Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

25 Things Every New College Grad Should Be Prepared For

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) predicts that over 1,780,000 students will be graduating (with a Bachelor’s-level degree) in 2012, and since a bulk of that number will be tossing their mortarboard caps in the air this month, now’s the perfect time to let them all know what they should be prepared for. Oh, sweet graduating class of 2012: life has so much in store for you — some of it wonderful and some of it not so wonderful. After the jump, 25 things that are most likely going to happen to you in the not-so-distant future whether you want them to or not (so get ready!).

1. You probably aren’t going to get the first job you interview for. Or the second or third or fourth…

2. It may take years before you find a job you actually like.

3. Hell, it may take years to actually find a full-time job, period.

4. And it will probably have zero to do with what you studied in school.

5. With or without a job, you’re going to have to soon be responsible for covering your own health insurance.

6. It may take several decades to pay off your student loan debt.

7. If you can see your friends once a week, that will be a lot.

8. There will be some friends you’re never going to see again outside of Facebook.

9. 9-5? More like 8-6.

10. No one gives a shit what your GPA was.

11. You think you’ve had a bad hangover? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

12. No, that internship is not going to turn into a full-time job.

13. You may have to move back home with mom and dad.

14. Your heart will break a little every time you plunk down another $85 on a “work shirt” you coulda spent on a new bikini for spring break.

15. What ‘spring break’?

16. Everything — well, almost everything — your parents say is going to start making a lot more sense.

17. Except that part about how they won’t pay your rent anymore.

18. You’re going to start wondering how many calories are in a Margarita.

19. And you’ll soon find out how many Margaritas you can drink in one evening at two for the price of one from 5 until 8 PM and still get to work, bathed and fully clothed, by 8 in the morning.

20. You know how every class you took in college had that one annoying person in it who drove everyone nuts with his boring stories and creepy sexual innuendos? Just wait ’til you’re stuck in an office with him 40-50 hours a week.

21. As a recent college grad, you may be hired not for what you studied in school but for your computer skills and social media expertise (so play those skills up in cover letters and in interviews).

22. Your parents and/or your grandparents are suddenly going to become very interested in where your current relationship is headed.

23. And if you don’t currently have a relationship, get ready to have a good reason why not because you’ll be asked about it at every family gathering.

24. You’re going to long for the days when meeting people was as easy as slipping into a pair of cleanish pajama pants and heading to class.

25. Despite what this list may lead you to believe, for many of you new college grads, the best is yet to come. Really.

100 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Shut up, there are calories in margaritas?! FML.

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    • katie

      katie May 22, 2012, 1:15 pm

      they are the worst thing for you to drink by the pool according to the today show (or whatever one has kathy lee on it….) the salt dehydrates and bloats you, all the calories, the alcohol dehydrates you, and sometimes it has your sodium intake for the day in it.

      sad. i love margaritas! i shudder to think what happened to my body in mexico….

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:30 pm

        That would be the 9th hour of the Today Show. Now that I’m not working, I’m very familiar with it. When I start to hear those ladies’ voices, I know it’s my cue to turn off the tv and go outside and play.

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      • Lili

        Lili May 22, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Do you drink wine with them? If I was home and watching the today show, I know I would. I like to pretend that kathie and hoda were my friends and we’re just fun gals chatting about current events. except I’d be the quite one.

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 2:15 pm

        haha.. i used to watch them everyday before work. it was pretty ridiculous… they never give enough time for all their segments, which really made me mad.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson May 22, 2012, 2:02 pm

        I absolutely refuse to believe there are calories in margaritas. I refuse.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel May 22, 2012, 5:22 pm

        Tequila is my soulmate, so the fact that margaritas are super duper caloric was like a little death inside of me (especially after I hit 26 and it was like a switch was flicked how fast my metabolism quite obviously crapped out on me. Goodbye midnight pizza, hello 1 hour at the gym just to MAINTAIN, let alone lose weight)

        That being said, love or hate Bethenny Frankel, Skinnygirl Margaritas are a great idea. The bartender at the bar I used to work at has made his own “Skinny” type Margarita that you can ask for at any bar without them looking at you like you’re insane for asking for a Skinnygirl margarita. It’s the tequila with a dash of triple sec, and no sour mix, but lots and lots of lemons and limes squeezed into it. Tastes good, less calories! No salt and on the rocks is even better.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

      Hell yea! I don’t like margaritas. Beer has no calories, Try that Addie.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:33 pm

        The same is true of red wine. (And dammit if I’m gonna let Katie take that away from me with her lies about dehydration and bloating and whatnot!)

