Graduates adjust to ‘the real world’
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 13:05
Now that finals are over, and the graduation ceremony is eminent, the three words you’ve been putting off are finally screaming in your face: the real world.
There’s no doubt that it’ll be an adjustment entering this “real world.” It’s a dangerous place where the buses won’t tell you when they’re turning, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a judgment-free ride home on Saturday night. But there’s hope, because the real world doesn’t demand you fit your life into what seems like a 10x10-foot jail cell. That means you can paint the walls, get rid of any previously used furniture or beds and finally drill holes in the walls.
Possibly the most daunting aspect of the real world for graduates is landing that dream job. If you don’t know where to start, look to others for ideas or examples. If you’re not sure that you’re ready to commit to a specific career yet, try an internship or a job that’s a little different than the one you’re uncertain about. You could end up loving the new direction or realizing that you were right the first time, but you’ll add a couple lines to the experience section of your resume either way.
The most popular way graduates acclimatize themselves to the real world is, not surprisingly, procrastination. Many graduates are moving back home, such as recent kinesiology graduate Katie Histen. Though she’ll be attending graduate school at UConn in the fall, she’s moving home “for the free food and free rent.”
Another student going to graduate school in the fall is John Tyczkowski, who stressed that while he’s “not hiding” from the job and housing markets, he’s glad to be avoiding them for the time being.
“I would only hurt myself jumping into jobs and housing before I have the necessary degree to get enough money to sustain that lifestyle,” says Tyczkowski.
Finances are definitely an overwhelming burden that students associate with this major transitory period, and many feel that they do not have a strong enough foundation, whether in savings or in job status to embark on their own quite yet.
“Everyone keeps telling me that I have to start saving for retirement now. Plus having to buy a better car and moving out on my own?” says Ashley Dorman, a marketing graduate this year. “Seems like a lot to keep track of when all I had to worry about in college was my cell phone bill, gas, and car insurance.”
Regardless of whether you or your friends are living at home or striking out on your own, one thing is for certain. They probably won’t be down the hall or a two-minute walk to a different Hilltop Apartment.
“I’m going to miss having all my friends so close by,” expressed environmental science graduate Lisa Halpin. “It’s hard to get together when everyone’s so scattered.”
The real world can mean separation by towns or states from your regular friends, or even people your age as you enter the corporate world. Keeping the relationships you have made during your time here can mean important personal and professional connections in the years to come.
The best thing to keep in mind is that this is a transition. It’s not always going to go smoothly, and it’s a chance to experience new things. Embrace the change.