The other day, I attended a hiring fair for a job on campus. This situation crammed 95 nervous students all going after the same job into one tense room. The small talk was very awkward. However, one student clearly stood out among the rest. His name was Bruno, and although we were advised to wear “less-constricting attire” due to the physical nature of the fair, he was wearing a suit with a neck tie and shoes shined to perfection. He rose his hand at every opportunity, asking purer-than-light-Miss-America-quoted questions. He made sure his rather shrill voice was heard during every group activity by grabbing the lead from anyone who tried to participate. He even did so much as to run to each room we were directed to, ensuring that he would be the first one greeted by the interviewers. Needless to say, we were all quite annoyed.
However, we couldn’t get too mad at Bruno for pulling whatever obnoxious tricks he had to make himself noticed. We were all secretly wishing that we had the audacity to be that aggressive, secretly questioning whether our hatred for him was misplaced insecurity at our own unpreparedness for the dog-eat-dog world. And, let’s face it, as college students, we are not prepared for it. We do not know what it takes to make it as a career-focused adult, because these past four years have been spent partying and pigging out with our friends, thinking that if we managed to wash and fold our laundry on the same day we were being responsible. Yet as graduation approaches, all seniors are inevitably faced with the same gripping question: What will I do now?
The idea that one can go right into the job market after being freshly weaned off of midterms and midnight trips to McDonalds is an artifact of the past. It is no secret that with the current state of the economy, the job market is less likely to let us, most of us having little to no experience. We got a degree in anthropology, what exactly did we expect? This, coupled with the debilitating fear that we will have to move back home after tasting freedom, creates what is commonly known as the “Post-Grad Syndrome.” This is the stress students who have recently graduated feel upon leaving the comforts of school and stepping into the next phase of adulthood. It is thus becoming more and more common for students to tack on additional majors and pursue higher degrees just so that they may avoid this awkward in-between stage. But the truth is that we will all have to make the transition sooner or later.
The purpose of this blog is to shed light on the different ways that students have coped with moving on from their undergraduate studies. Past, present and future post-grads will be able to give their input here and share valuable advice to help ease the growing pains. The job search is hard, but what is harder is understanding that it is just a phase that, with patience and planning, can be a lot less stressful than it seems. So, following Bruno’s lead, I will make an effort to find out the best tips for overcoming a fear of the unknown, and take the future into my own hands.