There is an immense, indescribable kind of joy in the hearts of graduates on that day as they are crowned with their respective degrees.

To me, graduation is the day you find out your final GPA, not the ritual ceremony at your university square.

As they celebrate, they become so engrossed that you can’t help but join them. Little do they know the fate that has befallen most of them.

The challenges:

  • A time to hate free time. Most graduates will curse at waking up in the afternoons and having nothing to do but to sleep again. Why all of a sudden is sleep your greatest horror? Funny that you will reminisce at this moment in the future.
  • Depression is inevitable. At this stage, reality hits and you certainly become conscious about the way you feel. If you ignore this, it is going to get worse. Once you notice the following signs and symptoms, please seek immediate help.
  • Employers ask for 10 years’ experience. You have just graduated from college. Your face can show how fresh in the scene you are, but you need more experience years than your age to get this job.
  • Your dreams seem invalid. It is okay to dream about that job and that company you want to work for. It is what keeps you going after all.
  • That massive student loan you have not cleared. You want to clear the millions of debts in your name, but you have no idea how. You do not have a job and the jobs you are “not qualified” for need you to have very many years of experience.
  • There is no work experience on your resume. How are you going to apply for that dream job if what you have is a theory, not practical skills?
  • You are as broke as a church mouse. That student aid you were used to receiving but always claimed for like you deserved it does not exist anymore.
  • Pressures of society. Just like the Kardashians, you too need to keep up with life. It is expensive when it gets to necessities like food, clothing data bundles, social life. Your entire clan is expecting you to be employed to receive your financial support. So, you resort to “ghosting” your friends and family.
  • The devil’s temptation. “I think I should just die”. Mate, that’s the devil taking over your head. He is controlling your mind and so do not give him a chance. Life can feel so miserable and make you forget about the ‘good times’.
  • You’ve lost the race. “Comparison is the thief of joy” _ Theodore Roosevelt. Do you recall that seemingly careless dull girl in your communications class whom you and your crew once named “mshamba”? She got a job before graduation. What’s even worse in your mind is that she is employed at one of your dream companies. How ironic!
  • Accepting the most significant life transition in your life. All your life you have been under this warm umbrella known as parents who made all decisions for you. It is now suddenly time for you to face the stormy weather. How nerve-wracking.
  • Bills! Bills! Bills! It is the official start of the doom of clearing bills. Were we born to clear bills? How is it possible that I am paying for garbage disposal?
  • Overambitious. There is a unique pack of smart graduate wolves who believe self-employment is the way to go. They are right, I must admit. However, your proposals are most times rejected and ideas stolen. Alternatively, you shall receive narrations of delays in the release by the government of funds meant to facilitate. Self-Employed youth.

The solutions:

  • While still at school, make sure only to borrow what you need. Student loans are not a ball to play with so minimize borrowing whenever you can. Teach yourself to differentiate between wants and needs.
  • Look for volunteering opportunities to build the skill section of your resume. Find a comfortable working environment and volunteer your time here. At times, opportunities for permanent hire may arise in your firm.
  • Grab available graduate internship positions. The advantage of an internship over volunteer is sometimes internships do pay. How about when you are too good at what you do, and your boss wants to hire you permanently.
  • Take this time to do what you love most. Be it poetry, music, or photography. This can as well work as your side hustle once you get your dream job. There is never enough money earned, so don’t limit your potential.
  • Pray! If you are a believer, it is good to meditate and connect with your God. It is weight relieving and restores all lost hope.
  • Never give up. Keep on tossing those application letters. Keep on dreaming about your future. Keep on trying to secure that position.
  • Immerse yourself in learning a new skill. Learn how to write. Mimic that British way of pronunciation. Learn how to paint. Draw your mother’s portrait. Go and extra mile and study the Law. There is so much more you can be, use this time.
  • Grow a thick skin. Smear strength all over your surroundings and build a resilient mind. The road is not going to be as smooth at all times.
  • You will need a far-sighted lens in the way you perceive things. This is a trick to having hope. Tough times don’t last forever, and so there are going to be good times.
  • Find humour in social media. Memes and funny videos may engage your mood once in a while. You can as well take part in sharing them and elevating peoples’ moods.
  • For those who are not yet there, this is what life after graduation feels like.

The opportunities.

Post-graduation is another phase of life that brings a series of opportunities that may impact well in your life henceforth.

  • Adventure. A whole package of free time has been unleashed right ahead of you. You don’t know what to do with it? Travel. Go for a vacation in those places you longed wish to visit. Go see for yourself those destinations your geography and history teacher mentioned in class, and you thought they do not exist. You don’t have the cash? Worry not! Become a tour guide and visit these places almost for free but while providing the knowledge, you have about them. All you have to do is to associate yourself with a touring company and take a volunteer or internship with them.
  • Become who you want. This is a chance unforeseen for you to do what you have always dreamt of. Did you dream of working at the vet yet you did law at college? Why not volunteer at a vet centre and you never know that’s your permanent employment at least till you feel its enough. You could consider doing farming in your backyard or starting a business.
  • Invest in your talents and hobbies. There are multiple virtual courses online for you to study your area of interest. What’s more important is the time to do it. Watch yourself become an expert in a field you thought failure for yourself. Take this time to learn skills that everyone might need in the future like coding, financial management. The acceptable fact is that you’ll add a variety of skills to your resume. Be sure to show the world what you have learnt through your social media accounts.
  • Study! Time has availed itself for you to expand your academic excellence further. Go ahead and enrol for a postgraduate course and better your degree. You can as well consider any learning centres in your local community. Of course, this applies to those who can afford it monetarily. You can study all you want and feel it is of interest. Online courses are another cheaper and faster yet efficient option for you to attain academic qualifications.
  • Volunteer worldwide. Take this time to travel the world and grow your curriculum vitae while at it. Visit the world and learn about other cultures as you build your knowledge. Several organisations offer international volunteer opportunities. Take this up and change your perspective over the world.

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