It’s that time. All of your education from kindergarten to now has lead to this moment: college graduation! When you approach college as a caterpillar, you weren’t quite sure what was going on or where this journey will take you. Now your initial training is complete, there are still a couple of things you should be aware of before you go out there in the real world!
Don’t Just Jump In
You may need a breather. Technically, you just ran a 10+ year marathon and you just crossed the finished line. You may need to take a break between joining the workforce and college; you are essentially signing up for another marathon. One of my RAs will be traveling in Europe for a couple of weeks before she starts a job. She is looking forward to the moment where she can just enjoy life as opposed to constantly working with an end goal in mind. As my mom said to me, you will have your whole life to be in the workforce, but you will not have this moment again; the feeling like the world is your oyster and that you can go or do anything.
If you are moving back home, it’s going to be an adjustment for both you and your parents. According to a study, 80% of parents do not see their twenty-something as an adult [link]. I know when I graduated it was definitely an adjustment period. Remember, you have been away from your parents from 4-6 years. While you moved home, you have to walk a fine line of knowing how to respectfully deal with your parents and letting them know you can be a grown up!
Your whole educational journey has come to this overall topic of money! Most people think that money will determine overall success, whether this collegiate journey was all worth it. You have to remember a couple of things when it comes to the Benjamin’s. First, you may not make a ton of money at first. You have the few exceptions; I had a friend that had a job within first two years of graduating that paid $50,000/year. Realize their our other benefits, i.e. tuition reimbursement for graduate school, healthcare, etc., that you may can be apart of your overall compensation package.
Lastly, it should be more about the money. It should be about the work you do. At the end of the day, it’s about your personal attachment to your product that will determine whether you want to stay in a position for 10 minutes or 10 years.
Don’t forget about NSCS
NSCS was probably the one things that helped me through my transition from student
to professional. There are tons of opportunities and programs that NSCS let’s you partake in as an alumni. For example, I used the awesome Hertz discount to visit some friends in Georgia before I started my job. The NSCS affiliation doesn’t leave you; it can give you a leg up on the competition!
Hopefully, these little tid bits helped you as you prepare to walk across the stage. If you want to see my personal post-college story, feel free to check it out here. Your life truly begins now! Enjoy it!
VaNessa Thompson is a graduate student at Lawrence Technological University majoring in Technical and Professional Communication. She graduated with a BA in Communication from Michigan State University where she was a NSCS member. Also at Michigan State, she was an RA for 3.5 years. Currently, she is one of NSCS’s Social Media Ambassadors (tweets, posts, and everything in between) as well as an employee for LTU’s University Housing. She hopes to get her PhD in Communication and become a professor.