a group of college graduates after graduation throwing their mortarboards in the air

How To Stay Motivated After Graduation

After college, the path you need to follow may seem blocked or unclear. Here's how to find the way to your desired future.

Life after graduation is unpredictable for every college student. The majority of younger millennials and Gen Z are either trying to figure things out or get jobs. Post-grad life can offer a smooth transition only if a student has a goal and a plan. Being out of college and not having a routine to follow is nice. However, how can a student stay motivated after graduation?

You just graduated, walked on stage and received a diploma while everyone cheered for you. You felt accomplished and thought about how hard it was to get to where you are today. The memories of sleepless nights, the parties, hanging out with friends, and just living life come rushing back. Now all that is over and you are no longer a college student; you’re entering the real world. Decisions must be made and it’s on you to make things work out for you. Now, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of adulthood. However, post-grad life is an exciting experience, so allow yourself to have a great time. Deciding what you want to do with your degree is number one on the list. You have a degree but no job, so the job search becomes your top priority. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but you must try.

The huge transition to life after graduation can cause any college student to go through an emotional roller coaster of self-discovery. At this point, recent graduates may feel stressed and unmotivated, leaving them questioning their identity. Nishimwe Cheery, a recent graduate that majored in psychology and minored in sociology, talked to me about her experience.

What were your plans after graduation?

“My plans after graduation were to get a job and later go to graduate school. I did get a job but my plans for graduate school changed because as I was in the program, I figured out that it wasn’t for me. Therefore, I decided to leave the program and it’s the best decision I ever made.”

Did you ever feel overwhelmed with the idea of having to look for jobs or internships?

“I really felt overwhelmed because it’s really hard to look for a job after college. It takes about 3 – 6 months to find a job and that’s how long it took me. I was working as a part-time waitress while looking for jobs and it was horrible. A lot [of] things kept me motivated and I had friends that were supporting me along with my family. Being hopeful was a major thing and I applied to a lot of places almost every week!”

What advice would you give a recent graduate?

“The advice I would give is that, yes, you are going to lose hope and motivation along the way but all you can do is keep going because you have a vision of what you want to achieve; if you still have that vision it means you want to continue.”

Five Tips on Staying Motivated After Graduation

1. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

You just graduated from college — can you believe that? This is an accomplishment that should be celebrated. You did it, you made it. Reward yourself for your hard work, dedication, discipline and for not giving up. Congratulations on completing your degree!

2. Define Your Goal

What do you want to do with your degree? Have a goal, plan, and take action to get what you want. Write down your plan and make it happen. Once you decide what you want to do with your degree, you must start applying to jobs. Talk to friends and family in the field to help research your career goals.

3. Create a New Routine

After graduation, you no longer follow a school routine, so you have to develop your own. For some recent graduates, life after graduation involves catching up on sleep, being lazy, and enjoying post-grad life. During this time, things don’t get done, like job hunting or finding something to do to give you a sense of purpose. Creating a routine, including establishing when you wake up and when you go to bed, is vital. In between, find something to do like job hunting, volunteering, or working a part-time job until you find something else. Furthermore, building a routine and actively doing something will help any recent graduate not feel behind.

4. Find Social Support

Not all students have parents that have connections. However, that should not discourage anyone from creating a social group that will support them. This can include friends, family, mentors and teachers. Friends and family can let you know when they see something related to your major; a mentor or a teacher might also do the same thing, but it depends on how close you are with them. Usually, the relationship is professional so consider emailing them and asking for advice.

5. Minimize Distractions

A majority of students spend most of their time either watching Netflix or using social media. But what if that time was put into creating the life that they want? For most people, social media holds them back because they spend most of their time there. It can be harmful to compare yourself to people you don’t know too well. To create a life that is comfortable, a person must minimize the things that distract them. Focus on the most important matter: your life.

Amandine Shadia, The University of Arizona Global Campus

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Amandine Shadia

The University of Arizona Global Campus
Journalim and Mass Communication

Amandine Shadia is a courageous writer who loves to educate herself about many topics. Shadia can take on both bad or good that comes in her life. She is a senior at The University of Arizona Global Campus.

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