For those of you that are graduating, I’m sure you’re spending your days wondering, “where will I be in a few weeks?” Pre-graduation anxiety is so real. Maybe your anxiety comes from finding a job or, if you already have the job, maybe it comes from moving somewhere new and meeting new people. Regardless, graduation brings emotions and stress toward all sorts of transition issues.
As a recent graduate myself, with another graduation in a mere 54 weeks, I have become quite the expert on the questions your brain can drum up regarding your next steps.
“What if no one likes you where you go next?” – my brain
“What if you can’t get a great cup of iced coffee like you can at Fluff?” – my brain
“What if you forget every single skill that you learned during internships and get fired in the first two weeks?” – my brain, at least twice a day.
You might be imagining your brain as the dog in a top hat sitting in a room of fire right about now (see below). I’m here to tell you that the list of resources below can act as the symbolic fire extinguisher that your graduation-jitter-brain needs.*
Follow The Paper Trail Of Your Job Applications
A simple step that can set you apart from other candidates is the art of the follow-up. Did your job application include a contact person? Do you have a phone number for the office? Follow. Up. If you have applied and are waiting to hear about an interview, call to ask where they are in their selection process. If you haven’t applied but are really interested, set up an informational interview to learn more about the position. Not sure how to go about either of these things? Visit the CLDC for a 10-minute drop-in!
Seek Out Young Professional Groups In Your Area
If you have a job and are nervous about meeting new people, search for young professional groups in your area. If people your age aren’t your jam, search for groups that do things that interest you. Maybe join a book club, or a craft brew tasting society. Clubs and involvement aren’t just tools for college students to meet people, usually, these groups are full of other community members that want to meet people just like you! Be willing to put yourself out there.
Use Social Media To Explore Your New City
Even now as I look at different locations for my own job search, I use social media to help with my decisions. Whether your network of choice is Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, there are ways to gather information about potential locations through all of these avenues. You can follow hashtags for your new city (#Portland) or create a Pinterest board with hundreds of “10 Things to Do in San Francisco” articles. Exploring the culture of a city through social media is a great way to assess the vibe of where you’ll be living.
Connect With Your Alumni Chapter Or Society
Did you know there are groups of other Bobcats in plenty of cities across the U.S. and abroad? After your first week in New York City living the dream, maybe it’s worth a call to the alumni association to get you connected with other Bobcats. If connecting with Bobcats in your city isn’t your thing, you can also connect through areas of interest like the Singing Men of Ohio or The Post. Swapping stories of Courtside Pizza and treks up Jeff Hill is a great way to feel at home even when you’re away.
Come And Visit The CLDC
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything to do with graduation, come and talk to us in the CLDC. Whether you only have ten minutes or you need multiple 30-minute appointments, we are here to ease the graduation-jitter-brain*. All you have to do is call!
As you head into these last few weeks, remember the time you’ve spent here but look ahead to what’s in front of you. Graduation is just the beginning of your lifetime commitment to the Bobcat Family. Now take a deep breath and explore some of these metaphorical fire extinguishers. I promise your brain will appreciate it!
* Trademark pending on “graduation-jitter-brain.”
By Kendra Lutes, CLDC Graduate Assistant for Special Projects