By Kirra Vargas
Embarking on the journey post-college graduation is a rollercoaster of emotions. It's not just a mere transition; it's a fusion of excitement, uncertainty, hope, and a subtle (or not so subtle...) hint of anxiety. It's exciting to start something new, but there is a lot of pressure that comes with leaving college-life for the real world.
As we leave the familiar life of a student, we really start to figure out our identity. The constant internal debate—"Am I making the right choices?" or "Should I be pursuing this path or that?"—echoes in the minds of many.
Lauren Precioso, a recent graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a major in graphic communication and a minor in sales, vividly experienced this emotional turbulence when she returned to her Southern California hometown in the spring of 2023 to kickstart her career in sales and marketing at Western Digital.
"It was comforting to be back in my hometown, but it felt different—lonely, boring, and confusing at first. But eventually, I discovered things that brought me joy," shared Lauren.
In her quest to navigate this confusing phase and define her post-grad identity, Lauren found solace in various activities. "I explored new avenues by joining yoga classes, becoming part of a local winery community, and building connections through work—whether it was grabbing drinks after office hours or having dinner with friends of friends," she explained.
Lauren's journey serves as a testament that the uncertainty and mixed emotions are shared by many recent graduates. Feeling lost is a common thread, but it's essential to recognize that you are not alone in this phase of your life.
Here are some practical steps to ease the transition into post-grad life:
1. Develop a Support System: Surround yourself with a network of supportive friends, family, mentors, and peers who can offer encouragement and guidance during this transitional period. We can help you find that, if you're looking for new people in your life.
2. Create a Routine: Establishing a post-graduation routine provides a sense of stability and purpose. Set daily or weekly goals, including job hunting, time for exercise, and personal downtime. A routine can instill a sense of control amid uncertainty.
3. Embrace Adaptability: Stay open-minded and acknowledge that plans may change. Opportunities may arise unexpectedly, and being adaptable allows you to navigate new challenges with resilience.
In the grand scheme of things, this is an awesome new phase of life that is worth celebrating rather than stressing over. Remember, even if they are hard to find at first, there are millions of other students who graduate each year, and you're certainly not alone in this journey.