With graduation season looming, many soon to be (or new grads) are faced with a number of questions about what their future may or may not hold. As any new grad knows, the questions about post-grad plans start the minute you become a senior in college (or at least they did for me). It seems like college seniors like to develop our own pre-crafted answer to the predictable question/s that our mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle, best friend’s dad, neighbor, sports coach, etc, like to ask. Here are two of my favorite questions with the way I wanted to answer them and how I did answer them.
1. What are you doing after college?
How I wanted to answer: Planning on moving to Alaska to study the melting of the ice caps. Once I’m bored with that, I’ll probably move to Hawaii and learn how to surf.
How I actually answered:
I’m planning on applying to a number of organizations and agencies. If nothing else, I’ll move home and work as a freelancer for a while.
2. Are you moving home?
How I wanted to answer: Yes, my parents are letting me live in their house where I won’t have to worry about rent, food, utilities, smelly roommates, etc.
How I actually answered: If nothing else, my parents are more than willing to let me live with them temporarily. I would love to save some money and live with them for the summer.
As you can see, it’s always fun to come up with ridiculous answers to the same and sometimes monotonous questions that most seniors are asked about after graduation life. As terrible and annoying as the post-grad questions may be, they do help to prepare college seniors for the reality of what is to come after graduation. Getting a job, or rather a career, that makes you happy and keeps you financially stable is something that isn’t easy to come by. Staying at the first post-grad job for a considerable amount of time is not always realistic, both financially and emotionally for college grads. We (college seniors and graduates) don’t always take this into consideration. It’s easy to fall into a “fantasy land” where our dream job is the first job that we get out of college. We also believe that we will have plenty of options and perfect timing so that we can choose from many jobs and not have to worry about waiting. While I can say this looking back on the last couple months, it is hard to warn or prepare the future for the letdown that sometimes take place after applying, waiting and sometimes hearing nothing from companies. It then becomes harder to answer the questions that everyone wants to know the answers to.
So the real question surrounding graduation is (or should be) what do you want to be when you grow up? As silly as it sounds, children are asked this all the time while they are growing up. We (as children) answer in silly ways with our imagination as our only limitation. In some ways, it would be great to return to the young child’s point of view where life is limitless and potential is great. However, living in the real world where life isn’t always easy, makes things more interesting and that much more amazing when a great opportunity comes your way.
Looking for more reading on the topic of new grads and post grad jobs? Check out Peggy Drexler’s article, “College graduates, a job is just a job” on CNN’s Opinion site.