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Life After College: Things Nobody Tells You

College is meant to help prepare students for life after graduation. However, most people get advice that they only need to work hard if they wish to succeed. As most find out, it takes much more than hard work to realize success. 

Graduation is an incredible moment in any student’s life, signaling a culmination of years of hard work, late-night studies, tons of assignments, and overcoming numerous adversities. However, as you celebrate this critical moment, you need to understand graduation only marks the start of another chapter in your life. 

This article summarizes some of the most notable things to prepare for, which you are not likely to hear as a student. Here is what no one tells you about life after college. 

Applying for Jobs Is a Job in Itself 

One of the things you are seldom told as a college student is that the process of searching for work after graduation is likely to the frustrating. It is an experience filled with disappointments and frustrations. Scanning through online job boards and websites for work in your field is just one piece of the puzzle. College life may not adequately prepare you for the job-search process, including resume and cover letter writing, attending interviews, and working on your social media page. 

Please note that only about 15-20% of available jobs are posted online. This means that those who limit their job searches to online platforms miss out on about 80-85% of opportunities in their fields. To improve your prospects, pay attention to the hidden market. 

Most people underestimate how much work is required during the job search process. Students generally assume that all they need to get a well-paying job is the right degree. As you are likely to find out, the path towards getting a job is a rough one, filled with hard work and disappointments. 

Help your prospects by working on your skills even before you graduate. Internships, part-time jobs, and leadership positions will help your case immensely. Here are some additional insights:

  • Make it a habit to wake up at the same time as other working people;
  • Prepare for your days as you would if employed;
  • Work towards improving your social media presence and LinkedIn profile;
  • Improve your networking skills;
  • Learn to perfect your resume according to your field;
  • Always follow up on your job applications. 

Life After College Is Not Easy

You need to understand that life after graduation may not be easy, but it is not impossible. For many people, transitioning from college to life after graduation can come as a shock. After being in the education system for many years, you are probably used to the structure and schedule associated with learning institutions. 

The struggle of having to learn and adapt to something new can be intimidating. If you wish to apply for graduate school, start researching your options as soon as possible. You can quickly get medical school personal statement editing assistance from professionals online. 

After college graduation, you will be thrust into a new world. Of course, the thought of not having to work on assignments, sit for tests, or attend classes may be exciting. However, understand that you are about to enter a world filled with uncertainty. There is no proper guide to take you through the process of being an adult. 

However, note that while things may be frustrating and confusing, it gets better with time. It would help if you learned that you might not get your dream job immediately after graduation, and it is okay to struggle for a short while. After all, you will be competing with thousands of other equally or even better-qualified individuals for limited positions. 

Budgeting Is Crucial, Even When Broke 

Even before you land a well-paying job, your financial management decisions matter. As you find your way during the uncertain period after graduation, how you spend your limited cash is critical. Most people get carried away when they get their first pay after graduation, choosing to treat themselves to luxury items. 

At this time, you may not have seen the importance of starting a savings culture or watching how you spend. After all, you have always had student loans and credit cards to fall back on. Parents may also have been willing to bail you out of financial holes. After graduation, expect a greater degree of financial independence, meaning that you are solely responsible for your needs. 

Budgeting is a fundamental skill that you need to start working on as soon as possible. It would help if you made sure that there is always some money set aside to get you through challenging times. Also, understand that you need to start paying back your student loans and any other debts you may have accrued during your academic years. 

Having a savings account gives you the freedom to quit a job when things are not working out or launch your startup. With a reasonable budget, you will better understand your financial needs and sources of income, making sure that you live within your means. 

There Is More to Success Than Letters and Numbers 

When in college, grades and scores are crucial determinants of academic success. Your motivation to study or work on assignments is often shaped by a desire to get better marks. For most people, the desire to get better grades often results in anxiety, and poor marks can damage confidence. 

Well, things after college are quite different, and numbers and grades become less significant. The idea that your success no longer hinges on a grade can be freeing, but you still need to work on your skills and experience. You have to work towards improving your marketability in the labor force. 

You Can Take Any Path Your Want 

One of the best things about life after graduation is that you have the power to determine your destiny. When in college, your choices are limited, and you have to settle on a major that you think will lead to your desired career. Choosing a major and later deciding to change it may mean that you delay your graduation. 

On the other hand, life after graduation is more flexible, and you can change your decisions as frequently as you wish. If you get a job and things don’t seem to be working out, you can change careers or even start your own business. As long as you work on your skills and research well, there will always be opportunities around the corner. Your path to success after graduation is less as defined as college life. 

You Can Easily Buy Comfort and Happiness with Money 

You may have heard countless times that money does not buy happiness. After graduation, you will need to forget about this rhetoric. Of course, there are instances when your happiness will not be for sale, such as when required to work stressful hours. 

That said, money will always allow you to afford comfort and luxuries. Working smart and knowing that you will pay your bills and purchase non-essentials will avoid most stresses. Many students graduate before mastering the art of budgeting and saving. Here are some insights on how to start preparing yourself for life after college:

  • Consider creating an emergency fund while still in college;
  • Master how to be frugal with your spending;
  • Start a saving account allowing you to set aside money regularly;
  • Create your network by attending job fairs and following up with contacts;
  • Consider part-time employment to earn you extra cash. 

You May Need to Find New Friends 

Students are rarely told that they may end up losing touch with some of the friends they make in college. As students graduate and take different paths, keeping in touch with friends becomes increasingly challenging. With time, you may find that you speak less to those you were once close to. 

Don’t think that losing friends means that you do not care about the relationships. Instead, take this to mean that your priorities are shifting. Of course, you will form other relationships around your workplace and social circles. Once you graduate, your main goal will be getting a job and working on your skills.

Life after college can be unpredictable, and there are instances when you will feel left behind. People take different paths after graduation, and what works for your friends may not necessarily be ideal for you. Understand that things may seem challenging at first, but your life will get easier with time. Plan well and work on your skills. Most importantly, start saving money as soon as possible. 

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