Opening the Next Chapter: Musings from a Recent College Grad

All of a sudden, you’re walking away with a piece of paper in your hand saying that you’re now qualified to head out into the working world.  I know I speak for all college graduates when I say, “Where on Earth did the time go?!” Gradcapsgowns_B9A6046 2_smWhat a milestone. While graduation has become a time for well-deserved celebration, it ultimately comes down to a time for reflection and thinking ahead. The ever looming question, “What am I going to do with my life?” haunted me every day, even before senior year began. As a planner, the uncertainty of the future was terrifying because as we all know, a college degree doesn’t guarantee a job offer anymore – it now only seems to serve as a jumping off point.

As with any new chapter in life, there are so many changes: where you live and work, how you spend your time, and who you spend it with.

A native Vermonter, I attended college in Florida for the last four years. After moving back to Vermont, I realized that my priorities had begun to change; things that were important before have now faded into the background, while others have come to the forefront.

Not surprisingly, the most important thing for me leaving college was to get a job (those college loans aren’t going to pay themselves!) and after having an amazing internship here at National Life, I was thrilled when they offered me a full-time position even before I graduated. I was relieved, ready and excited to experience the next level of independence.

With this independence, there came a whole new onslaught of responsibilities, also known as BILLS. Figuring out money management has been one of the most challenging things I think I’ve ever done. Ultimately, we know that the choices we make now will affect us in the future and financial management is probably the starkest example I can think of in this stage of my life. I know the key to being financially stable begins with learning about the options out there, and I’m grateful to work for a company that gives us the resources to plan responsibly for our future.

Now that I’ve graduated and come to work five days a week, I’m just trying to keep up with how fast life is rushing by. For all the incoming college freshmen out there, college is the foundation for your future. I can’t stress enough how important, amazing, and fun the internship process is: without it, who knows where I’d be. It gives you such a window into yourself, the environment you want to be in every day and what you want out of life. Don’t waste it. Take advantage of the opportunities that college can give, stay humble, push yourself and have fun!Gradbacks_B9A6301 2_sm

My emotions are all over the place–I’m loving this stage of my life, but I desperately miss the life  I left behind–my best friends, an apartment I called home with my four roommates and the super sweet salty air. Ultimately, I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that the college chapter of my life has closed for good. I know I’m only 22 and I have my whole life ahead of me, but if the past 22 years are any indication, it’s only going to speed up from here; and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.