Life after graduation through my eyes
In early June of last year I reached a milestone. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Towson University. I had spent much time dreaming about that moment.
While I was slaving over 20 page papers..
While I was running to class from across the campus…
While I was reaching into the depths of my mind to pull out answers during my finals….
Those experiences, along with countless others, lead to the moment when I first held my degree in my hands. I felt both joy and relief. I had accomplished what I set out to do during the fall of 2009. Then it hit me. About an hour after those feelings subsided, a sense of dread bulldozed it’s way to the forefront of my mind. Two words would haunt me for the many months to follow: what next?
Many of us picture ourselves getting our dream jobs straight out of college. In reality, it can take years to finally reach the position you have been waiting for. During that time, you may suffer failures in your different endeavors. I experienced such a failure myself, but I found solace in the fact that I knew working there wasn’t my end goal. That being said, it is important to give your best effort no matter what job you find yourself in. You never know what kind of skills or connections you may pick up along the way.
“Whatever you are, be a good one” -Abraham Lincoln
As you fill out countless job applications (I know, it sucks), take the time to write down your goals. As it is written, so shall it be (or something along those lines). We all want to work and earn a living, but is the money you make worth your joy? Did you earn your degree to simply settle for a salary? Your answer (at least hopefully) is a definite no. Don’t get me wrong! We all have bills to pay; however, don’t be content with just earning a steady income.You started this journey with an end goal in mind, and it is important that you continue down the path you have chosen. Yes, this road may wind and narrow at times, but it is during troublesome stretches of life that you must keep your dream alive. Trust me, you do not want to quit and get stuck working somewhere where you are miserable. You can make your money and live out your goals, you just need to persevere.
“It’s not about a salary, it’s all about reality” – KRS-One
If you have a passion, I urge you to follow it. Let your hobbies feed your dreams. While I may not have many opportunities to write creatively at my new job, I still will have my blog to freely express myself. Remember that we must use our time wisely. Show your future employers that your dreams inhabit your being, as well as your resume. Keep your skills sharp so that when opportunity presents itself, you can latch on and never let go.
Life after graduation has been an illuminating experience. For one, I have learned to enjoy reading (when it’s not required of you, it actually is quite fun)! Cooking is not as daunting, or dangerous, as it once was. Also, my relationship has improved. Additionally, I have learned that my dreams will take a bit more work, and a bit more education, to come true. That is why I am pursuing my masters degree. Along the way I hope to participate in career based organizations, and meet people that can help me on the way to my goals. While I may not be where I want to be at the moment, I have a plan, and my goals are in sight. If you find yourself in a similar position, don’t fret, just think of how much more you will appreciate your journey after your plans reach fruition.
I leave you with a quote from Thoreau’s Walden:
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
(Props to Life or Something After College for a great list of quotes, and to KRS-One for dropping knowledge!)