Post-Grad Life: Making It Through Tough Times In Transition

By Sophie Theis (staff)

Life is full of transition – school transitions, work transitions. People change jobs, change schools, make big decisions, and with each of these decisions can come stress and anxiety. One big transition is life after college. All over social media and in the spotlight are stories of people I knew who graduated and had that amazing job right off the bat. The transition from college life to adult life was smooth for them. For me this was not the case, not everyone lands that big job right out of college.

After spending years in a college environment, the search to find a job was stressful for me. The job market is full of people with more or less experience all fighting for the same few jobs. Applying to job after job after job became emotionally draining when very few gave me an answer. Like the feeling of rejection and inadequacy or being left on “read” when texting a friend, you can be left wondering “why do they not want to hire me?” I really had to remember that I was not the only one going through this. There were plenty of my friends and peers out there in the same place as me.

Long months were spent of my time searching and hoping someone would pick me. Living with my parents left me feeling even more stressed to finally move on from college life and find that post-grad career. As someone who has recently gone through one of these transitions, here is what I learned throughout the journey:

  • Apply, even if you don’t think you qualify. In the sea full of applicants, even if I didn’t think I qualified, you never know what could stand out to the hiring manager. It’s always good to keep options open. Believing in yourself, in your abilities, will get you through all of the applications.
  • Be proud of your accomplishments. Graduating college is a big deal on its own. I made it through with hard work and determination. That shiny piece of paper with my name on it is something I needed to be proud of and help motivate me in my job search. You worked hard to get your degree, through the years of papers, projects, and exams, use that to make you feel good.
  • Be self-compassionate. Comparing yourself to others can do more harm than good. Scrolling through social media we see everyone doing big things with their lives, getting married, having kids, scoring that great post-grad job. Remember that the internet is full of people only showing a highlight reel of their lives. Very few, if anyone, will post the bad online for the world to see, behind the positive posts could be something quite the opposite. We are all on our own journies, comparing yourself to someone else’s journey is not fair to yourself.
  • Keep hopeful. Remember that an opportunity will come. You may not see light at the end of the tunnel, but good things will come. I got very lucky, in the 8th month of my search a great opportunity came into my life and I finally got my foot in the door with my job here at MHANYS.
  • Take time for yourself. Self-care is not always a warm bath and a face mask. It can be reading a new book, spending time with friends, going on a trip, going on a hike, playing a sport, or eating your favorite food. One thing that kept my head in the game during my long 8 months was falling in love with fitness. I started going to the gym and lifting weights, which helped not only my mental health but my physical health as well.

Searching for a job after college can seem daunting and stressful almost as if it is a neverending search. Remaining positive and reminding yourself of the positive milestones in your life can be an aid in pushing through down times. As cliche as this may sound, it is important to remember that life is full of ups and downs. One day at a time, one job posting at a time, your big break will come.