have been rejected countless times. I have seen some dark days emotionally the past 6 months. I work as a waitress right now and I hate it! I know that I am so much more than my current position. i think all the hell I have been going through is God’s way of saying “you’re thinking too small. let me handle it.” I was recently in the funk, but those days are over. I’m back on my grind looking for a job. Stay encouraged and hold on to your faith. Don’t let negative thoughts get the best of you and start doubting yourself. Depression and negativity is the devil’s method to prevent you from reaching your destiny. If you do your part, God will do his. I wish you the best.

  • Tiera

    This article couldn’t have come at a more perfect time… Thank you! After having a mini-meltdown yesterday after being turned down for yet another job, it’s nice to know that I am not alone in this. I too find myself questioning if my degree and thousands of dollars worth of tuition debt were even worth it. It is really,really tough out here and I think that it’s important for new graduates, undergraduates and incoming freshmen to understand that. I feel like parents, mentors, professors, etc. need to make sure these students have realistic expectations so that they can try to be better prepared for what may or may not lie ahead. Again, thank you so much for this article. I needed this :-)

  • Mella

    I really appreciate this article. Some of my friends who went to other universities did not have the same training to learn that you must look for jobs throughout the entire year. I was blessed to be around other students and have the resources right here on my campus to teach me about these habits and learn about the type of work environment or education that I can see for myself in after I graduate. I’m very nervous about graduation and going to all of these interviews right now. But I definitely push that others keep their faith and continue to strive towards your goals, but be realistic about them as well.

  • and let the church say…..amen. great article, j cole drops crazy knowledge.