LIFE AFTER COLLEGE: Tiara Budd Shares her Story

As senior year comes to an end, your often bombarded with the tricky and somewhat terrifying question, “what are your plans for after graduation?” The topic can really get annoying if there’s a good chance you don’t really have things figured out yet. We’re here to let you know that, “IT IS OK!”
Graduating from college can be scribbled on the top 5 list of the most exciting and frightening moments in your life. As much as you try to prepare for it, the milestone can still come as a big shock to you. The reality is there is no manual for the real world. But there are ways to get help and also gain some insight on what life after college can be like.
We spoke to Tiara Budd a 22-year-old Hampton University Alumni about her experiences and thoughts on being a college graduate. Check out the Philadelphia native’s responses below.
What do you miss most about college?
The thing that I miss most about college is the accessibility I had to my friends. Back at Hampton University, I lived in an apartment complex that was filled with most people that I knew. If I was ever bored, I could simply walk across the street and go hang out with my friends for a few hours. After graduating, schedules have to be coordinated and trips have to be planned. It’s definitely a tough adjustment!
What do you like most about being a college grad?
I really enjoy the freedom that I get from being a college grad. Although I had freedom at college, there’s nothing quite like making your own money on your own terms and paying for the things that you’re interested in.
What do you like the least about being a college grad?
My least favorite thing about being a college grad is this misconception that I have it all figured out. I in NO WAY have ANYTHING figured out more than the next guy or girl. Just a year ago, my life was completely different and I was in a totally different environment. Adjusting to a new lifestyle is by no means easy, but it is worth it. I’m still trying to figure out my life plans, just like a college senior. It changes everyday but that makes me happy—I have dreams to accomplish!
How hard was it for you to find a job after graduation?
I graduated in May and moved to New York in early June to begin my career. It wasn’t very difficult for me to find a job because I had began planning from the beginning of my first semester senior year. Ultimately, I did some great networking and landed a job fairly quickly.
Where do you work now? What is your position and how did you get it?
I work at M Booth, a creative public relations agency. I’m an Account Coordinator, which means I oversee the daily administrative tasks and media relations. I spend a lot of my day conducting media outreach that can secure coverage for my variety of clients. I received my position by sending my resume to the HR manager! I had worked at a previous agency for three months that wasn’t a great fit so when I heard about M Booth, I was immediately intrigued.
Do you feel like you're in a good place a year after graduation? (Compared to your peers)
Personally, I don’t believe in comparing myself to my peers or anyone else that I know. Simply put, you will drive yourself crazy if you’re trying to measure the track that you’re on by other people’s standards. I believe that I am on a great track for the goals that I have put in place for myself. I always imagined my life being a certain way a year after graduation and I’m surely moving forward with my plans.
Would you do anything differently?
The only thing I would have done differently would have been to stop worrying so much my senior year. Senior year of college is an amazing experience and I really enjoyed every moment of it, but I wish I had taken a few deep breaths during the time period and realized that I had my entire life to work! A job will come eventually but those moments and memories should be cherished forever.
How do you feel college prepared you for life after graduation?
Quite honestly, I feel as though college prepared me more for the social world than necessarily the educational one. Hampton allowed me to network with amazing people, which led to many relationships that I have today. I have to applaud The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications for introducing me to so many vital people…especially ones of color!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
This answer changes everyday and varies based off of my week at work, haha. But in the end, I would like to be writing, traveling, and exploring life any and everywhere. I always want to be challenged and growing as a person no matter what stage of life I’m in.
What advice would you offer to recent college grads and current graduating high school seniors?
Don’t give up! As cliché as that sounds, it is completely true. What is meant for you in life will come to you by hard work and dedication. Also, I would have to say take the time out to enjoy the NOW versus stressing over the later. Like I mentioned before, you’ll be working for the rest of your life but you’re only 21 or 22 once!

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TEEN REPORTER | Branda is a 21 year-old Boston, MA native currently in her senior year at Hampton University. She is a public relations major with a minor in marketing and has dreams of one day working in the fashion and entertainment industries as well as owning her own PR firm. Branda’s long time love for fashion and entertainment has brought her many opportunities such as interning at radio stations, being a publicity rep for Tosser Magazine and of course working with Teen Diaries. Branda also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, watching movies, and shopping. During her time spent at Hampton University Branda has been involved in a number of clubs and students activities including fashion shows and is a new member of the Student Recruitment Team. Her goal is to help her readers get a better sense of college life and attending an HBCU, offer tips and advice about life on campus, and to also highlight the achievements and talents of hard working students.