So you’ve graduated. Congratulations! It’s been a long four or five or maybe, like, seven (no judgement here) years. Good news: no more group work assignments, ever. Bad news: now there’s nothing between you and the frighteningly real world of Starting a Career™ and/or The Rest of Your Life™. More good news: you’re not alone in your struggle. We’ve got your back with some advice to new grads:
1. Don’t panic
Oooh, has the warm glow of finishing school worn off and the panic set in? Take a deep breath. Heck, take ten deep breaths. You’re gonna be okay. You got through university – and that’s no small feat! Whether you knew it or not, your whole time at Mount Royal has been preparing you to tackle new experiences and face new challenges. And if you got this far, that means you’re ready to move on to something bigger and better – whether that’s a job, grad school, or something else altogether.
2. (Try to) embrace change
Whatever it is that you choose to do after your time at university will be different. It’s not gonna be better or worse, per se – just different. Is now the time for you to move to a new city? Apply for grad school? Commit to a job search and get a head start on your career? All of that looks different than your usual school routine. And sometimes change just straight-up sucks… but that’s okay. Maybe it’ll suck for a little while, but we have faith that you’ll adapt.
3. Take some time to decompress
Even though you’ve graduated, you might find you’re still stressed out days – or even weeks – after you’ve left school. We promise: that’s perfectly normal. Sometimes grads are worried about what their future holds, or sometimes it’s just holdover stress from a last hectic semester. Whatever it might be, we heartily recommend taking some time to rebalance your life and figure out your new normal. Use your time off to do what you need to do – whether that’s making a plan for the next few months, taking a week to catch up on sleep, or finally cleaning your bedroom for the first time in four years.
4. Don’t spend all your money (at once)
Easier said than done, we know. But once you’ve secured that sweet post-graduation income, your new influx of money might feel like an endless supply of cash that you never had before. Resist the urge to spend all of it on pizza and beer. You might find your new financial responsibilities (*cough*student loans*cough*) take up a sizeable chunk of income you might not’ve expected.
5. Go at your own pace
Odds are you’re not going to pop out of university straight into your career. If you’re the type with a 5-year plan, don’t fret if you find things aren’t going exactly the way you imagined them: actually taking the next steps can be a long process, and not something that happens overnight. We’d also recommend against wasting energy comparing yourself to your fellow grads; everyone moves at their own speed. (Seriously – nothing is worse than getting stuck in a jealously spiral on Facebook. And it’s a total waste of energy that you could otherwise be spending on looking at dogs-on-treadmill videos.)
We love hearing from our alumni – and we don’t just mean adding us on your (long-neglected) LinkedIn account. Join our Facebook group or follow our Instagram and Twitter accounts – or just stop by for a visit and to say hi! And don’t forget that Mount Royal’s got a thriving alumni community, too!