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      • avatar

        va-in-ny May 22, 2012, 1:56 pm

        red wine is good for your heart! my heart feels very good after a few glasses.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 May 22, 2012, 2:09 pm

        I would like to see you have some straight up Tequila!

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 2:14 pm

        i agree with va-in-ny!! red wine is like basically medicine, i mean really. haha

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 May 22, 2012, 2:10 pm

        That is why I am going here in a week!

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      • mandalee

        mandalee May 22, 2012, 2:14 pm

        So jealous that you’re going!! I live outside of Boston and was looking forward to this for a year and I realized we scheduled our late honeymoon during the beer fest. I *almost* thought about re-scheduling it. haha

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 May 22, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Haha you should! I was so mad that I had to work all last weekend so I missed Harpoon Fest! Though I did go to there one in March. Don’t know what your schedule is at work, but Harpoon basically has a free tasting every weekday, and it is just two hours of trying the beers they have on tap at the time!

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      • avatar

        rachel May 22, 2012, 7:21 pm

        Nice! I went to Great American Beer Fest in Denver a couple years ago and it was a-freaking-mazing.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki May 22, 2012, 2:02 pm

      Just go by the rule I live by: If no one sees you eat (or drink) it, the calories don’t count. So every time you take a drink, just angle yourself so others don’t see it. Or just pretend no one saw it.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Perfect. I drink alone a lot. Sounds like I’m just fine.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 22, 2012, 2:49 pm

        Then you’ll be just fine. There are no calories in your alcohol if you drink alone.

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:00 am

      Anyone ever try the 64 calorie beer? Is it gross? It always kind of seems like “What’s the point?” to me.

      Better to eat wisely throughout the day/week so I can indulge in yummy beverages later on.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    Iwannatalktosampson May 22, 2012, 1:20 pm

    This is really uplifting.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:31 pm

      26. Don’t worry, you can delay Nos. 1-25 by going to grad school — if you can’t get into med school, try law school, and if that fails, try business school — that will buy you a few more years.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

        (Sorry, but it’s the truth.)

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl May 22, 2012, 1:37 pm

        Or have a significant other who gets a higher degree! My fiance is is working on his Phd and I get to pretend I’m in college too!

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      • avatar

        rachel May 22, 2012, 7:22 pm

        Um. Hi. I turn 28 tomorrow and I’m just about to finally finish grad school. I don’t know what this real job thing is actually about.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 22, 2012, 1:34 pm

      This was so depressing, and so true. 🙁 for you recent college grads.

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  • avatar

    Kimothy May 22, 2012, 1:24 pm

    *Curls up in fetal position*

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 22, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Depression? How is that not on the list?

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  • avatar

    Michelle Szetela May 22, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Number 10 is untrue, especially when you’re a teacher. Sometime your GPA us important, even after you graduate. And even when you go to grad school.

    And some of us haven’t had hangovers, because we’ve never been drunk, because ugh. When such behavior affects career prospects, it eliminates such ridiculous behaviors.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Meh, those people are just late bloomers. They’ll start drinking to combat depression in their late 20s / early 30s. It’s a matter of fact. Hey, I’m just letting you know; don’t blame the messenger.

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      • avatar

        Jillie z May 22, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Sooo true!! I’m a late blooming lush 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 2:06 pm

        I was too. I never drank in college. Mostly because I hated cheap beer and hard liquor and… I dunno, I just never liked it. But then I start law school and discovered wine and BAM, I was in for it.

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      • Lili

        Lili May 22, 2012, 2:07 pm

        ME TOO!

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      • Lili

        Lili May 22, 2012, 2:07 pm

        well, minus the jungle juice at college parties. that doesn’t count right?!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson May 22, 2012, 2:04 pm

        I thought I drank too much in college. And then I started working full time. Now I have discovered the 2 glasses of wine post work buzz. Except that like I mentioned earlier – I’m never drinking again after my 48 hour hang over this weekend. So I guess I will have to give that up. I think I need to start a detox. Do some yoga.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson May 22, 2012, 2:05 pm

        Start a detox = start a cleanse to detox

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 22, 2012, 3:34 pm

        It is true they get worse as you age. So I wonder how this affects the late blooming drinker. Are they not so bad at 30 y/o because its your first? Or do they just suck horribly from the get go? Why do I care?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 4:25 pm

        I will tell you. I only recently started getting hangovers. I drank during law school (nothing excessive – maybe once a week – never a hangover). I started drinking daily once I started work. I’d work late, go drink a lot at reverse happy hour, then crash and repeat the next day. Never a hangover. … In the last year or so I’ve had hangovers, but, still not bad ones. So, is that because I was a “late bloomer”? I think so.

