Graduation For All Ages

By Evelyn Davis

When a person thinks about graduation, it’s a time to relax and sleep off a stressful school year. Or, at least how most high school seniors and college students feel by the summertime. Everyone else in a younger age group must return after two, or three months, depending on the school district. Yet, this is a time for celebrating regardless which grade a person is in. If the person is a graduate of high school or college, you are expected to have your life figured out already. Sometimes it’s not the case, but you graduated, right? Graduation is a milestone and a huge metal hangover about what to do next. Let me tell you about my personal experience with graduation.

May 13, 2017, one year ago, I graduated college with my second college degree and in that moment, I will happy to get out that place. Then, the summer came and my parents expect me to have everything figured out, get an apartment, and start taking responsibilities as an adult. I was like, “Whoa, can I sleep first?” My sleep schedule was messed up from working full time and taking a fifteen-hour course each semester for the past three years. Nevertheless, I was going to get a job. Interview after job interview, I couldn’t get hired for a job. I had a bachelor’s degree in English, yet, with no experience, shot my chances at jobs in my field. I didn’t know I was going to do next. My last semester in college was focused on graduating, not the outcome. So, I needed head back to drawing board.

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College degree + no experience = jobless

College degree + fast food/retail = upset parents

College degree + graduate school = not prepared yet

Finally, College degree + library = employment

Throughout job searching, I discovered I could apply for a job in the library field since I have at least a High School Diploma, or a Bachelor’s degree. As a result, I applied for several positions in the library and got hired for a job. Why did this eureka moment take so long for me to discover? I didn’t take my future into consideration early on. Thinking about graduation, I had gotten caught in the moment and at the fact, everything was ending. The sadness after graduating college did not sink in until I was back home in my parent’s house. Likewise, I learned a valuable lesson about the mistakes and missed opportunities along the way before leaving college, but I do want to share pieces of advice I did not think about before graduation.

Before graduation, there are steps you need to take to guarantee you obtain a job, or acceptance into college. Most graduates focus on the celebration part alone and forgets (or, don’t know) the ugly truth awaiting their arrival. In addition, students center of attention is on enjoying themselves in both high school and college, but without planning ahead, a person can become jobless.

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So, what steps can you take to ensure success? Three pieces of advice I want to share with you.

  1. Talk to a counselor: find out your interest and evaluate career choices to make a profit off what you’re the most passionate about than settling for a job. You’re going to want a career.
  2. Alternative college: not everyone finds success in a four-year university, consider a trade score community college first before spending large amounts of money on tuition. Most in-demand jobs just require a certificate or trade to obtain good paying position.
  3. Once you find your niche, gather some experience: this is one piece of advice I wish someone had given me before graduating because landing a nice salary paint job requires some experience in the field. First, seek out a mentor in your field for guidance and job/internship opportunities.

These are my pieces of advice for postgraduate spacing adulthood. Many graduates, students, don’t have the guidance around them (parents or family) to know exactly what steps to take after the big graduation party. My experience and the lesson can help someone else not to make decisions like I did post-graduation, and during my last moments in college.

Graduation is for all ages. A time of commencement with flashing cameras, big flowers, and joyful smiling faces. Post-graduation can be an unexpected scary hangover but the story does not end here. Be persistent about how to spend your free time in high school, or college, to ensure a bright future. As a postgraduate (one year later), please take heed and consideration into your future now, not struggle later.

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