Preparing Yourself for Life After Graduation

Preparing Yourself For Life After Graduation

By Jaycee Eastman

Friday May 5, 2017

Kassi Hopper poses for a picture with her SFA diploma and graduation picture.

Kassi Hopper poses for a picture with her SFA diploma and graduation picture.

With one week of finals standing between many of us and college graduation, emotions are at an all time high. This is an exciting time for SFA students, but it can also be stressful for many that may not know what is next.

I interviewed Kassi Hopper, 2011 SFA graduate, and asked her about preparing for life after graduation. Here’s what she had to say.

Use Your Connections

Some college majors result in one specific job, such as a doctor or a teacher. However, if you have another major, such as communications, the possibilities could be endless. If you are unsure of what your next step is after graduation, that’s okay.

“Just make sure that these connections that you’ve made, whether you’ve gotten really close to a professor and it’s in a field that you’re interested in, or people that you’ve worked with over the course of your time at SFA,” Hopper said. “Use those connections and know that these people have been in their field a while, they can help you. I got my first job based on word-of-mouth.”

A couple of weeks after Hopper graduated from SFA in 2011 she had a job offer to teach at a local high school where she grew up. Due to her connections, Hopper was able to find a job teaching right after graduation.Picnic Table

To form good connections now and in the future, it is important to invest in your relationships. We do business with people that we like, know and trust. If you spend time investing in others, they in turn will want to invest in you.

Be Flexible

With social media, the internet and television, our generation sometimes faces false expectations. We want our dream job, relationship, house and car immediately. However, these things can take time to acquire; especially right out of college.

“Just be flexible,” Hopper said. “You may not have the ideal dream job that you want at this exact moment, but that doesn’t mean you wont ever get it. So often as young adults, we want to have exactly what our parents have at 20 that they have at 50.”

Hopper encourages graduates to make the most of each opportunity they are given. Sometimes you have to start in one job before the right door opens to the job of your dreams.

Even if you don’t know exactly where you want to work after college, take some time to decide, be flexible and make the most of every opportunity you are given.

Take Time For Yourself

Once you graduate, it is important to establish a healthy routine that allows you to invest time in yourself. When Hopper began teaching, she jumped in head first. Before long, she spent all of her day focused on her work.

“I spent way more time on work stuff then I needed to,” Hopper said. “I brought way too much work home with me. But then after a couple of years of that kind of lifestyle, I met my husband and I learned very quickly that life is about more than just work. There are things that can wait until tomorrow.”

Hopper encourages college graduates to turn off the “work mindset” and enjoy time with family and friends. Try to balance your work with activities that you enjoy doing. It can be challenging to establish a healthy routine; however, it begins with finding out what lifestyle works for you.

I don’t think anyone is fully prepared for life after graduation. But if we take some time to use our connections, be flexible and spend time on ourselves, it can make the transition a little bit easier.


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