Real Talk

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Published on March 20, 2017, at 8:45 a.m.
by Brittany Ray.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about aging. Not the “Oh, no, I’m getting old and I’m not ready yet.” The feeling is more of a “Oh, wow, I am what society considers an adult. Do they know they consider me an adult? Me? An adult? OK, just checking.” feeling.

Photo by Elvert Barnes

I sometimes forget that I am a 21-year-old woman, months away from a college degree with a life plan ready to be at play. I forget how much I’ve grown during my time in college. I forget that it’s time to get ready to face what is now known as “adulting.”

The job market is competitive, and every interviewee is trying to make sure they are more memorable than the last. However, as the game goes, someone will not receive the job. Therefore, I have been trying to get in the mindset that I could very well graduate without having anything lined up. Fingers crossed I don’t, but I want to be prepared for the worst.

Instead of being upset about the news, or letting the news bum me out, I have listed a couple of items that are sure to keep me — and you — in the right mindset as you take on the real world and try your hand at “adulting.” Once again, these thoughts or plans aren’t meant to make you sad, but inspire you to keep hustling once you have that diploma in your hand.

Create a plan:
Everyone should have a goal they’re working toward. Make it measurable and realistic. It’s always great to shoot for the stars, but remember not to beat yourself up if you set the bar too high and fail to reach it! If you graduate without something lined up, make a month-by-month plan outlining whom you will contact and when you’ll be contacting them.

Also, make sure to keep writing! I’m not afraid to admit that my AP Style wavers, and I have to constantly remind myself to brush up on the guidelines. However, I want to keep my writing skills polished and my voice prominent so I have something to show at shadowing opportunities or interviews.

Mentor up:
I never knew the importance of a mentor until I immersed myself into the public relations industry, or studies. Now, thanks to one of my mentors (who actually inspired this blog), I have mentally prepared for life after graduation. There is a chance — and goodness me, I hope it doesn’t happen to me — that I could graduate without a job or internship lined up. While I repel the thought, reality can be harsh even for an overly bubbly optimist like me and sometimes you have to be ready for it. My mentor has asked me the curveball questions I didn’t know I would need an answer to, or wasn’t prepared to answer.

Photo by DFID

Talk to your friend:
Of course you talk to your friends. What else would you do? I mean really talk to them! I’m a second opinion sort of gal, and thankfully my PR pal is super analytical so she can be the reason to my dramatic ways. I am lucky enough to have a strong support group, whether in the PR field or not, that encourages me to keep trucking along. I use every single person to help me gain different perspectives and hopefully make the right decision for me.

While this exact scenario has not happened yet, what if I am offered a job, but know I would not be happy there? Do I take it and hope things get better? Or do I hold off and wait for a job I know I will be happy at? This would be a great discussion to have with your trusted squad. Make a pros and cons list and do some soul searching. Doing what makes you happiest is what ultimately matters!

To be honest, I have faith in you! I believe that you have a skill set and a personality that can make you stand apart from others. I just want you to be the most prepared you can be and know that it’s okay if you aren’t instantly “successful.” Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know?

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