Post-Grad Problems Why Graduation is the Furthest Thing From My Mind

Liana Teixeira

For the past four years, the build-up toward senior year has seemed slow-paced at best. But when I woke up for my last first day of school as an undergrad, it finally hit me—I’m graduating….I’m graduating in nine months…I’m graduating and I have no idea what direction life will take me.

But what stressed me out most about returning this fall was not the preparation needed for graduation, but rather preparing for what happens after graduation.

Should I get a job? Should I go to grad school? Where should I apply? Not to mention the 20K in loans I have to start paying back. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!).

So, without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of things I’m not looking forward to once I turn the tassel in May.

1. Still living in my parent’s house.

According to a Pew Research Study conducted in 2011, about 45 percent of seniors move back to their parents’ home after graduation. You heard right. Almost half of us crawl back to the nest.

I love my parents, really I do. But I’m almost 21 years old and have never left their watchful eyes. As a lifetime resident of West Haven, the luxury of living on campus was never a possibility for me. (Spending an extra $13,000 per year just to live down the street? No thank you). Upon graduation, I fully plan on investing in a place of my own, but until that time comes, I’m stuck in a bright purple bedroom. Oh well, at least there’s no rent.

2. Applying to grad school.

Continuing one’s education after receiving a bachelor’s degree is probably one of the most rewarding yet stressful ideas ever created. Who wants to relive senior year of high school? Gathering recommendation letters for those $75 applications isn’t exactly an east task either because, let’s be honest, there’s less of a chance that two-day-per-week lecture professor became your best friend. With all these deadlines thrown at us right near finals week, it’s a miracle seniors don’t go insane.

3. Taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

This country sure likes standardized test-taking. GREs practically go hand-in-hand with applying for grad schools. If the SATs weren’t bad enough, seniors are now exposed to a similar test to determine how “smart” they are based on a few scores. My situation is particuarly unpleasant because I’m pursuing a Masters of Science in journalism. Because the GRE contains a math portion, many schools don’t require the test for admissions. As luck would have it, however, half of the schools I’m applying for require the GRE, while the other half don’t, which is a bit inconvenient.

4. Finding a job.

When all schooling is finally over, here comes the hard part–finding a job in your field of study. In this job market, the recent college graduate gets the short end of the stick in most cases. Depending on your major, you may spend close to a year or more finding a job that fits your qualifications and training.

5. Paying back student loans.

Like most seniors out there, I’m quietly dreading the day when I receive that first student loan bill. And if you read number four, you’ll realize why this is a primary concern for most graduates. What if you don’t land that job right away? What if all the money you do earn goes straight to rent and groceries and not loan payment? Paying back student loans may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s nothing a little planning and budgeting can’t fix with practice.

While I’m not exactly looking forward to the prospect of post-graduation, it’ll definitely be an adventure. And thanks to excellent preparation I received from UNH, it’ll be easier to take on the world.