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 4:28 pm

        what constitutes “a lot”?

        i can share a bottle of wine with my boyfriend and not get a hangover… like, i need to drink quite excessively to get one. like, i would call a half of a bottle of wine a lot, but that doesnt give me a hangover either. maybe thats why.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 4:34 pm

        During the “dark days” of work, I’d drink like 4-6 glasses of wine or Captain and diet, like, 5 times a week – basically on work nights. Or a whole bottle of red. Never got a hangover. That was ages 26-30-ish. Now, I’ll drink 1/2 a bottle, no sweat. But when I put a whole bottle away these days, I either get sick or have a (slight) headache the next day. Voila, Addie Pray’s Drinking Results. I have never had a real hangover, I don’t think. I mean, I have had headaches the next day. Is that a hangover? But I just take some advil and vow never to drink again and I’m fine.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 22, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Wait, two weekends ago at a wedding, I drank responsibly, but the next day I had 3 margaritas followed by 2 glasses of wine…. and I was really sick. But getting sick doesn’t mean hangover, right? So, sure I threw up a lot. But it’s ok because my mom was there to hold my hair back. And sure, the next day I really NEEDED a breakfast burrito smothered in cheese and salsa with hash browns and lots of coffee. Is that a hangover?

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 4:48 pm

        haha.. i think that would be an AP hangover. i think everyone gets different hangover symptons…. so yes, ill say yes.

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      • avatar

        SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:07 am

        Late bloomer drinker here as well! I NEVER drank underage. And I rarely drank in college or in my early 20’s. I was too busy being a good student and a big nerd. Then I dated a straight edge guy for a while and he made me feel crappy if I had even one drink.

        Then at about 28 I was like “IT’S ON!”. I am not really a drink to the point of being sick type (maybe a handful of times in my life). But, having a few beers on the weekend is my favorite thing.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady May 22, 2012, 2:22 pm

      Where do you teach?!?! It sounds terribly unpleasant that they will fire you for drinking in your private life.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady May 22, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Although yes, the GPA thing is true. I put my GPA on all the applications I filled out three years ago.

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  • avatar

    Christy May 22, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Love the list, Wendy. Maybe add something about feeding yourself, and how you basically have to cook for yourself because it’s cheaper, but you likely have no culinary skills. Sigh.

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    • katie

      katie May 22, 2012, 2:18 pm

      this one is so true!!

      i can believe it when my friends go out to eat everyday… even if you do that for only one meal a day, its so freaking expensive! i only enjoy going out to eat things that i couldnt cook at home, because otherwise im pissed because i just paid $7 for a sandwich that i could have made for under a dollar at my house… ugh.

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  • avatar

    bethany May 22, 2012, 1:50 pm

    The first half of that list made me very appreciative of all that I have… A Full time 9-5 job, with killer health insurance (and it’s FREE!!!), great perks, and great coworkers. I’ve been feeling really blah lately, and sad that I’m going to have to spend the next 40 years of my life working, so it’s nice to have a reminder to appreciate what I have now.

    Also, Wendy wasn’t kidding about those hangovers… They suck even more after 30!!!

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny May 22, 2012, 1:50 pm

    I know this sounds incredibly depressing, and honestly, it is. But, it’s all true. It’s better to learn this now than to get slapped with that reality soon.

    I was naive enough to think that because I went to a good school, opportunities would line up for me and I would be able to be a brat and pick exactly what I wanted. When the reality hit me, it hit hard and I felt really stupid for a really long time.

    This time in your life will be really hard for some of you, but it will also be really amazing. Best of luck to you, recent grads!

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    • avatar

      MissDre May 22, 2012, 1:56 pm

      I thought the same as you. I’d thought I’d have an amazing job at an amazing agency making $28/hr right out of school… well guess what I finished grad school 4 years ago and I don’t even make enough to pay my own rent. Hurray.

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 2:19 pm

        everyone thinks that… reality sucks. lol. my own friends thought that! it makes me happy that i left college early, a little… i feel like i got a head start on the real world, if you will.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki May 22, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Working for the gub’ment in a field that deals with employment statistics and programs, we learn a lot of weird things. One thing we learned is that current college grads coming out with a bachelor’s level degree expect their MINIMUM salary range in their first job out of college to be $40,000-$45,000.

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      • avatar

        Elanie May May 22, 2012, 2:33 pm

        HAHAHAHAHAHA

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 22, 2012, 2:49 pm

        That’s what we all said too.

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      • avatar

        bethany May 22, 2012, 3:11 pm

        I remember thinking that if I could just make 30K/year, I would be rich! Little did I know…

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 22, 2012, 5:03 pm

        Same here, lol.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl May 22, 2012, 4:52 pm

        That’s what I expected…if not more. Why else did I take over $45,000 of student loans out for my bachelors degree? Yeah…big shocker.

