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Expectations vs. Realities: Life After College | Undergrad Success
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Expectations vs. Realities: Life After College

Expectations vs. Realities: Life After College
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Congratulations college graduates! You’re finally done with school and off to the outside world! So, this leaves you hanging on between missing school and looking forward to what lies ahead in the future. It’s not going to be easy, and pretty sure, you’re expecting a lot with life after college.

Here are some common expectations and the realities that you must face with the life after college:

1. Expectations: “I’m free!”

Reality: Not really. Your young adult life is just beginning.

So, you finally graduated from college and off from school forever. You’re free from exams, assignments, and your professors’ intimidating looks. But this doesn’t mean that you’re let out into the world like a lion who escaped from the zoo. College graduation only ushers in one thing: the beginning of your life as a young adult. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re not as “free” as you think you are. You’ll have to look for work, maintain your day-to-day living, and battle it out with the rest of your peers who are in the same situation like you.

But don’t think of it as a dreary experience. After all, the best things are still yet to come. Open your mind and soak yourself in the after-college adventure. Being open-minded is the first step in learning and experiencing things.

2. Expectations: “Pretty sure I’ll land a job immediately because of my major.”

Reality: Most of the time, your degree is not necessarily related to your job.

The job-hunting games start when you send out your resumes, then you get interviews that end with “I’ll call you.” Most of the time, you don’t get all the calls about a second or final interview or even a job offer. Add to that your competition, which is composed of fresh graduates, more experienced workers, and those going back to the work force after some hiatus. Job qualifications usually require some experience, but it doesn’t mean you won’t find a job anymore. You just have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity. Until then, persevere and keep on applying.

If you think your college major has to be related to your work experience, then you’re in for a surprise. A lot of people work at careers that doesn’t even have to do anything with their degrees. What matters most is your skills, expertise, and to adapt to changing circumstances. So it’s okay if you want to go for something that isn’t related to what you took up in college. Some Hollywood stars have college degrees and it has nothing to do with their work as of now.

Branch out, experience, and add that to your resume.

3. Expectations: “I’ll have lots of money!”

Reality: No, you have to learn to budget it just like with your college allowance before.

Earning on your own sounds like a great thing. But you’ll realize that you won’t be shopping right away once you get your first paycheck. You still have to make do with the budget you have as you fit it in with your daily living expenses. That teaches you to be responsible with your own money. Earning on your own means responsibility.

But hey, don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while for a job well done!

4. Expectations: “I’ll have friends just like in college.”

Reality: Not all people in the workplace will be your friends.

It’s so easy to make friends as a college student. You’ve got your dorm mates, classmates, orgmates, and people you meet at different events and gatherings.

But when you start to work, you might realize that you won’t be friends with all the people you work with. You also won’t like all of them! And that’s okay, because it teaches you to make friends wisely, while still maintaining a good interpersonal relationship with the people around you. This is a good way to learn from others, and that can help you grow in your career and personal life.

If you think you can always meet up with your college friends, well, it doesn’t happen all the time, as all of you are busy with your own lives. Use the power of social media to connect with your friends and still catch up with each other.

5. Expectations: “It’s gonna be hard out there.”

Reality: It is, but you have more options.

Life is always tough, but just keep at it. It isn’t easy to be out there without the comfort zones of your college institution. But face it: you have more options. If you don’t like your current job, you can look for a new one. If you want to study again or move somewhere else, you can always do so. Life goes on. Expose yourself to different opportunities, because that’s a way to grow and mature. Don’t think too much about your future and make yourself worried. Instead, appreciate the present and do your best always.

The life after college isn’t perfect. But being able to soak in your new experiences and finding the bright lining from it can make you better. Best of all, don’t expect a lot, and make things happen!


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Gradberry is the leading careers portal for student internships and new graduate jobs in the Middle East. The start up connects students, graduates, employers and Universities, and aims to mitigate youth unemployment in the region, by planting fruitful careers.

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