and above all else: keep calm. Don’t
get caught up in how many days you have left to get a job, find an apartment,
and emotionally process the enormous change you’re about to experience. Unless
having a countdown app on your phone will motivate you in a strictly positive
and rewarding way, don’t grant yourself that sort of information on a constant
when) time feels like it’s slipping through your fingers by the second and you
convince yourself that you’ve already failed, remember nothing bad, disastrous,
unfixable has actually happened. You haven’t wasted time or missed any
deadlines yet. And I use “yet” to signal the reality that life is both
unpredictable and ever-changing. Of course you’ll hit bumps in the road, you’ll
be forced to re-route, you’ll make sharp left turns and be brought to places
and situations you would’ve never considered before– you might exclusively
utilize driving metaphors when discussing the future. And amidst all the
spontaneity, you’ll adapt. You’ll accrue experiences that will equip you to to
become comfortable with, and maybe even expect, a moderate amount of change.
You’ll see new challenges as opportunities to grow and your personal evolution
will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
being the case, become comfortable with
the unknown. Securing your first post-grad position is tough! I should
know, I’m currently trying to do so. Unless you’re already a successful expert
in the industry in which you’re applying, you’ll have to learn to trust the
process. Sure, it would be easier if we all received a magical letter offering
us a full-time position and housing immediately upon graduation. But the beauty
in maturing and entering this new stage of our lives is that we, for the first
time, don’t know what comes next. Don’t expect the worst and don’t expect it to
all be perfect. Expect that you’ll learn, change, and grow, allowing you to
flourish into a tougher, more worldly version of yourself.
some of us, the knowledge that our future plans are so certainly uncertain is
both a deterrent for motivation and a catalyst for hopelessness; a fast-track
to “why even apply to this fellowship if they probably won’t even look at my
resume?” Questions like that will drop you headfirst into a vat of darkness and
unproductivity. So, keep busy. Job
boards and LinkedIn searches will provide you with a vast amount of potential
applications and you might feel overwhelmed. That’s par for the course! Make a
list of the positions that interest you, and then create a schedule to help
plan when you’ll apply for them.
an active participant in your own job search; strategize. Do the extra work for applications that will feel like
an accomplishment in and of themselves, throw your resume in the hat for the
internship that you think you have a shot at getting. Don’t wait on the
sidelines of your own life because you don’t know how things will turn out.
Find a balance, and get to work.
But… don’t lose your sanity. Don’t spend
every waking minute looking for jobs, checking your email, and feeling
discouraged. Know when it’s time to shut your computer or talk to a friend
about how mind-boggling this whole process can be. Productivity comes in
multiplicitous forms: doing work for classes in which you’re currently enrolled
is productive, giving your all to extracurriculars and enjoying yourself is
productive, and making lasting friendships and relationships is productive.
Relate to each other; time won’t speed up or slow down once we’ve graduated. Be
Appreciate the life you’ve shaped for yourself. Bask in the glory of knowing that a few years ago, you had no idea how
you’d make it through 8 semesters, countless essays and tests, finals weeks,
and a least one thesis all while navigating the trials and tribulations of
making friends and finding your people. You’ve done it all once. You’ll be able
to find your place again.
on and writing about transitioning into post-grad life assuages the fears and
anxieties that reside in the nooks and crannies of my psyche. Check in on your
friends, ask professors for guidance, and don’t lose faith that everything will turn out just fine.
Treat this semester as a victory lap, not as a disastrous and frazzled ending.