This is the moment you’ve been longing for the past 4 (or more) years. Sitting with your fellow grads with your cap and gown on patiently sweating, and perhaps nervously waiting for the usher to summon your row to the marching line. All of the all-nighters to finish your assignments and last minute cram sessions the night before your exams finally paid off! A mere 10-20 minutes of shaking hands, hugging and picture taking to prove that you actually made it. Soon enough, someone will ask-what are your plans after graduation? Do you have an answer?
For some, a big fat job offer may come your way after graduation, or a trip of a lifetime backpacking around the vast European or Asian landscapes, or even a road trip across the country with a few friends. Whatever it may be, today is supposed to be the day you start your “adult life.” Not when you entered university at the mere age of 17 or 18, insisting that you are an adult to your parents. Not when you nonchalantly flash your ID because you can actually legally buy and drink alcohol now. Not even when you first had your own place during university. Surely, those milestones have helped you get to where you are today…or maybe, not?
A year after graduation, I’m fortunate to say that I feel at peace. Frankly, I didn’t have a clue as to what it was I wanted to do after graduation. I had people and job titles I aspired to, but no complete certainty as to whether or not I would actually like that job let alone do it for the rest of my life! (Or at least for the majority of it) The 5 years I spent in university doing my undergrad taught me how to read, write and ask questions. The past year I spent trying to figure out what I actually want to do and why gave me a glimpse of who I am.
The 5 years I spent in university doing my undergrad taught me how to read, write and ask questions. The past year I spent trying to figure out what I actually want to do and why gave me a glimpse of who I am.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s hard out here! A signed piece of paper with your name and your university’s name elegantly written on your diploma won’t help you as much as you may have thought it would. You will send dozens and dozens of applications and go through rounds and rounds of interviews just to prove that you deserve to be there. Then finally, when someone sees that you’re a good fit in their company’s culture AND you can actually do the job they need you to do, then maybe you’ll get the job. There will be times when you just want to break down in your room because you’re trying your best but that doesn’t seem to be good enough. Some of your friends who luckily got full time jobs may or may not help you either. Sorry, but it’s true. Just don’t take it too personally because they are transitioning into a new chapter the same way you are. What matters is that you keep growing. Keep learning. Keep meeting new people, and most of all keep believing in yourself.
What matters is that you keep growing. Keep learning. Keep meeting new people, and most of all keep believing in yourself.
It takes time to get where you want to go but it doesn’t mean you won’t get there eventually. If you’re like me and you’ve decided to pursue a passion completely unrelated to your undergrad degree, it might take you longer and you might have to go back to school yet again. That’s totally fine too! Focus on YOUR path. It might be a winding road ahead with tons of twists and turns, followed by a sprinkle of inevitable failures. Embrace it. Make the most of it. It’s your life after all.
Granted, this ending will sound very fragmented, partly because there is no ending. Not yet anyway. I’m still writing this chapter of my life! So, I’ll leave you with a quote that has given me a whole lot of courage and take it, as you will.
Fear is greater than reality.
P.S. Who else hasn’t framed their diploma yet? Me too! 😉