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Life after college: Not what you expected

Written by Quasha Ross

 

We have all heard horror stories about life after college, and for many of us VSU students, graduation is right around the corner.

We have our eyes set on the perfect job in the perfect location, but statistics reveal that we might not land that dream job.

The Associated Press reports that in 2011, about 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 were jobless or underemployed.

In 2012, many college graduates held jobs as waiters, bartenders, and food-service helpers.

Government projections, released in March 2012, revealed that only three of 30 occupations by the year 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position. This means that most job openings are in professions such as retail, fast food and truck driving, all fields that don’t require much education.

As we are bombarded with several statistics that highlight how difficult life after college could be, graduation becomes bittersweet.

Statistics make it easy to doubt and minimize future goals and aspirations. Too often we fall into negative thinking after reading a news report about struggling college graduates, but instead of thinking about the negative aspects, let’s think about the positive experiences life may bring after college.

Obviously, there’s no other experience like college.

After graduation, you will enter the next phase of your life and it’s something to be excited about.

The college experience has granted you the tools needed to tackle your ideal work field. With this being said, we must remember the motto, “One must crawl before they walk.” This basically means that you should prepare for humble beginnings, which I’ve heard could be some of the best times of your life and could also make for great stories in the future.

Also, remember that failure is required to achieve success. Jenny Blake, author of “Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want,” shares great tips on embracing failure in order to gain success after college.

“Falling is the only way to learn, and there is no ‘get out of jail free’ card,” Blake said. “Falling isn’t failing; it is trying and living, and that is surely something to be insanely proud of.”

Don’t grow frustrated when you’ve encountered a few setbacks and your timeline isn’t happening the way you planned it.

Many times we mistake setbacks for settling, but we must be patient to get where we need to be in due time.

If you happen to work as a receptionist at a company you want to be the CEO of, realize that your foot is in the door, and network your butt off.

If you find yourself frustrated while working an unpaid internship after college, remember that you are gaining experience. Sooner or later, you could become competition to others who are applying for the same job.

Remember that all experiences are beneficial. Although they may not be what you have envisioned, take the time to learn from them.

Don’t let statistics get you down. Graduation signifies that you came, saw, conquered and had a pretty good time doing it all.

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