Recently, I read an article saying that the unemployment rate for college graduates is above 50%. In addition to that, there’s more college graduates who are underemployed. That’s just astonishing. Realizing that 1 out of 2 people who get out of college is going to be wandering aimlessly without a job. It’s saddening but that’s reality. I personally have a job. But it’s exactly just that – a job. I’m looking for a career. Work that will satisfy my basic needs plus a bit more. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once our most basic needs are met, we start longing for something more out of it. Otherwise, I could just go to the nearest restaurant and get a job as a server and make a decent amount to just keep me afloat.
The Biggest Challenges College Graduates Face
1. Finding a career – College graduates stick to their first jobs out of college for about 1-2 years. That tells me that they’re still searching for what really fits for them.
2. Longing for new friends – Depending on your situation, you’ll start looking for your new circle of friends after college. Not every one of your college buddies is going to stay behind with you. That said, it becomes necessary to find your family away from home. In my case, being miles away from Texas and having absolutely no contacts in New York City was quite daunting. Nevertheless, I knew it wouldn’t be much of a problem as I make new friends rather fast.
3. Getting used to serious financial and personal obligations – Back in college, there were no payments needed. Good grades was more than enough. But now that college is over, one needs to start worrying about taxes, insurance, car payments, student loan payments, credit card payments, rent, utilities etc. The list can go on and on and it gets very daunting. I’ve found a very simple solution to this, though. My solution is simple – live as if you’re still in college until you’re comfortable meeting the necessary obligations.
In my particular case:
- I don’t have car payments
- I don’t have student loans
- I’m covered under my parents’ insurance plan until I’m 26
- Taxes will be dealt with in April 2013
- I pay my credit card bill in full every month to build good credit and rack up points
- I’m still living rent free courtesy of my parents, until I can cover rent on my own.
Embrace the Chaos and Live for the Experience
I speak on behalf of the millions of the college graduates who are in their own personal struggles at this very moment. But what makes life so great is seeing ourselves overcome each hurdle and succeed. I have no doubt in my mind, that this challenge will pass and I will move on to greener pastures. Things will be better, it just takes a bit of patience, persistence, and hard work. What makes success so sweet is realizing how our efforts and hard work paid off. It’s the journey not the destination.