I’m graduating. What should I do now that I am out of college?

Brianne Sardoni

Brookhaven English professor

Congratulations – you did it! You successfully completed your degree at Brookhaven College. You don the cap and gown, invite your family to the ceremony, cry a little when you walk across the stage, celebrate at dinner and that’s it.
You’re done.
No more summer classes, fighting for parking or arguing for the professor or class time you want. What do you do with your time now?
The first thing you have to fight is fear. Fear will start to creep in because you have lost your routine. You have spent the past two years scheduling your life around your classes. Even if it was annoying, there is a comfort people find in consistency and routine. You just disrupted your own routine.
Take a deep breath and think back to the beginning. What was your original plan when you started taking classes? Was it to transfer, to get a promotion in your current job or to find a new job?
Think back to that motivation and ask yourself whether it is still relevant. Do you still have the same motivation? If so, you have your plan.
If your dream has been a four-year degree, you should have already been filling out applications as a transfer student this spring. If you have already done so, you should be hearing back from those schools soon. If you waited until the graduation ceremony to realize you want to transfer, that’s OK.
Some schools have rolling admission, so you can still apply for the fall. In fact, you may wish to apply to transfer for the spring semester instead of the fall. Universities generally receive fewer applications for spring semesters, so that may increase your chances of admission and give you some time to stay home, work and save for the big move.
If pursuing your associate degree was career-motivated, you need to let your current employer know that you have just graduated. Depending on the company, it may be as simple as a conversation or as complex as sending an email to human resources and attaching your transcript so they can see what you have accomplished.
Either way, graduating from Brookhaven is a big deal, and you need to let your employer know about this great achievement. If you hope your degree will get you promoted, now is the time to tactfully and politely remind your employer.
If you want to change jobs or careers, start working on updating your résumé to highlight both your new degree and the new skills you have learned in your classes at Brookhaven.
Whatever you choose to do post-Brookhaven, remember that the time you spent here has given you the tools you need to be successful. Take what you have learned, go out into the world and do great things.