No longer a college student, or any student for that matter, I have finally fully accepted the fact that I am now an adult living in the real world with endless opportunities. But because of the abundance of opportunities I can choose to pursue as a millennial, I have been struggling with how to answer the infamous senior year question: what are your post-graduation plans?
To be honest, my answer to that question is one that people constantly challenge; in other words, I do not have an answer. In fact, you could say that I am unsure of what I want to do, even as a college graduate. Of course, I have dreams and life goals and a vision for how I want to live my life. I just don’t know which direction to go in pursuit of those.
With that, I have now taken a whole month (and then some) to travel, clear my head, find my passions and figure out where I want to be. I have been spending my days with friends and family, writing more freely as a freelancer and a contributor, volunteering with organizations I am passionate for and seeing the world. To put it simply, I have never been happier.
As graduation neared and May quickly came and went, I panicked at my inability to line up my first job as a post-graduate. I had been conscious of the fact that a handful of my friends would graduate with jobs while others decided to attend graduate and Ph.D programs in the fall. Many, like me, were actively seeking employment while taking the summer to de-stress, relax and enjoy life without the confinement of academic expectations.
Over time, I began to worry less about the future (a very bad habit of mine) and live a little more in the present. That did not mean foregoing the search for a full-time job, but being more open-minded and broad in terms of what I want to learn and where I want to be. Really, I have found that it is about having more confidence in my abilities and skills. For me, the time off has allowed me to re-evaluate my career path and re-assess my strengths and weaknesses. As a result, I have been able to apply to jobs that best fit my needs and skills, and it sure feels great when you receive invitations for an interview.
I believe taking the time for yourself post-graduation is necessary because it can help to reposition where you are in your life. Obviously a time of transition, I feel that I have learned more about myself than at any other time in my life. So, to those who are stressed over the fact that they may not start a job immediately after graduation, I say that it is okay to take a couple weeks to do what it is you have wanted to do. See a new country, take a road trip or stay up all night reading your favorite book.
A job search just might become a little less stressful if you really evaluate and understand yourself. Of course, a positive attitude that everything will work out is helpful, too. l am satisfied with the decision to take time off after graduation. After fifteen years of schooling, I can finally focus on myself, career and aspirations.
My name is Sara Kim, a recent graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. I majored in journalism with a double minor in Health Policy & Management and Asian American Studies. In my free time, I enjoy working out, reading books, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: I am a foodie and love to try out new places and recipes.