Sorry to be cliché and everything, but the end of college is really bittersweet. On one hand, you’re finally free. No more classes! No more group projects! No more tests! But on the other hand, you have to leave the people you’ve spent every second of the last four years with and go out into the real world. And on top of it all, you’re suddenly faced with finding a job—a scary, draining, and seemingly endless task.
We know it’s a lot to process, but don’t worry. We reached out to industry professionals to share what they wish someone had told them when they were seniors—because sometimes, you just need some words of wisdom from someone who’s been there before, too. If your graduation is approaching and you’re kind of freaking out, keep reading for advice from six College Fashionista alumni on what they wish they knew before graduating.
“Don’t stress about having a job lined up. That’s very rare and very uncommon, so just live your life, have a great time in college, and then 3 months before you are graduating, that’s when it’s time to amp it up. Focus on your relationships and your friends, because the first job you’re going to get after school isn’t going to be your last. So, cherish these moments and live it up!” — Madisen Theobald, associate manager of social media at Allure Magazine
“I would tell myself to just apply to everything even if it does not sound like it is the perfect job, because getting out there and getting your first job is the most important part, and everything kind of falls into place after that. It is 1000% normal to not have a job lined up before graduation or to not know what you are going to do after graduation and most of my friends, including myself, were like that. You should not be spending those last few weeks stressing out about it.” — Erika Harwood, celebrity style writer at Vanity Fair
“Say yes to everything and apply everywhere. Take advantage of all the resources that you have. Friends, family, professors. Not everyone has their dream job lined up before they graduate even though it may seem like it. It took me three months to find the job I really wanted to work at and the city I wanted to work in. So be patient and keep working, you’ll get there!” —Jaclyn Carleton, project coordinator at Canary Marketing
“I wish I had known that there were so many people you are graduating with that do not have a job lined up and that is perfectly normal and perfectly fine. There are so many people that secure something over the summer or even after that. It is just a normal process. To take an internship after graduation is not weak, it is actually a very smart move because you learn a company’s culture better as well if that is the position that you would like as a full-time career. Reach out to the people you’ve been wanting to meet at your university for the longest time and make those connections because this is your last time actually being in the same space as them for an extended period.” — Sierra Cortner, social media and marketing at Spring Studios
“What I wish I knew when I was graduating is that the stress you are feeling right now will go away even if it feels like it never will and remember to be super proud of yourself. You have come so far and have accomplished so much. The advice I would give to my graduating self would be to live it up in your college town while you can. This might be the only time you’re going to be in the same town with the same friends so enjoy every moment because once you get into the real world it is super hard to stay in touch and visit, so enjoy!” — Syma Raza, associate manager of public relations at American Eagle Outfitters
What’s something you wish you had known before graduating? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured photo by @reilucy.