Maybe I’m just lazy. Maybe I leave it all to fate, but when I graduated from university, I had no prospects. No jobs, no internships, no plans for further education, nothing. Even worse, I couldn’t anticipate graduation, because I was solely focused on actually graduating. Receiving my graduating certificate was an impossible dream come true, but a memory I will always treasure.
While many of us are preparing for graduation in May, we perhaps don’t know what to expect. Where do we go from here? And what exactly do we do? Here are five ways to make sure you are well-prepared for graduation.
The atmosphere in every college and university right now is panic, stress and tears. If that is you, take a calming breath, and exhale! Panicking is not going to get you where you want to be, but thinking things through can. Rather than stressing out, the best thing you can do is to keep your head in place, so that you can appropriately handle the current stage of your academia, and the next stage of your life.
This is not just stating the obvious, but you really need to think about the next stages of your life. What do YOU want to do? Where do YOU want to go? What goals, dreams and career do YOU want to pursue? This is the stage of immense pressure, where it feels as though it would be easier to follow the crowd; to do what is expected of us, instead of what we really want to do. It is OK if you haven’t figured it all out yet. That could be your next stage: figuring it all out as you occupy your time with other endeavours.
Actually plan your graduation. Who’s coming? Who’s staying where? How are they getting there? What will you wear? Most colleges and universities offer detailed advice and guidance for graduation preparation. Know that, like everything else, it costs money to rent the gown and cap, to take professional photographs, and to get there. By planning for the big day, you leave yourself space not to get stressed, lost or frustrated on your graduation day.
If you have the time and energy, you can begin job-hunting before graduation, but recognise that this is a time-consuming activity that is a job in itself. If you are not able to job-hunt before graduation, there is no need to worry. You have all the time in the world for job hunting once you graduate. Better yet, you will be at your best, because you can put all your effort into applying for the best jobs and internships for you.
This goes without saying, but you need to pat yourself on the back. You worked for this! You sweated and laboured just so you could possess this qualification! It can never be taken away from you – it will always be yours. Enjoy your graduation! Celebrate yourself! You just achieved something wonderful with your life!
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