Life After College - There’s More to It

By Algonquin College Modified on May 03, 2019

You’re graduating! Here’s some insight on life after college.

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You’ve almost reached the end of the tunnel. You’re so close to winning you can almost feel the trophy in your hands, and the medal on your chest. In this case, winning would be graduating, and the trophy would be a diploma. Regardless, you’re almost done school! That’s awesome. You might be wondering what comes next. Here’s some insight.

“[...] palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.”
Well, not paranoia per say. It’s more like impending doom. You might feel as though you always have an assignment due. Some new grads feel guilty about relaxing, but don’t sweat it! You can actually enjoy your weekends and time off now! Chill out, bud.

“You gotta put in work.”
Now that you’re done studying, it’s time for the grand prize. The reason you put yourself through this. The thing you’ve been waiting for all this time. Work. Yes, welcome to the wonderful world of the workforce.

You’re probably used to working hard, and that’s great! The most successful grads are those who genuinely care about the field they studied. They’ve got connections, they have experience in the industry. The key to doing this is networking, and accepting any position that is even remotely related to your field, even before graduating. If you graduate with experience may it be your co-op/field placement or even a part-time job, you’re setting yourself up for a long and successful career.

Once you graduate you’ll likely start in an entry position, and that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. Prove your worth and work hard. Now’s the time to show off all the skills you learned in school. Do what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Set realistic goals for yourself and never lose sight of them. This guy sums it up nicely.

Dress for success
You’ll feel like a deer in the headlights your first few weeks on the job, but that doesn’t mean you should look like one. Fake it ‘til you make it, baby. No one has to know that you’re screaming internally. You can scream externally when you get home. For now, focus on looking the part. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If that means coming to work in a suit and tie, then get your monkey suit on and get to work. Do something that makes you feel confident. Maybe it’s wearing a bold red lip, or some wacky socks. Maybe it’s staying active and getting fit. If it will help, try it.

Having a nice wardrobe comes with a literal price. This seems like a nice segue to our next topic:

Scrooge McDuck has a point
Being frugal will definitely come in handy at the start of your career. Remember, you’re new to this having money thing, so don’t spend it all in one place. Learn to cook fun recipes at home, use discount codes and coupons, take the bus or walk. There are so many ways to save money, pick a few and stick to ‘em.

To avoid paying thousands in interest on your OSAP or other loans, try to pay them off as soon as possible. Don’t look at the big scary number, take it one payment at a time. You’ll thank us later.

Don’t forget to have fun. Being a productive member of society may sound like a lot of work but we all have to cut loose every now and then. If that means grabbing a drink with some friends, jogging in the park, eating a decadent chocolate cake, or sleeping in a few more hours... go for it. You’re only human. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. We have so much faith in you. You’re going to do amazing, pal. Look how far you’ve come. Congrats.

By Chelsie McHugh