Congratulations! After years of hard work and hustle, you've graduated college. You've accomplished what you set out to do. You're making the transition from undergraduate student to new professional. How exciting ...or not?
If you're hoping to get started in your career right away, you're probably in the middle of job applications. This process can be exciting, stressful, frustrating, dull... or any combination of those things. It can also be the breeding grounds for some complicated emotions.
It doesn't need to be this way- read on for my top 3 ways to thrive and avoid postgrad angst.
1. Stay in the present moment
You will find a job! It feels like you won't, but if you are diligent in your job hunt, you will find success. In the meantime, you can either enjoy the free time or exist in a state of stress while you wait for the next step in your process.
Take advantage of this time by taking care of yourself and doing what you love. This is an amazing opportunity to explore your city, even if you don't want to or can't justify spending money. For example- Minneapolis and St. Paul were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation for their park systems. Minneapolis is rated as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the WORLD, and Minneapolis - St. Paul were just recently voted fittest city- which confuses me since they are two distinct cities- but I digress. Bottom line, if you're in the Twin Cities and have some time on your hands, get out and explore what we're blessed to have here. It's good for your body, mind, and spirit.
2. Be active- mentally, physically, relationally
Don't get stagnant. With all the parks and green spaces here, you could explore a new spot every day during your job search. It's a great way to see different areas of the cities. It's also a helpful way to manage anxiety- being outside (hello, sunshine and trees!) is super grounding and good for your whole self.
Staying mentally active is key. Your brain probably is craving a break from the intensity of undergraduate studies, but it's still important to keep up on current events and the happenings in your field. I subscribe to TheSkimm, a daily email blast covering the day's news. It's quick, breezy, and informative. Find some online publications that are relevant to your field or interests- this will keep you up-to-date on the last research and goings-on. Plus you could get some talking points for interviews or networking events.
3. Stay in your lane
This one is incredibly important. The playing field is pretty even while in college- everyone's working toward the same goal of graduation. The first summer postgrad in particular is wrought with comparison, competition, and anxiety about next steps.
Your friends and college classmates might be moving to new cities, taking time off to travel, starting grad school or a new job. All these things are valuable and great options. The problem comes in when we start to believe that someone else's choice is better than ours. Focus on yourself, your goals, and what you are doing each day. You'll feel more at peace when you stay in your lane.