Dealing with the graduation crisis: ways to smooth the growing-up blues

Caitlyn Berman

So here we are, approaching the time we always thought was “out there” — graduation. Our entire lives have been based in the structure of school, and now we have to make our own paths in the real world. Whether graduating this December or next spring, this new phase of maturity can be a turbulent transition for some. Here is a list of helpful steps to smooth the growing-up blues.

1. Get Linkedin

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An easy and effective way to start your professional career is by engaging in a professional network. Linkedin is like a business-friendly Facebook, only your profile photo isn’t of you getting drunk at the local bars. It offers a space where an expansive web of companies, affiliates and professionals can learn about opportunities and happenings on the job market.

2. Equip your closet

Ever heard the phrase “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” Dressing professionally can actually help your mental position, both giving you a confidence boost while also portraying to others your sense of agency.

3. Cast your net wide

The beauty of technology is its ability to inform and connect. Websites like indeed.com and Monster are great resources for those looking for new jobs. However, be open to jobs that may not fit your exact specifications. The wider the pool of companies you send your resume to, the better chance you’ll actually hear back from one of them.

4. Research

A key point for any aspiring employee is to research the company you are interested in working for. Knowing what the company stands for or values will be helpful in tailoring your resume to highlight similar values. A quick Google search can provide relevant information to reference in job interviews, making you stand out as a serious candidate.

5. Exude confidence

Let’s be real. Most of us will have little to no idea of how real companies conduct real business upon entering the workforce. Yet presenting yourself confidently will improve your presence in job interviews, new workspaces or in tackling new tasks. A chin-high approach will ensure others that you are capable and up to the challenge, while perhaps even convincing yourself you are, as well.

6. Keep some things the same

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A new job doesn’t have to mean a complete abandonment of your identity. Keep in place fun things that remind you of who you are outside of the workplace. Stay engaged in friend circles, keep up on wholesome hobbies and plan fun getaways. Websites like meetup.com offer fun, creative, group-centered events for people in near-by areas. No need to let the stress of new responsibility swallow you whole.

Overall, the associations that come along with graduation (bills, responsibility, real jobs and sometimes new locations) can seem daunting and unwelcomed. However, there are great freedoms that come with this phase too, and knowing how to handle the transition will be key in taming the graduation blues.

Collegian A&E Writer Caitlyn Berman can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CaitlynBerman.