The ‘Real World’ Reality: How soon should you start planning your life after college?

By Aisha Sarvana

Everyone always says that the college days are the best days. Indeed, college is one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. However, it is easily also one of the most overwhelming times. The anxiety of deciding a major and a career path leaves many of us nervous and confused. The four years of undergrad fly by faster than imaginable. Before we know it, we are standing there in our caps and gowns with diplomas in our hands. The question is how soon should we start planning for that moment of college completion? When should we start thinking outside of exams and homework, and looking toward the next step in our careers and lives?

Usually upon entering college, many of us have a faint idea of what career we want to pursue. Some of us know we are bound for something with science, but just not sure exactly if that means medical or engineering; others know exactly what major and what kind of job we’ll be looking for upon graduation. And then there are some of us that make it to college and are so overwhelmed yet excited by all the options that it becomes nearly impossible to just pick one. By about early sophomore year of undergrad, a foundation is laid for the path we want to go towards.

For the students looking towards a medical or law degree, the planning of post undergrad starts right away. There are certain prerequisites and requirements for graduate schools that students have to start planning for as soon as possible. Students that are hoping to enter the work force right after graduation need to start planning just as soon. That entails searching for and doing internships in the summers and networking with important contacts that will aid in the job search senior year.

College has a competitive environment and the post-college world is even more competitive. Students have to make sure throughout their undergrad careers that they are constantly working towards that future career and standing out in the crowd. Although all the planning of the future can get overwhelming and confusing, it’s important to stay organized and focused. At the same time, don’t get so caught up that you forget to have a fun and memorable time in college. After all, college days are the best days!