As a recent college graduate from a Big 10 university, I know how stressful and exciting those last few months of campus life can be. It’s a whirlwind of emotions.
In the middle of trying to take in all the sights and scenes before I left a place I called home for the last four years, I had to stop and consider what the next step was. Once I received my diploma, I was faced with the decision of whether to immediately start my career, attend grad school or take time to travel the world. But transitioning from a free-spirited undergrad to a professional with a bachelor’s degree was tougher than I thought!
My senior semester was dedicated to a lot of job applications and cover letters, but I didn’t have a full-time job waiting for me once I left Bloomington. I learned quickly that I didn’t have enough money to travel the world just like that. And realistically, the idea of grad school came and went. So I decidedly returned back to my hometown of Indianapolis to start working in a restaurant in Fountain Square. I didn’t need my Telecommunications degree to be a hostess, but it took a great deal of personal reflection to convince myself that this was the best decision to make. After spending countless hours applying again for jobs and asking my parents for advice, I became worried about where I was going to make a living.
During those first few nerve-wracking months, I learned one of the most important life lessons that I will always carry with me. I had to stop comparing myself to others and their accomplishments. My collegiate and professional path is exactly that. Mine.
I knew I wasn’t going to find happiness waiting for an opportunity to come my way. I grew to love my weaknesses just as much as my strengths, and I used that to my advantage. When I thought there was surely no company that wanted to hire me, I almost instantly got three job interviews within the same week! Then, I received two job offers a week later. Two?! Didn’t see that coming.
That’s when I realized how silly it was wasting so much time worrying when things were already in the works for my success. Each employer was truly impressed with what I had to offer, and that feedback felt amazing. I knew my efforts were not ignored. And I’m more than thankful with the way things turned out, because I ended up with an ideal internship working for IndianaINTERN.net.
So if there is anything you take away from my experiences after graduation, understand that the transition from college to career is tough, but the reward is astronomical. Stay positive and keep moving forward!