Graduation is that crazy, exciting time when major change comes rushing at you, and there’s no pressing on the breaks. Our whole lives, we grow up being students. We think of time passing in terms of semesters. We mark endings with finals, and new beginnings with syllabi. After graduation, there are no term papers due or reading assignments to complete. There’s no more set path. Instead, there’s a long expanse of time before you that you’re basically free to fill in any way you want! (And here’s where you might feel compelled to press the panic button and turn to your friends ‘Ben and Jerry.’ Avoid that impulse… just keep reading). Look, we know the stuff that people say to you doesn’t always make the time of transition any easier. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 11 worst things to say to a recent graduate…a PSA of sorts.
Know a recent graduate? Don’t say these things to them!
1) So, what are you going to do with your life?
2) Welcome to the “real” world.
3) Good luck finding a job!
4) You studied history?! You should have studied business or engineering. Then maybe you could find a job.
5) When do your loan payments start?
6) Those were the four best years of your life. It’s all downhill from here.
7) How are you actually going to use your degree?
8) Too bad you don’t get summers off anymore.
9) Do you even have work experience?
10) You haven’t found a job? You must not be trying hard enough.
11) It’s no longer socially acceptable to eat ramen noodle soup for dinner every night- you’re an adult now!
Here’s the lowdown, recent grads…
Those statements above? Those are what we call “the noise.” What’s “the noise?” It’s the messages you hear from society (including family, friends, or strangers) that often influence what you think you should do with your life. It is a constant process to shed the noise and focus on what matters to you most…but a worthwhile one.
The fact is, you can either approach this transition by thinking of it as totally stressful or totally exciting. And, let’s be real- it’s way more fun to think of it as totally exciting. Your life routine is being thrown out the window (rolling out of bed at noon and going to class won’t be your norm anymore), but now you get to write the blueprints for how your life will look. You can define your road in life however YOU want. As Roadtrip Nation Leader JP Barlow says, “If you’re not lost, you’re not much of an explorer.” This is the time to make mistakes, backtrack, learn new skills, and in general figure things out, slowly but surely.
We’ll leave you with a quote from Roadtrip Nation Leader Suzy Clark, who has great advice for going through times of transition. Suzy says, “If you truly embrace the struggle, or the challenge, or the change, or the suffering—whatever it may be—through that surrender to it you then move through it, because you allowed yourself to be changed by it.” Allow yourself to be changed by this momentous occasion. Embrace it. Surrender to it. Move through it. It’s going to be awesome. Congrats, grads!