As any graduating senior can tell you, your last semester as an undergrad can feel pressured, at the least. Spring semester, unlike the completely carefree, undaunting fall semester, is spent scouring LinkedIn for hidden connections, finalizing a resume and portfolio, and nailing down those last interviews before you finally secure your dream job. It may seem like the world is passing you by and all of your friends are moving on to bigger and better things, but rest assured: it may be April, but you shouldn’t be freaking out… yet.
There are so many factors at play when thinking about your future. Do you want to live close to home or put down new roots? What type of career are you planning long-term, and what job will get you to those goals? Do you want to be challenged or take a job within your comfort zone?
The attacks come from all sides: a roommate who has had an offer since September, your mom who insists that you should have heard back from grad school by now, the engagement pictures you scroll past daily. It seems that everyone has a plan except for you.
I’m here to remind you that it’s OK. Maybe you don’t have a postgrad plan. Maybe you don’t even have a postgrad “pla.” Maybe you watched Friends three full times in 2015 when you should have been spamming employers with your resume. Whether you’re fighting for the career of your dreams or just trying to get a job, any job, it’s not too late.
Don’t settle for second-best just because you feel like you’re running out of time. Don’t let the pressure force you into a hasty decision. You deserve better than a second-best job or a second-best salary. While it may feel like it, it’s not too late to fight for the position, salary or company that you want.
I’m probably not the first to tell you that if you don’t fight for what you want, you won’t get it. This applies to all areas of life. Find out what you want and go for it. It could be a city, a job, a person or group you want to stay close to. You have two full months until most full-time jobs would start after graduation. Take this time to fight for what you truly want, and don’t let anyone tell you to settle for less.
My ultimate advice? Trust in God’s plan above your own. I like to consider myself a big dreamer. I take chances and don’t second-guess myself at the crazy opportunities I take. But one thing I’ve learned is that God always has bigger dreams for me than I do for myself. Sometimes unanswered prayers are exactly what you need to get back on track. So, stop stressing and rest assured in His plan for an amazing post-grad adventure.
Ashlyn Thompson is a senior journalism major from Ruston, La. She is a reporter for the Lariat.