Seniors all over the country are facing the reality that the days of being a young college student are numbered.
For many seniors at Utica College, post-grad life is an unknown world that the professors and faculty have prepared them to venture into. The uncertainty of postgrad life is the premise of many students’ nightmares.
It is normal to find a senior avoiding conversation at family gatherings in an effort to dodge dreaded questions such as “So what are your plans after graduation?” Or, “What do you want to do with your degree?”
While it would be nice for students to wave their degrees around like a magic wand, appearing as an adult at the prime of their careers, the reality is, few seniors have cracked the code to achieving a smooth transition into postgrad life.
The uncertainty of what life will be like after graduation is enough to send seniors into a panic. Anxiousness is common for anyone ending a journey and starting a new one. The idea of graduating and starting a new journey can be scary and exciting.
Most seniors who are gearing up to hit the real world wrestle with the same fears and doubts when it comes to graduating. It may be comforting to know they are not alone. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an estimated 1.8 million students will be awarded their bachelor’s degree this year.
Many students are fearful they are not fully ready to enter the real world as young professionals. Others are confident that their experience at UC has provided them with the building blocks needed to pave the way for future success.
“The small class sizes here helped me pay attention to detail and stay organized, which I think is a skill that will be helpful after graduation,” senior Dain Heath said. “The professors notice if you slip up the same way your employers will in the real world.”
Paying student loans is a reality of post-grad life that college students everywhere are afraid to face. The Wall Street Journal reported that 71 percent of 2015 graduates graduated with a student loan. Student Financial Services provides resources to help guide seniors through the loan payment process.
Choosing a career path and climbing the professional ladder are other concerns for some seniors.
“Being from New York City, the job hunt is going to be crazy because it’s so competitive,” psychology senior Breana Griffin said. “I try not to think about it too much; I’m just going to go after it.”
Career Services also provides resources such as editing resumes and helping students connect with alumni. These are just some of many initiatives to help minimize pre-graduation anxiety.
For seniors pursuing careers that require more education, the notion of entering the real world as a recent graduate is a distant reality. However, they sympathize with their peers who have reached the end of their academic career.
“I have to go to OT school, so I have some time before I’m in the work field,” senior Tanaesja Milligan said. “I do hate hearing my peers get asked what their plans are after graduation. It makes me feel bad for people graduating without a plan.”
Whether pursuing a doctorate or starting a career, the journey of life begins once graduating seniors walk across the commencement stage and turn their tassels.