First of all, congratulations on making it through college. This is an accomplishment, whether it came easy to you or not, and you should be proud of yourself. Your family and friends sure are. I know that you’re nervous that you won’t be able to move on from college life, where you went to cheap happy hours or blew off a class or two to sit out in the sun once the weather got warm. But don’t be afraid of any of that. Your life will move on, and yes, change, but this new chapter will be better than you can imagine. This is also only the beginning of what will be an incredible journey.
But let me warn you of something that nobody seems to be talking about – it will get hard. You will be stressed because you won’t have a job directly out of college, like you always planned that you would. You will cry yourself to sleep some nights worried about how you will pay your rent. Remember to breathe. I know that you felt that graduating from college meant that you should be able to take on the responsibilities of being an adult, but give yourself time to learn and to adapt. Eventually, you will get a job, even if it doesn’t happen for the first or even second interview. Keep trying, and keep applying. It isn’t a walk in the park, but everything will eventually fall into place. Nobody expects you to be perfect and have it all together right out of the gate. That would be a straight miracle, so try and stop feeling so much pressure.
You need to stay in touch with people who can help you. Make sure that people around you know what you want to do. You’ll be surprised about whose dad plays golf with a guy whose cousin works for the industry that you want to enter. Talk about your goals, and people will want to help if they can. You need to think of your support system as people beyond your family and friends. Your classmates, professors, former employers, and family friends can all help. I know that you avoided doing it during school, but networking is very important, and it will save your butt.
More than anything, you need to understand that everything you are feeling is normal. Listen to some music that specifically talks about how hard life is when you’re in your twenties. Everyone goes through it! There is uncertainty, anxiety, sadness, and a sense of misplacement. When you’re in school, you have your routine and know exactly who you are. That sense of fulfillment and confidence might linger for a bit, but it will come back. I promise. Just because you are out of your comfort zone does not mean that you are not where you are supposed to be at this moment. Change is inevitable in life, and you are strong. You were given the tools that you need to succeed, and you just need to learn how to use them. Keep your head up, kiddo. You are going to do such great things, and you’re going to make people even more proud! (P.S. when you’re feeling at your lowest, feel free to blast the soundtrack from the musical Avenue Q. It’s really going to understand you.)
Cecilia Schiavo graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies, as well as political science. She now works for Comedy Central as a production assistant. In her free time, she enjoys reading and doing yoga. She can occasionally be found with an adult coloring book in a coffee shop in NYC.
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If you need support now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or, text “CONNECT” to 741741 to get help 24/7 from the Crisis Text Line.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit the Jordan Porco Foundation’s resources page.
The opinions expressed in this blog are personal, and not those of the Jordan Porco Foundation. The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as mental health advice from the individual.