Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's Next?

By on 12:08 AM

As kids, we always know what we're supposed to do next. We know after 5th grade we go to 6th; after middle school, high school. Most people go straight to college after high school. You don't have to think about what path you're going to take, it's already laid out in front of you. You know that to be "successful" you have to graduate high school then go to college (or at least that's what conventional wisdom says). 

After college though, so many people stall out seemingly waiting for someone to tell them what to do next. They drift along in a retail job or waiting tables, living with their parents, mumbling about the economy and telling people "thinking about grad school!"

Don't get me wrong, I know the economy sucks and I know a lot of people live with their parents out of necessity not choice. But don't use the economy as a crutch. Don't use the fact that many more people move back in with their parents after college than ever before as a reason to do so yourself. By doing these things you're selling yourself short. You can get a job in this economy. You can get an apartment. You can support yourself financially. 

There's no clear path to success after college, as we've been conditioned to believe since kindergarten. But that's a good thing. What it means is that there are many paths to success, unlike in school when the only way to succeed is through doing what your teachers say and getting good grades. There are jobs you've never heard of out there. There are ways to do exactly what you want and get paid for it. As a grown up, you call the shots. You decide if you take a year off to travel, if you quit your job to freelance or start your own business. But first, you have to begin your life after college.

The time to start your life is now. 
You're ready. 
Let's go.

Cristin is the editor of Sociosonic. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and works in healthcare administration.