nos tal gia (noun): pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing you could experience it again
Often a sentiment associated with one’s memories of a ‘simpler time’ in most cases, nostalgia has surely swept over GSSE’s first ever almost graduates; Cohort 1. These will be the days which I am sure we will all at some point after we graduate, look back at and yearn for once we’re out into “THE REAL WORLD” Surely, we have all been terrified of this real world that we’ll eventually be ejected to and the very idea of having a 9 to 5 job (probably after a million job interviews) when we’re still passing our days binging on Netflix, is unsettling to say the least. So what is it really like being out there? What are you really going to feel like once you’ve got that golden scroll in your hand?
Mercifully, I took a gap year before joining GSSE, leading me to know people who have already been ejected to the ‘real world’ and are prepared to give us answers. So I reached out to my peers and brought to you some stories from people who have the know-how of managing life right after graduation along with some pro tips that you may find useful.
How did you feel after graduation?
“It was very difficult to get over the fact that college was over. No more waking up early, no more assignments and no more all-nighters: being stress-free was a strange feeling. But this fizzled out in a day or two. I had to start looking for a job. Everyone asked me, What’s next? What now? I chose to contact an office I had previously interned at since I was scared of being rejected and did not want to send my CV to new places. I felt like I was not competent or experienced enough to be hired. I didn’t stay unemployed for long though. A week after I graduated, I had a job.”
What is life like now?
“It’s been more than seven months at this place. The 9-5 job gets monotonous, but I don’t really mind it. Of course the downside of having a job is I get to have fun and let loose less often. But the upside is, I am independent and it feels great when I don’t have to trouble my parents for money. I am learning every day.”
What changed for you after graduation?
“Soon after I graduated, I suddenly realized that I had woken up from my comfortable dream and now I’m on my way to enter the reality where things were just not the way I expected them to be. I had this preconceived idea that I could easily find myself a good job, acceptance from best university possible and could work according to the timeline myself had created for my future. But like I said, things were not going to be easy as I thought back when I was in my undergraduate years. This expectation I had changed. It was getting difficult for me to get a decent job according to my qualifications and I had to face quite a few rejections as I had no work experience. Applying for graduate school has also not been an easy road. So I would say that the idea I had of what life after graduation would be like has changed.”
What did you do to prepare yourself for life after graduating college?
“Unlike usual graduates, getting out of college did not leave me with any mixed feelings as for me, what I looked forward to achieving in life was never dependent on my degree. Yes, it was undoubtedly relevant to my long-term goals but I had always prepared myself in a way that allowed me to not freak out as to what I was next after graduation. Life has certainly gotten more interesting after that and there has been no looking back. I prepared myself by mobilizing all my links and experiences and working all my connections to take myself to a more professional level. In short, the expertise and networks gathered for a span of four years was what I utilized to establish an identity of my own. ”
What have you learnt so far?
“Alright, so the first thing that I realized was that your achievements stop becoming a vertical climb. Like moving from the first grade to the fourth is a quantifiable (in numbers) achievement. Once you graduate, it is more of a horizontal movement. You do not have these yearly measurements of achievement but I’ve learnt you have to create movement, you have to believe and ensure that you are moving. Progress and achievements then can be measured if we look inwards, not outwards. I’ve learnt that these stop becoming aspects of comparison between two different people on a different journey.”
Pro Tips :
- After graduation, take a few months off. You will really need it.
- Start researching for your job application/grad school application during your last semester and not after graduating (for those who don’t want a gap year). Else start applying for jobs during that time.
- Get your CV ready. Get it reviewed by someone who had had at least 5-6 years of work experience in the field of your choice.
- Tailor your CV for specific jobs.
- Apply to as many jobs as you can, let that number be as high as possible.
- And prepare yourself to hit the hard reality. Life gets different once you actually graduate. But remember, it is you who takes control.