Don’t ignore life after college

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Boom! The semester’s over.

You bought your cap and gown and now you’re on stage, receiving your degree. Now is not the time to ask yourself, “What am I going to do next?”

Let’s wind things back a bit.

I’ve been in school for what seems like an eternity, and I’ll be the first to admit  I haven’t always had a clear plan for what my next big move should be.

Between changed majors, changed circumstances and changed priorities, I can honestly say I’ve had to give more thought to what I want to do after I receive my diploma than I have anything else.

“Am I going straight to a graduate program immediately, or should I take a break? What jobs are available out of the gate?” These are questions I should have asked sooner.

Early in my college career, I had moments where I’d shy away from major decisions, thinking, “I’ll figure it out later.”

No one wants to walk across the stage, take their degree and suddenly be floored with the revelation, “I have no idea what I’m going to do with this.”

That happened to me.

I had that, “Oh Lord, now what?” moment as I received my associate’s degree, and even then I had every intention of pursuing higher education.

It speaks volumes about the short-sighted mindset I approached these major long-term goals with.

Whatever we choose for ourselves, it’s imperative that we have a plan. Figure out if this path post-graduation is right for us, then start collecting letters of approval and doing serious research into prospective colleges and jobs.

I’m weighing my options with colleges and seeing what’s best for me. Because I plan to work in my field of study before moving on to graduate school, I’m already sending out resumes.

For me, the end of undergraduate studies marks the beginning of the rest of my life.

Procrastination will be anyone’s greatest enemy when the stakes are this high. Think about how we’re going to take charge of our lives now rather than later.

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