Preparation for graduation

Jasmin Mitchell, Staff Writer

I know for some of you, myself included, graduation is right around the corner.

Some of you might think that graduating is the best thing that can happen to you. You’re about to have your diploma in your hand, and you can finally look in the mirror and say, “I made it!”

This is an exhilarating feeling, and although I can’t wait for that day, I’m a bit terrified of the steps to come. Many other college students have this same fear and feel unprepared for life after graduation.

I have many friends who tell me that I shouldn’t rush graduation day. When that day does come, adult responsibilities quickly become reality.

Being a college graduate isn’t as easy as people make it seem. Once you’ve earned your degree, the next step is to either go back to school or advance your career.

However, it’s hard for new graduates to find good jobs. Most college graduates can’t jump into their careers immediately after graduation, largely due to a lack of experience. Because of this lack of experience, students often find themselves having to work multiple jobs in various fields just to get by.

It is getting harder to live on your own. That is why college graduates are staying at home more often, even if they have a paying job. Moving back home, even though it is something most people want to avoid, is often a better decision financially.

It is crucial to start planning your life financially before you graduate college. You must have your short-term goals in place so you don’t have to spend much time trying to figure out what your next move is going to be. If moving back home is a possible next step, take advantage of that opportunity. This time around, it probably won’t be full of chores, curfews or bedtimes. It will most likely be about building your money by saving, saving and some more saving.

I realized as I got older that saving money is crucial to be financially secure. I plan to take full advantage of being home with my parents after I graduate. I know it’s not a permanent decision, but I am thankful that they are in no hurry to get me out the house and are willing to wait until I am ready to live on my own.

Another important thing to do before you graduate is gain some experience in your field. Employers expect you to have knowledge about the job for which you’re applying, even though they know you’re fresh out of college and probably can’t get much experience. However, making sure that you have completed a couple of internships can be beneficial. Internships allow you to gain experience and knowledge in your field while learning how to network, and they are the best way to meet employers and community leaders. Having those kinds of connections is crucial to finding employment.

While all of these steps in earning a degree only pile on top of an already heavy load of classes, making smart decisions before you graduate will be worth it when you earn that dream job and enjoy what you do.