“Go to law school!”
“Travel while you can”
“What do you mean you’re not working, pick up a part time job to pay off student loans!”
“Move back home”
“Follow your heart”
“Take a risk”
“Play it safe”
“Volunteer for a bit”
“Are you sure it’s not too late to go to grad school in the fall?”
When you have graduated college and people ask you what you are doing afterwards…. give an answer, any answer really. Say that you’re learning to juggle fireworks on cruise ships or that you’ve decided to pick up Santa-sleuthing in the Arctic. Because if you don’t, trust me people will give any suggestion they can come up with to help you figure out your path in life.
To be honest, I still am not completely sure what my five or ten year plan in life is. I know that I want to go to grad school and I know that I want to travel, but I am still just trying to figure out my next year. So it may be strange that I’m offering up advice about what to do post-grad, but here is what I have to say.
look at me being happy and unemployed and with student debt.
When opportunities arise, taken them.
Sometimes things line up perfectly and even though it doesn’t make sense how you’ve managed to be so lucky, don’t question it. Be proud of your accomplishments and achievements and own the fact that you are qualified (or at least somewhat qualified) for the position offered to you. Recognize that other times, life won’t be so graceful or forgiving, so enjoy it while it’s sweet.
Do what you’re passionate about.
Contrary to what many parents may have told us, you don’t have to hate your first job. In fact, you can work in an office or for a company that (at least partly) matches your beliefs. From checking a company’s CSR record to working on a campaign, or simply volunteering for a cause that you’re passionate about with work colleagues, nowadays there is something out there that can help you feel like you’re not selling out at the end of the day. And you deserve a job that makes you happy.
Above all else: you do you.
Your life is an incredibly unique journey. It is so common that we compare ourselves to other individuals who have had similar life journeys and think that we have to do the same steps as them. No other person has gone through the same struggled or worked for the same successes so nobody has the right to tell you how to live your life. So do what makes you happy.
Remember that right out of college, you are young and have your whole life ahead of you. The job you take right out of college most likely won’t be the career you’ll stay at until you retire- unless you really really love what you’re doing! So keep your options open and don’t be afraid to do something different for a couple years before finding a path you’re that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
As for those student loans? Yeah they’re annoying, but in my experience and from the stories of my friends around me, if you are really committed to what you are doing, you’ll find a way to get them paid.