Is there life after graduation?
You’ve just graduated. You are cheerful just like all students who have spent the past 3–4 years investing in their education. But all the joy you feel as soon as you are over with your final exams or during the graduation ceremony are deceiving. As soon as the celebrations are over, you find yourself sitting alone asking yourself: “Ok, what’s next? What am I going to do with my life now?”
It’s only natural to feel like that. You’ve got accustomed to the student lifestyle, which is most of the time really fun, putting off your future plans, because, of course, you have to graduate first in order to decide what you are going to do after that. Here’s the thing: avoid freaking out and ignore anyone who might ask you uncomfortable questions.
To ease your pain, we thought of giving you a hand and list 4 important pieces of advice for every fresh graduate suffering from post-graduation depression. Keep in mind: you are the only one who can change this situation.
1. A Bachelor’s degree is just a means to an end.
That’s right. Your journey doesn’t stop here, that’s actually just the beginning. You’ve taken a step towards something more important and nearer to your purpose. All the stages you go through in your education are just like the levels of a video game. It may get harder and harder, but the satisfaction you get after completing a level and the exhilaration of moving on to the next one, no matter all the resources you need to put in to progress, are something that makes you feel alive, more powerful and willing to go on.
2. That may sound legitimate, but where’s my “end”?
It’s up to you to decide. In a nutshell: you have two possibilities after graduation: you can either get a job that doesn’t need any further academic education, or you can move on to a graduate school to deepen the knowledge you’ve acquired in a certain area, and fight for a more competitive job. Depending on your choice, act accordingly and reach for as much information as possible: draft a good realistic CV and cover letter and apply to entry-level jobs that appeal to you, or start looking for a Master course.
3. Well, there are actually grey areas in-between.
In fact, there are more possibilities than that. A job that only requires a Bachelor degree from you might not the best job you could have ever found and an option to keep for the long term, but right now you’re thinking it would be better for you to step aside for a while from the academic environment and gain some working experience, which would bode well later on. What’s more, who knows what doors this choice would open and help you get a clearer image of what you want to do in the future.
As for continuing your studies, it’s recommended to do it only if you are really passionate about the field in which you want to deepen your knowledge. A Master course will require extra struggle and resources (financial, too) from you, and if you are already tired of the academia, don’t take this step just because all of your friends do it and you’ve heard on TV that you will earn a better income with a postgraduate degree. Do it only out of sheer interest for your further development.
4. Fine, but what if I still don’t know what to choose?
The solution is simple: take a gap year. Travel, volunteer, step outside of your comfort zone. At first sight, this might be one really reckless idea and you’re justified to think ”Who can have the guts to do such a thing for so long?”
First of all, you are neither the first nor the last graduate who takes a gap year and you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time for yourself, changing the environment and put order your thoughts. The Internet is awash with volunteering programmes worldwide on a variety of topics. Listen to your heart and go to the place that makes your soul thrill.
As a conclusion, don’t panic and don’t set yourself under pressure. Have a short break, ponder upon your alternatives and continue your journey. Take a break for a couple of days, think about your alternatives and move on. It’s no use comparing you with your fellow students, since everyone is different and has the right to choose what suits them best. If it works for them, it doesn’t mean it will work well for you, too.