Overwhelming Expectations: How Life After Graduation Can Be Confusing And Stressful

Imagine you’ve just received your diploma from college and are eager to explore the world beyond your university’s gates. You’ve been looking forward to this moment for a while, and now you’re attempting to make your own plans for the future. This means finding employment and achieving financial independency. Don’t those two things represent our greatest desires as we begin our post-college lives? Let me, however, open your eyes to a new reality that, despite appearing somewhat gloomy, is a reality that, once you realize, you’ll quickly overcome this difficulty. Once liberated from academia, graduates frequently struggle, and this difficulty is mostly due to expectations set by society.

Overwhelming Expectations

Once graduated, more expectation come crowding in, get yourself a job and fix your finances. We are all expected to follow the same timeline. If you stop and have a real think about it, you will realise that its fine for everyone to go about life with their own pace, regardless of expectation. The fact that everyone’s life after graduation is so unique makes this topic interesting, it’s important to note that this is a time where opportunities are endless. We had a chat with recent graduates in political science, engineering, and computer science from prestigious colleges in Egypt with unique tales narrated by social pressures.

Following your passion

We all aspire to land a well-paying job at some point, but what about following your own passion? Would you be ready to leave behind a well-paying position to pursue something less prestigious but more fulfilling?

Zeina was able to get work as a political strategist at one of the major embassies in Cairo after obtaining a degree in political science. She had undoubtedly made her friends and family proud. However, Zeina quickly realized that she was not enjoying her job at the embassy and that she preferred to become a diving instructor instead. Zeina’s intense love of the sea and her passion for diving stayed with her from a young age. Zeina was severely criticized by her parents, friends, and colleagues. Has she quit her job to pursue a career as a diving instructor? Unfortunately, no, and she still aspires to make such a choice while facing less backlash from her friends and society at large.

Financial stability makes graduates think twice about taking risks and society tends to steer you towards taking a 9-5 job. We don’t put in mind the cost of time, effort and mental health in doing something you don’t necessarily want to do. Is this truly what I want? Once you answered this question, you’ll be to think up of options.

Omar’s graduated with an engineering degree and was not able to find a job that paid him well. In the hopes of soon being hired at an esteemed company related to his field of study, he accepted a position as an intern. This left him in a difficult situation; he didn’t yet have a source of income and employment was not certain. Omar received harsh criticism from his friends, family, and even his professors. He waited for the greatest opportunity because he wanted to work in a position connected to his subject of study. Is he to blame? Omar is attempting to forge his own career in something he is passionate about despite not receiving a financial reward.

What to do?

Don’t get me wrong, achieving your goals early on is something to be proud of undoubtedly especially if you enjoy what you’re doing, just make sure they’re your goals and not ones that have been set up for you.

Tips to get yourself on the right path including sitting alone and asking yourself the right questions, why am I doing this? Is this what I want or what is expected of me? What do I actually enjoy doing? Also not being hard on oneself, appreciating that there will be options and choices and a decision does not have to be one that is final.

This does not have to be a tedious process. Knowing what you want does not have to come to you right away, it is important to enjoy and appreciate the journey following graduation.

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