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.

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