To be, or not to be, that is the question… isn’t it? To be a Sales Rep.; to be a PR pro; to be a burger flipper; to major in Art History, Psychology, or to stay at home with the kids and get your M.R.S. These are the looming questions that many graduating seniors (including myself) are afraid of.
As I hesitantly approach my senior year at James Madison University, I find myself browsing through my freshman year photos yearning for the days of dorm life, making new friends and being an exuberant young, fit seventeen year old. I’m diagnosing myself with a moderate case of the senior blues; the senior slump, you know what I mean. Now, at the seasoned old age of twenty, I am determined to halt the approach of the senior blues storm before it hits with full force and ruins my last year as an undergrad.
So, why does the fear of graduating seem to be an eminent fact? The reasons that make college life seems so simple when you’re living it are the very same reasons that make post-graduate life so daunting. I’d also like to share some valuable lessons that I’ve learned here at Pearson that now make me view graduation day as exciting rather than a death sentence.
Reason #1: The decisions of a common college undergrad are as follows:
To go out on Tuesdays or not
To go to Chipotle or Subway, or maybe…Panera?
To give your parents your book buyback money or not (not)
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, all of us silver seniors know that these decisions will soon become as old and obsolete as Britney Spears (pre 2008 meltdown) and be replaced by fun-sucking activities like: waking up at 7am, wearing clothes that do not include miniskirts, and possibly even investing in a mini suitcase.
Yes, these things may happen, but it’s not as bad as it’s cracked up to be. Relax; it’s all in your head, people! You will not turn into a corporate zombie and you will still have a social life.
Pearson has shown me that work (believe it or not) can be fun. It really depends on where you choose to work, what attitude you decide to employ, and who you surround yourself with. If you work for a company you believe in, you’ll cringe a little less every night when you’re taking your shriveled contacts out of your bloodshot eyes. Why? Because if you believe in your company and feel like a valued and important employee, everything you do, no matter how big or small, is contributing to a mission that actually matters to you.
Reason #2: College students avoid the unavoidable.
Whether it’s studying for an exam, applying for a job, or calling your parents to let them know you’re alive, college students will find a way to procrastinate.
My Pearson internship has shown me that the hardest part of entering the “real world” is taking your first steps into it. If you do the leg work in the beginning you will save yourself pain and anxiety later on – this means not only putting time and effort into finding a job that’s a good fit for you, but also starting off on the right foot once you get there. I was terrified my first few days of my internship, but once I learned the ropes, I felt right at home. Now, when I apply for a job after graduation, I will feel much more confident and prepared knowing what I have accomplished this summer.
Going out into the ‘real world’ is like freshman year all over again: its intimidating at first, but once you’re there, it’s not so bad after all. If you’re in the right setting, it’s actually kind of nice, or dare I say it, motivating!