Graduating from school can be both exciting and intimidating, and we’ll be honest—life after college can feel weird. Most graduates will experience lots of change in a short amount of time: applying for jobs, starting a new job, moving to a new place, meeting new people, getting ready for grad school, etc. Everyone will be going through a transition phase, and we have advice to help it feel a little less weird.
Here are tips to help you adjust to life after college.
Put yourself out there
After the celebrations and parties come to an end, it’s common for friend groups to move away from one another. While making friends as a post-grad can seem daunting, it’s totally doable!
Our advice: Put yourself out there. Many cities offer social groups you can join including recreational sports leagues, social and professional clubs and more. You can also join your local CU Boulder alumni chapter to connect with fellow Buffs around the country.
If you’re unsure where to begin, try Meetup, a service that helps organize groups and events for people with similar interests. Don’t be afraid to try something new or venture outside of your usual comfort zone—you never know who you might meet.
Your life after graduation may look different from your friends’ lives—and that’s okay. Social media can present a skewed view of what life is really like after college. Keep in mind that social feeds are highlight reels and don’t always show the full picture.
Our advice: Avoid comparing yourself to your friends or peers, especially on social media. Work toward your own goals and celebrate your own successes (big and small).
If you find yourself making comparisons or feeling down while scrolling through social media, take a break. Look at the accounts you follow and how they are impacting you. If you follow accounts that are negatively affecting your mental health, consider muting or unfollowing them.
Have a plan
No homework means no stress, right? Not necessarily. Working and applying for jobs, grad school and other opportunities can be stressful, and it may take some time to adjust to your new schedule.
Our advice: Make a plan ahead of time. If you’re applying for jobs or grad school, pick times during the day when you can dedicate yourself to working on applications or other tasks. Once you’ve chosen your working hours, block out time for yourself, too. Set aside time in your schedule to focus on doing things that make you feel better. This could include hobbies, time with friends and family, binge watching your favorite show or free activities around town.
The same applies for those who are working part- or full-time jobs. Find time for yourself and the things you enjoy. If you’re having trouble incorporating self-care into your work schedule, break it down into smaller moments throughout the day. Use your lunch break to take a walk or enjoy another activity, setup a bedtime routine that will help you unwind each day or look for ways to spend time on yourself over the weekend.
Graduation can be a hectic time full of joy, anticipation, excitement and anxiety. With all the commotion, smaller to-do items can be easily forgotten. Set yourself up for success (and less stress) later on by getting them out of the way.
Our advice: Be proactive, and get your house in order over the next few weeks. Here are some things to take care of before you leave:
- Any financial obligations you have (fines, tickets, fees, etc.) must be cleared at the Bursar’s Office.
- Review your lease agreement or look at your future housing options.
- Transfer any prescriptions you may have at Wardenburg Health Center.
- Review your health insurance coverage (if you have CU Gold Health Insurance, you may be covered through the summer).
- Make a plan to transition to new counseling or primary care providers.
- Contact Career Services for help with writing your résumé, practicing for interviews and other career-related assistance.
- Learn more about Forever Buffs and how connecting with the Alumni Association now can help you with your career, meeting new Buff friends and relocation advice. There are no membership dues to be part of Forever Buffs.
- Take advantage of all CU Boulder has to offer: Take one last free fitness class on Friday, have lunch on Norlin Quad, use one of the on-campus nap pods and go to your last Late Night Breakfast.
Talk it out
Many graduating seniors feel nervous and unsure about what life after college will be like. Before you walk across the stage, consider visiting with a Let’s Talk counselor. This is a free service where CU Boulder students can stop by for an informal and confidential consultation—no appointment is necessary.
No matter how you’re feeling, Let’s Talk counselors can help provide insight and solutions as you figure out your future plans.