From College to Reality: A Radical Transition


| 5/29/2013 11:26:53 AM


Tags: post-college, meaningful work, recession, WWOOF, Burners Without Borders, ecovillage, Road rip Nation, Shareable,

 College Graduation 
College grads: whether you're looking for a traditional 9-to-5 office gig or hoping to travel the globe, a meaningful future is yours to create. 

This post originally appeared at Shareable. 

Not too long before graduation, I lay in my room, reflecting on how my food, school and my apartment was paid for with money that doesn’t even exist—loans. I had been living in a fantasy world for four years. None of it seemed real because I wasn’t yet monetarily supporting my living expenses. I sat up and imagined holding a 9-to-5 job to keep this apartment, this city, and keep my material possessions upon graduation.

While reflecting on this, I asked myself if I valued my apartment, if I valued my possessions, and if I valued living in a city. Was I willing to work a full-time office job to uphold these luxuries? When it came down to it, I absolutely did not find any value in working just to uphold any of those things. It was an easy decision to make, but now what?

January report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity found that “about 48 percent of employed US college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests requires less than a four-year college education.” That number included 37 percent in jobs requiring no more than a high school diploma. According to one Pew Research Center report, “a record one in five households now owe student loan debt.” It’s apparent that college students are not left with many obvious options. You get a degree, to maybe get a job, to make a living and try to pay off your loans—that’s it. A flow chart on Shareable explains this phenomenon further. I thought, “There HAS to be another way.”

To allow ease of transition is to identify personal life values. If it helps, make a list of your core values. Knowing your values will help shape the path you take. It begins to make things a lot clearer for you, college graduate, to really make a plan. Your values will turn into aspirations and dreams, aspirations and dreams will turn into goals, and in-between is the fun part. A few of my values can be summed up in one quote by Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world."