Graduating college is more than just a short walk across the stage with a custom-designed graduation cap; it is a huge advance in the progression into independent adulthood. With that jump into a completely new world and leaving the dorm life behind, it’s crucial to plan ahead, but what happens when those plans fall through?
There are times when everything can be set and ready to go, but, for some reason, the universe makes a last-minute decision to provide a different direction. This never happens intentionally or expectedly, but it certainly occurs far more often than people would like to think. While it is certainly a bummer and not exactly a stress-free experience, there are awesome ways to change the perspective on the situation and use it grow and make the best out of it.
Take a breather
It is totally OK to be upset. Obviously, having the rug in that new city ripped out from underneath is highly disappointing situation. Spend a day or two coping and accepting the situation for what it is. The most important thing to do is do not make any drastic decisions. Do not let one disappointment dictate the capability to move forward. Sure, it sucks, and, quite frankly, it is a major pain in the butt to have to completely rearrange life plans. Just stick to the 24-hour rule: Vent and cope—in whatever way needed—for 24 hours, and then begin picking up the pieces.
Initiate the backup plan
People create backup plans for a reason, and now is the time to use it. Start making the necessary phone calls and set up the meetings needed to ensure that the backup is still possible and probable. If there is no backup plan, it’s time to create one. Talk to parents, close friends and mentors to establish what would be the best way to handle the situation in a short period of time. Whatever the consensus is on how to move forward, quickly gain control of the situation and do not procrastinating. Finishing off senior year is hard enough as it is without waiting until the last minute to find a job, secure an apartment or maybe even move across the country.
Organize and pack
Here comes the not-so-fun part—packing. Set aside a few hours every week to begin going throw and packing stuff. Throw out the items no longer needed and/or wanted and make sure to pack smart, not quick. Do not make the mistake of putting all the breakables in one container or forgetting to tape up the bottom of the box, and, of course, make sure not to pack anything that will be needed before moving out of the dorm room.
If the new plan is to find a job after graduation, this is also the perfect time to organize the job search. Look for jobs on Indeed, Monster or LinkedIn and use those networking skills learned the past four years to score some interviews. Setting up a few different interviews at various locations will likely ensure a job for after graduation.
Once everything looks like it is in order, write it out. Never leave any stone unturned and make sure that everything that needed to get done was actually done. In a hectic situation, it’s far too easy to forget things that absolutely must get done, so writing it all down ensures that nothing is left behind and everything is ready to go for the next step in life.
Rest and relaxation
When all the packing, organizing, and moving is complete, take a step back and applaud the accomplishment. Making such big decisions in such a short amount of time is no easy feat and deserves recognition. Go out to a nice dinner with some friends, splurge on a mini-getaway, or indulge in a relaxing massage to press out the stressors from the previous two months or so.
Adapting to change is never easy, but with a plan and a great support system, it is definitely manageable. Congrats on all the accomplishments, She’s Fit to Lead grads! The future is in your hands.