grad

Education is so incredibly vital. It opens countless doors, allows exposure to the world and helps children become better adults. Educators cannot be shown enough gratitude for all they have done and continue to do to educate. Both teachers and professors alike have led us to the long-awaited milestone – graduation. College feels like a lifetime commitment and then one morning you wake up and four years turns to four seconds as you prepare to walk across that stage.Cap

As the undergraduate experience ends, many feel anxiety mixed with relief. Some are lucky enough to have work lined up after graduation, others of us are not so lucky. Indeed.com becomes our new favorite website. As the job search begins it can start to feel daunting and discouraging if weeks go by and you have yet to secure any promising leads. I speak from personal experience when I say job searching feels like it should be a job in itself.

It’s easy to become discouraged when peers post about accomplishments and career advancements. However, you should not allow others’ lives to make you feel like yours is not as fulfilled. We follow a set path for so long that once we’ve graduated and can create our own path, and it can definitely be intimidating. That’s why, if you’re able, taking time off after graduation can be the perfect remedy. Here are five reasons why it is okay to take a breath after college:

  1. You’ve spent your entire life behind a desk.
  • After spending two decades in a classroom, the feeling of relief knowing it’s all over deserves a moment to take in. Enjoy yourself, relish in your achievements, appreciate everyone who helped get you this far.
  1. You are now in the “real world”, so take it all in.
  • “Welcome to the real world”, she said to me, condescendingly. Take a seat, take your life.” John Mayer’s song ‘No Such Thing’ sums it up nicely. Time to buckle in and figure out what the heck is next.
  1. If you’re like the most, you’ll spend much of your life working.
  • Unless you’re blessed enough to retire early or find the dream job that never feels like “working”, we’ll spend our lives working and earning. That isn’t meant to sound as daunting as it does but simply just take a second to rest and make a plan for yourself.
  1. Pursue your hobbies to the fullest/travel.
  • We know college allows very little free time. Between classes, studying for said classes, clubs & organizations, working and everything else that comes along with college, it’s hectic. Now that you have free time, use it to attack what you’ve been longing to do. Travel, learn a new skill, work part-time at a place you’ve always wanted to.
  1. Strengthen your resume.
  • After you have pursued all your interests, add them to your resume. Just because you may not be employed full-time yet doesn’t mean you are not working on improving yourself and the skillset you bring to the table.

Even if it can be overwhelming after graduation, it is even more liberating. You decide your next steps. It’s only the beginning. Who knows where the next opportunity could take you, and that’s the beauty of it. Everything after college is a new adventure, a new way to grow and learn – outside of the classroom.

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Katie Wallace is your typical millennial in the sense that she’s at home when she’s on social media. Or she’s literally at home watching Handmaid’s Tale or House of Cards.

You can usually find her at a local coffee shop as well as keeping up with Cincinnati’s favorite baby hippo: Fiona.

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