It is different from when you leave school because my parents were still helping me make decisions then: what college I want to go to, how to apply, and what degree to study. But now, three years later, I have got the taste of independence and a sense of how to live away from family. But even then, I was in a secure environment, in a hostel. And there was still direction and purpose in my life: these three years were spent passing classes, building a social life, and generally feeling quite free. The question now that looms ahead of me is what next? I entered college as one person and am leaving as another and dealing with that can be tough. Here are a few tips that I have found helpful in dealing with this anxiety:
Things don’t always go according to plan.
First off, it’s completely okay if you don’t have a carefully detailed plan about what you are going to do after college. I know, it may feel like you are supposed to, or your parents may make you feel so, but it is completely okay to not have one. Graduating college is in itself an incredible achievement and you should be proud of yourself for that. Having a general sense of direction may be helpful but is in no way a necessity. Even if you do have a plan, things may not always go exactly according to plan. You may not get into your desired college for further study, or you might not get the job you want directly out of college, and that’s alright. Life is unpredictable. What matters is adapting to change. It is impossible to be ready for any and all things that life may throw at us, and you must go easy on yourself for that. If you don’t have a plan, that’s alright, and if you do, it’s okay if things don’t go according to plan.
Take time to know yourself!
College is an interesting time. You are usually constantly surrounded by your friends or at least people of a similar age. Many times, it often happens that when molding yourself to become a part of a group, you often lose touch of who it is you are. It is incredibly helpful if you take some time off from everything after college. Usually, you have a month to spare after graduating. During this time, learn to spend time with yourself, explore what you like and what you don’t like. Adult independent life can get incredibly lonely at times, and knowing who you are and being comfortable with that goes a long way in making periods of loneliness bearable. This is not to say completely cut all contact with your college friends. Of course, it is always fun to hang out with them, but in all that, take time to become comfortable with yourself.
You won’t be in touch with some of your friends – and that’s okay.
One of the toughest realities to accept after college ends is that you will lose touch with some of your friends: and that’s completely okay. Leaving college is turning over a brand-new page in your life, and that means a new adventure. It is kind of similar to when you leave school, in knowing that you may be seeing some of these people who you have spent a great deal of time for the very last time. But like when you left school, you met new people in college. And that’s exactly how it will be when you leave college. Some of your current best friends may not carry on into your adult life, but that means you will find new friends. And that’s okay.
Lots of free time: use it wisely.
Finally, in college, most of your time is spent in going to classes, completing assignments, attending various college events, hanging out with friends or just generally relaxing. And all of that is perfectly okay, college can be incredibly stressful, and some relaxation is well earned. However, once you are independent and working or studying at a higher level, you will find you have a lot of free time in your life. This time must be used wisely. You can use it to relax, work, build a skill, or participate in social activities, all of which are perfectly okay to do.
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