flowersGraduation is fast approaching for many at Oregon State, and with friends here and elsewhere attaining jobs, you may find yourself worrying and stressing over your lack of opportunities, or perhaps over your lack of a life goal in general. To you, the directionless majority, I am here to say, “Don’t worry. Stop stressing. Enjoy the ride.”

You have spent the last 4 years of your life attending class, studying for exams, and writing papers, and yet there is a good chance that what you majored in is now vastly different from your life aspirations. This is normal. This is ok.

I graduate next month with a Master’s in History, and yet now, after 4 years spent working towards a Bachelor’s and an additional 2 to get my Master’s, I know categorically that a career centered on History is not for me. This, too, is ok.

While many of us, including myself, are stressing over what our first post-college job will be, know that that job does not need to be the job you have for the remainder of your professional career. It is ok to try jobs outside of your comfort zone or away from your academic discipline. What we have learned in college is important and will continue to shape our personal and professional lives, and yet too often we allow our college education to shape and dictate everything about ourselves, sacrificing our creativity and personality along the way simply in order to obtain that first job that society approves of.

Don’t leave college thinking that your time here at Oregon State was a waste simply because you were unable to relay that newfound diploma into a high paying job. Look back on your time here as an experience in which what you learned outside of the classroom – living on your own, adjusting to a new city, meeting new friends – was just as important in shaping who you are and what you will do, as the courses you took and the pedagogical understanding you gained from them.

And to you, the few and proud who have a post-graduation job lined up, well you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. Get back to work.

Posted by Peter Rumbles, Career Services Assitant