Here’s why I find catharsis in that: We’re all in this together. We’re all lost. We’re all wandering through the woods. Some us are just able to make it seem like we have a better map. Even your friends who you think are more successful than you might be looking at your Facebook profile right now, envying the life you have.
Of course I am not denying that we are having different experiences, but that doesn’t mean we don’t share the same feelings. My experience as a college graduate with a history degree is much different than my friends who have business or engineering degrees. Especially when I consider that fact that the unemployment rate for graduates with history degrees in the U.S. is 9.5%. But when I talk to them, whether they studied in the U.S., Europe, or the Middle East, they share the same fears and worries that I do.
Do not be fooled into thinking that your major is a limit to your job search. You need to think outside the box. If you are set on looking for a job immediately after graduation, look for a job that fits into your skills you developed in school, not a job with your major in its title. As mentioned above, I am a history major. When I am looking for jobs and internships, I am not looking for jobs in the history field; I am looking for companies and or organizations that seek individuals who are strong in critical thinking, writing, and have a solution-oriented attitude.
I have been out of college for nearly three years, and what I’ve discovered is that we have our whole lives ahead of us. We do not need to lose sleep over where we will be when we are older. The college-work-retirement paradigm is shifting, so here are a few things I suggest doing when you first get out of college.
- I have learned so much through traveling. Things I could never have learned in a classroom. From talking to strangers, to learning about various cultures and histories, traveling when you’re young means you have the ability to travel with the least responsibility.
- Learn a new skill
- Whether it’s learning how to Code, learning a new language, or a musical instrument. You should never stop learning. Your college degree is just the beginning of your education.
- Work in a field that doesn’t require a college degree
- It’s a humbling experience. I learned that every single person has a different path and interpretation to success. I have also grown as a person by applying what I learned in school (such as conflict resolution) to the workplace.
- If you’re curious about what life is like in a certain job field, get your foot in the door and look for internships. A lot of websites offer hundreds of opportunities in internships, scholarships, and conferences.
- Freelance a skill you’re already good at
- Are you a writer? Photographer? Graphic designer? Even if it’s something you do in your spare time, there is a market and demand for these skills. Utilize them.
- Start Your Own Business
- With the amount of youth unemployment that is currently being experienced, I feel like now more than ever is the easiest (and most important) time to start a business. The resources for starting your own online business are exponential, and the advancement in technology allows for you to work at home or anywhere in the world.
- Invest Your Money
- Start a savings account immediately (even if it’s a small amount each month) and look for various ways you can invest your money in areas you feel are most beneficial. It’s not just about saving money; it’s about making more of it.
- And in Your Health
- More important than anything is your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Invest in them. Take time to exercise, meditate or pray, and sharpen your critical thinking every day of your life.
More than anything, remember that you’re not alone. It will get better. Just don’t give up. You got this.