Graduating college is an accomplishment that I am most proud. Four years of cramming for exams, writing essays, and completing homework all came to an end. I was now entering a new chapter in my life, leaving behind a place that I considered my second home. It was a bittersweet experience. I was excited to be done, but scared to leave a familiar place behind. The “real world” seemed intimidating and honestly, it terrified me. “What now?’ is a question I constantly thought after receiving my degree. It’s only been 2 months since I’ve graduated, but I’ve learned a few valuable lessons so far.
1. You’ll Feel Rejection Often
I immediately began applying to jobs after graduation. I sent my resume to multiple places that I was interested in. Out of all of them, I heard back from one news station. A week after graduation I was called in for an interview. I was nervous at first, but the overall interview went really good. I honestly thought that I impressed them enough to get the job. Then two weeks later, I received an email that said they hired someone with more experience. I was crushed, it was something that I prayed and hoped on getting, but if there’s one thing that I have learned throughout life is that God answers prayers in 3 ways. His answers are one of the following: Yes, Not yet, or I have something better in mind. The answer to my prayer was Not Yet. I began to use my time to update my resume, edit my demo reel and to just overall perfect my work.
A month later I received news that there was another position available and they wanted to hire me! I’m going to be a multimedia journalist/reporter for the ABC affiliated news station, KATC in Lafayette, La. I start in March!
Sometimes things don’t happen immediately like you would want it to. Be patient and resilient whenever you are declined of any opportunity. Don’t let rejection letters from companies or graduate programs bring you down. Everything is a learning process so try to look at each “no thank you” as a valuable lesson. Continue to work hard, be patient, and remember that the best is yet to come.
2. It’s Okay To Feel Stressed
Beginning a new phase in your life can be stressful. It’s different and you don’t know what lies ahead of you, but it’s okay. Believe it or not, many of your peers are feeling the exact same way. It’s okay to feel stressed, but don’t let that hinder you from your goals. Instead, use it as fuel to keep you going.
3. Your Friends Will All Go Their Separate Ways
After graduation I, along with many of my friends relocated to new cities. In college, all of my friends lived within walking distance of me. They were always there for me when I needed them, so it still feels weird to not have them around. As much as I hate to see us all separate, I am still proud of each and every one of my friends. Nothing makes me happier than to know that my friends are all following their dreams and living a life that they always wanted. We will continue to keep in touch and remain friends.
4. You’ll Appreciate Your Parents More
As a child, it’s hard to understand the amount of sacrifices your parents make for you. When you get older, you realize how much they’ve done for you over the years. I was blessed enough to have supportive, loving, and amazing parents. For years they both worked hard so my sisters and I could have great lives. They have inspired and guided me to be the woman who I am today. Words cannot express the amount of love and gratitude I have towards them. Once you become an adult you discover a newfound appreciation towards your parents.
5. NEVER Doubt Yourself.
Success will take time and will not happen over night. Don’t get overwhelmed by others who seem to have their life together. Remember that everyone’s life is different. We all have our own paths to follow. Some may take longer than others. Remember to have faith in God and in yourself. I believe that if you work hard, never give up and have faith, then you will accomplish your dreams.
I’m not exactly where I want to be in life, but a step closer than where I was before. I truly believe that I will be just fine in the “real world”. As college graduates we will face a lot of setbacks, disappointments and moments where we doubt ourselves. Don’t let those things bring you down. It’ll take hard work, perseverance, and faith to get us where we want to be in life. There’s a scripture in the bible that resonated with me after graduation. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. - Jeremiah 29:11
Everything will be fine. College is a great experience, but life doesn’t end after graduation. Change is never easy, but if you give it time by embracing the unknown of this new journey you'll soon find it to be exciting.
If you’re a recent college graduate, share some of the lessons you’ve learned since graduation below!
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