A Millenial Guide to the Post Grad Blues
I knew, at a very young age, that I wanted to do something that involved writing and communication. I was always that kid in class getting notes sent home because I couldn't seem to stop talking during "work time." I was also that kid who read books in a day and wrote roses are red violets are blue poems to my crushes ( I have only slightly outgrown those lol).
What I'm getting at is growing up I always knew or had an idea of what I wanted to do. English and writing courses were always my favorite subjects in middle and high school, so it was a no brainer when college came around that I would major in something that would combine my talents. I chose Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations and just knew by the end of my college career I'd be ready to step out into the corporate world and get a nice paying job and be living my purpose.
As my college days came to an end and graduation passed, the impending questions that everyone kept asking on top of the pressure from my family to jump into the job force were, So what are your plans? What's next for you? Do you have job offers? I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw something at the people who asked those questions (obvi I didn't but I reeeealllly wanted to) because I had and still kind of don't have any freaking clue what I want to do now. My major is so broad I can literally go into any field and thrive, which is great, but not for an indecisive person like me. I'm still figuring it out.
The pressure to have a job immediately out of college is outrageous. Society deems you a failure or slacker if you don't have a 401K and full benefits by 24. I've fallen victim to believing that is true one too many times. So, once again, I'm here to reassure you that it is ok if you're still trying to figure your life out. Some fresh college grads set themselves on a path early on that landed them in the position they want to be in, but don't rush to be envious of those people because remember their journey is different from yours and the universe may have different plans for you.
Let's go through some things to help you get through this uncertain time and gather your thoughts, goals and plans together.
Don't be a bum, at least have some sort of income or cash flow.
Having the post grad blues is one thing but do not use that as an excuse to sit on your ass. If you didn't have a job in college you should definitely still look into at least maintaining a part time job. I mean at this point if you're still relying on your parents for everything and don't have any bills at all don't worry because guess what happens 6 months after you graduate... the loans kick in so GET A JOB.
If you maintained a job throughout college keep grinding there but don't get stuck. In most cases, the college part time job isn't a career path and for those of you whose it is, more power to you, get that coin. My point is make sure you are setting goals to either move up or move on to bigger and better things.
Don't let people shame you for not having it all figured out
The way society is set up, certain narrow minded people only think one way. They believe that you go to school so you can get a good job and work for eight hours a day everyday for 20+ years. Let me first say, people who think like this, I'm not here to judge, my mind is simply more open to different ways of creating a good life for yourself. When people try to speak down to you about your transitional and "figuring it out" period shut that shit down immediately. Let them know, in the most polite way possible that what they not gon' do is try to bring you down for following your personal and career journey. Your path didn't take you that way for a reason and it's no one else's place to try and tell you that you're doing things the wrong way because how would they know what your future holds.
Set goals for progression
Part of the "figuring it out" time is actually figuring it out. Set goals for yourself, make lists, keep yourself organized. Whether it's taking this time to do the things you never got a chance to do in college, traveling, saving up money, or taking your time to find a work space that you like doing something you love. As long as it is postive and you are keeping yourself on your p's and q's, do it.
Be kind to yourself
I am my own worst critic, as are most people. I tend to come down on myself pretty hard when I feel stagnant. But, I have to remind myself everyday that I do not have to have it all figured out right this second. It's okay to be proud of how far you have come already, to take things one step at a time, it's okay to want to love what you do, to not want to wear a suit everyday. It's not accepting mediocrity, it's acknowledging that at this point in your life you need a breather. You have just gotten through 23 years of rigourous education, we all need to breathe after that shit. It's understandable.
To the friends of the people figuring it out, support them, love them and encourage them but still push them to work hard and achieve the goals they set.
Manifest your blessings
Blessings and opportunities are going to come your way while you figure things out. I mean hell, this time is a blessing you have so much opportunity. Think about it, you have your diploma and you're not tied down to a job just yet. You can travel, spend the day reading a book, invest time into your passion or craft if you have one. The opportunities are virtually limitless. So, catch those blessings and stay active doing something positive. Again, this time is about actually figuring things out not just an excuse to be lazy.
Post grad can be a struggle, but you can get through it. Just Harlem Shake your way through the pressure, remember that this is your journey, stay active and be optimistic about your future because it will be bright. Daily affirmations and goal setting is the best way to stay on top of things, it will help you and be a guide to your success. If no one told you today I love you and I believe in you. You can do this.
All Love - A Sunflower
All Photos Courtesy of: @sandross.alim