“So What’s Next?”

Fudd_JobHunter2By Shannon Bentley – Hey there readers! As you know, I have been blogging about my student teaching experience this semester. For those of you that didn’t know, I finished the school year on June 12th, and I also graduated from Marquette University on May 17th. I have never felt more relieved in my life.

There has been less stress, more chances for me to make extra cash this summer, and I also have the chance to enjoy a little bit of fun on the side. About a week ago, I was having a conversation with my co-worker at my part-time job who graduated back in December 2014. He said something interesting about how people talk to post-graduates. He stated that every single time he tells someone that he is a college graduate, he gets the “so what’s next” question.

I understood where he was coming from. I myself have been flooded with a ton of “so what’s next” questions and even the occasional “have you found a job yet” question. To be honest, what can we expect as college graduates — to NOT hear those questions? I find it intriguing that people take an interest in seeing how the world’s future generations decide to use their degree. However, it can become frustrating for some college students who find it extremely difficult to find a job.

Let’s be honest: if I was struggling to find a job, I would not take the questions from others too lightly, but my co-worker and I thought about ways to answer the question without misleading people.

We wanted to be truthful so we would simply tell people that we DO NOT want to get in to a career right away.

I believe that when strangers, acquaintances, and even personal peers ask those questions, they expect to hear an answer of gold, where we would say that we found a job making $50,000 a year starting plus benefits. Well, it doesn’t necessarily work that way for everyone. If you guys remember my past blog, I did talk about how I was joining City Year AmeriCorps and doing service for one full school year. Sounds absurd for someone who could get a teaching job right away, right?

Wrong.

Like I stated previously, I wanted to enjoy a full year out of school and still gain some more experience before I officially take over a classroom. Besides, I still have more to learn. I also can agree with my co-worker’s answer that I don’t want to take on too much responsibility after having been in school since I was 4 years old.

The point is that college graduates had to go through 4+ years of school, and to hear the agonizing questions after graduation can fluster someone to start their life right away. We’re only 22/23 years old when we enter the real world, and I think that it should be okay to answer those “so what’s next” questions with a simple: “I just want to enjoy myself,” “I want to do service work,” or even “I want to get a career that I know I will enjoy.”

All I can say is that I am proud about being a City Year Corps member after college, and I know that once the school year passes by I will definitely know what is next.

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