Destination Graduation: Overcoming the Panic Attack

This is not a time to…






…just be drifting.

If you are a semester away from graduation (as I am) or even two, chances are you’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown similar to the one you felt before graduating high school.






Preparation is what will ultimately calm your nerves. Putting off preparation will just make everything worse.

It’s like the time you lied to your parents and realized you had to come clean but instead of going home and facing them, you hid out in your friend’s room for a week.

Sometimes you’ve got to rip off the band-aid.

Preparation is different for every major. Are you going to grad school or law school? If so, you better research and study for the GRE’s. Are you a liberal arts major? Chances are, there is no one path to take, just like there is no one step-by-step plan to becoming a full-fledged successful journalist. This could be extra scary.

1. Talk to professors
2. Talk with your school’s career center if you haven’t had a good professor you can talk with about this stuff, or just get another opinion from them
3. Internships, internships, internships
a. Many jobs look for experience. Sitting in a classroom gets you a degree, but nothing in terms of actual experience. If you find yourself asking where you get this experience, apply for internships and fellowships.
4. Shadow your parents’ friends who have cool jobs
5. Don’t get discouraged

It is never too early to start preparing. It takes the average graduate three months to get a job, so applying for internships and entry-level jobs before your last semester is appropriate.

If those nerves are hitting hard, remember. The more prep work you do before your diploma, the more confident you will be walking across that stage (unless you’re in heels).