It is safe to say that when attending college one does not anticipate the moment of graduation to come, and when it does it is important to have a plan for the future.
With graduation slowly inching its way, May 17, 2018, many students are waiting for the first day of liberty and freedom. For many seniors or students graduating early, this is the day they have waited for.
So what can students do after they graduate? What should students pursue when they no longer have to attend classes? Lastly, how can students embrace their newfound freedom?
Most students understand that all of their lives they've had the privilege of relying on other people to make decisions for them, but now that graduation is over it is time to take the next step.
With the lack of college as a backbone, students should think about finding a job in their field or finding tasks to do while waiting for that time to come.
As graduating college students, the last question one wants to hear is, "So what are your plans after graduation?" or "How were the last few months of spring semester?" Many students expressed how long they have waited to finally brag about their achievement of a bachelor's degree.
Genesis Algaba, a senior studying communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in psychology, and Diane Loegal, a senior studying psychology with a minor in criminal justice, revealed her feelings about graduation.
Algaba: "I feel excited and a sense of accomplishment. I feel proud of myself honestly. It was a bumpy road, but I did it. Life after graduation looks scary, mainly because of my fear of the unknown and also because student loans are about to hit me in the face. A lot of the fear has to do with societal expectations telling you that you should be ready to have everything figured out as soon as you walk on stage. But it's not like that at all, so if we don't have it all figured out, it's pretty nerve-wracking. But that's all on the pessimistic side. Life after graduation is a path filled with opportunities, a blank slate. You get a chance to discover yourself and truly find what you want to do with life."
Loegal: "My first thought when thinking about graduation is that it will be a bittersweet experience. On one hand, I am happy to be done and have my bachelor's degree, but on the other hand I am also going to miss Kean and all the people I have met here. As for life after graduation, I know that my life is going to be very different, as I had a job on campus as well, and was basically at Kean six days a week."
Algaba: "I want to do public policy development and government affairs. That's ultimately my game plan. But I want to achieve a few things personally and professionally. I want to be able to have a career that supports me and allows me to give back to my community. I see myself being involved in my hometown."
Loegal: "After graduation I want to go to grad school for forensic psychology, but am still waiting for a response from grad school. The wait makes me extremely anxious, but my next goal is to get a master's degree in forensic psychology."
Algaba: "I have set high expectations on where I want to be after graduation and what I want to do that if one thing fails, I feel like everything else will fall apart and that's pretty scary. You never know what's going to happen," said Algaba. "You might intend to go one way and life might take the other way. On a lighter note, I'm scared of 'growing up.' I'm a year ahead of my class so I'm moving on before most of [my] friends do. While they're still young and wild, I have to start 'growing up" so that scares me a little. I'm only 21. I'm still a kid, so I'm a little afraid of adulting, paying bills, and all that good stuff that comes with being an adult."
Loegal: "My fear right now is that I won't be able to afford grad school plus all the loans I have to pay off for Kean. My advice to students now is to always believe in yourself and always push yourself a little further. No dream is too big!"
Algaba: "It's also not a race. It's not about finishing first. It's about enjoying the ride and taking it in. College went by so fast for me, so I'd say hang on to every moment; learn as much as you can from the professors in the industry, from career services — pretty much anyone who can provide helpful information. Take advantage of every resource available on campus and network, network, network!"
Life after graduation doesn't have to be stressful or intimidating. It can be just as fun as college!