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Everyone always says that graduation will be the greatest day of your life. You'll be an adult, you're done with schooling, and you'll be able to do whatever you want with your life. It should be a great day, but what happens afterward? Does it really change your life all that much?
Somehow that seems totally wrong...
- Technically you've been an adult since 18, so it isn't all that amazing to suddenly be considered an adult.
- You're done with undergrad schooling. A lot of fields will want you to still continue your schooling for a master's degree, a doctorate, or some specialized coursework. Either way, you're not really done with schooling yet.
- You can't really do whatever you want with your life. At least not right away like parents like to make it seem. You have to start at the bottom and work really hard to get to the top. The life you want won't just be handed to you.
- You will continually be broke. Student loans, low-paying jobs, and life don't really mix. Chances are you'll be stuck in that low-paying, introductory job that will barely pay back your student loans, so be prepared to have no social life, live at home (or with multiple roommates), and still be on your college diet of ramen noodles and water.
- That specialized field you majored in? They won't be hiring, so don't set your bar too high when first starting out on the job hunt. Be realistic. You have your whole life to make it to the top of that perfect job you've been picturing since freshman year.
- Never stop looking. Indeed, Monster, Facebook, there are numerous job boards available around you. Utilize them all to find the job that is best for you. If you hate what you're doing, it's going to seem so much worse. Find something you can at least enjoy doing daily.
- As much as they say they will, don't count on your school to help you with finding a job after graduating. Be proactive and look for things on your own, maybe before you've even technically graduated. If you find an entry-level position before graduating, you can be closer to being hired or being promoted when you do actually graduate.
- Graduation itself doesn't really mean much either. You walk across a stage in front of 300 plus people that you never really got to know during your four years at school. You get a piece of paper that says you completed course loads that no one except you is ever going to look at again.
- Your family is going to want to throw a graduation party, which is mostly just an excuse for your family to ask you about these previous shortcomings. "Have you found a job yet?" "What fields are you looking into?" "Did you enjoy your graduation ceremony?" "Did you hang up your diploma in your room?" Nod, agree, and get through it as painlessly as possible. Plus side, unlike at your high school graduation, you're now old enough to drink through the uncomfortableness.
- Just enjoy it... your family, friends, and classmates all just want what is best for you. You just completed four years of specialized schooling in a field that you love and with enough hard work, you'll find that perfect job someday. Be proud of yourself. Enjoy your family's attention to what interests you, the last days at the school that has been your home for the past four years, the endless possibilities of jobs at your fingertips. Graduation may seem anticlimactic to you, but your life is changing in ways you won't appreciate until it's too late.