Graduation 101: Steps in preparing for Life After College. Are you Ready?

It’s about that time, graduating from college is a milestone in every student’s life. The thought of stepping into “the real world” is exciting and scary all at once. The truth is, there are no instructions on how to maneuver in life after college.

It’s best to do as much research as you can.

If you don’t have a plan or a road map as to what direction you want to take after you get our diploma, you are not alone. Lots of graduates struggle every day with managing their finances, finding a job, relationships, their health, and deciding where they want to relocate to.

According to the book The After-College Guide to Life by Carole Bober Everett and Tracy Cummings Harkins, here is a list of steps you can take to help you prepare for life after college:

  1. Relax: Most of your peers are experiencing the same fear about being out in the world on their own. It’s normal to feel anxious about leaving a secure environment and making a huge change.

  2. Talk to people: Talk about your anxiety to people such as your professors, counselors, and other student affairs professionals such as resident assistants. Friends and relative who graduated college can give you sound advice too!

  3. Think about your future: Try to think about what you want to do for the rest of your life. Choosing a career is like picking your college major. The majority of people don’t what to do with the rest of their lives. A lot of people change their careers several times until they find one they can stick to. Most people find great jobs that have nothing to do with what they majored in while at college!

  4. Write down ideas and plans: After thinking about your future plans, make a list. Start by writing down your strengths and weaknesses. Making lists will help your organize your thoughts, discover your preferences, examine your achievements, and shape your future.

  5. Do some research: Always do research before attempting to move to a new location and even starting a new job. Ask questions if you need to.

  6. Visit the alumni office: This is a very resourceful, and often overlooked, option. A lot of alumni feel obligated to help graduates from their alma mater.

  7. Enjoy your senior year: You can only worry so much about the future. So have some fun. You only graduate from college as an undergrad once!

So, are you ready?


  • Tamara Jackson was born in Houston, TX and raised in Buffalo, NY. At an early age, she realized her love for words. She began writing poetry which evolved into songs, then skits, then plays, then screenplays. Currently, Tamara is a graduate student at Savannah College of Art and Design where she is working towards her MFA in performing arts. She is writing her first book. (Update: She graduated from SCAD in 2012).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

How to Survive Graduate School: The List to Live By

Next Story

In Pursuit Of Your Purpose: Defining Life’s Relationships

Latest from COLLEGE LIFE