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      • avatar

        va-in-ny May 22, 2012, 5:11 pm

        I was one of those people. But I based it off of a calculation I had done for living expenses in New York City. I basically said if I didn’t make over $40,000, there was no way to live here. Turns out, I lived off of about 22,000 (after taxes) for over 2 years. It can be done, but it’s not easy.

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      • liz

        liz May 22, 2012, 10:02 pm

        Yup. I’m in that exact boat. Born and raised in Queens..have a full time job here in which I don’t make enough to get my own apartment. All the brokers I looked at require $40k (I suppose for good reasons) I don’t want to leave though :/

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      • avatar

        Jessibel May 22, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Unfortunately they expect it because that’s what it takes to even LIVE in certain places. I went to college in DC and live in the area now, and was offered a 24k a year job right out of college. I could pay my somewhat cheap (for the area) rent and my student loans and my phone bill, but that WAS IT. I had to put all groceries/doctor’s appointments/anything and everything else/etc on a credit card that I could only pay the minimum on. I became a coupon clipping hermit! Definitely couldn’t survive on the income, and couldn’t get a 2nd job because it was a full time position that was over 40 hours a week. I eventually got a job that had an earlier end time and was able to get a 2nd job to get myself out of that hole but man did it suck! Granted, in places such as say…Columbia, SC possibly, you can live somewhat comfortably on 24k a year, but in places like DC or NYC, it’s practically impossible.

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      • avatar

        AndreaMarie May 23, 2012, 12:33 pm

        Haha seriously! One of my sister’s friend’s who will e graduating in December said ” I have a 3.8 and I was the president of my sorority and I had 2 great interships, so I think I deserve minimum $45k”. I nearly shit!! My first job was for $38k back in 2007. I thought I was rich since that was about $5k more than my friends.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle May 22, 2012, 2:40 pm

      It’s depressing, but it’s true, & that makes it almost not depressing? Because then you know everyybody is going through the same thing?

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      • katie

        katie May 22, 2012, 2:48 pm

        i think its just more of the fact that its not YOU. its not like your doing something wrong, or everyone else has some magic key that you dont know about. this is life, and people find a way to be happy in it.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle May 22, 2012, 2:52 pm

        Yep, exactly 🙂

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  • mandalee

    mandalee May 22, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Great list, Wendy! Especially number one! I thought my perfect GPA and internships would land me the first job of my dreams. I was lucky enough to make it down to the final two, but when I got the rejection letter, I cried for weeks and felt like a failure. LOL

    Life isn’t perfect after graduation but it’s really fun to look back at the transition period a few years later and realized you made it through. Class of 2012, it isn’t all bad!

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  • avatar

    Jessica May 22, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Wow. I feel SO much better now.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger May 22, 2012, 2:01 pm

    GPAs are basically required on resumes in my industry for the first 10 years of your career.

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger May 22, 2012, 2:08 pm

      Meant to be a reply above.

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    • katie

      katie May 22, 2012, 2:20 pm

      thats so odd- what field are you in? i read recently that you shouldnt even really get into your schooling anymore on your resume- employers only care about the jobs you have had and what you have accomplished in them.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger May 22, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Snobby law. I think they’ve stopped caring about my undergrad GPA but they still very much care about my law school one. School goes on top of the resume as it is still the most important to the hirers — though It is nice that I can no longer fit my non-academic/interesting undergrad jobs on it, due to later activities.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 22, 2012, 10:33 pm

        Really? Weird – I just started applying to associate attorney positions and have yet to have anyone ask what my GPA is. Also – it’s not on my resume because it’s not the greatest. I mean not terrible but not something I’m going to advertise on purpose. They all seem to care much more about how much court/internship experience I have.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger May 22, 2012, 11:08 pm

        I hope it doesn’t matter. But remember, they don’t need to ask you your gpa because they ask for a transcript. I’ve started looking around because I want to move cities and all recruiters have told me to get a copy of my transcript in advance so I don’t have I deal with delays, so it doesn’t seem like that is going anywhere and I was class of 09.

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      • avatar

        Tinywormhole May 23, 2012, 12:32 am

        I work in the environmental field and we just hired a new grad engineer with a 2.7 gpa. My boss says he wants people who are capable of struggling. Interesting that it can work both ways!

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger May 23, 2012, 8:44 am

        Funnily enough, I was totally wrong. like 100% wrong. I just looked at my resume and it doesn’t have my law school gpa or my undergrad gpa (though I know it did when I was in law school and applying for summer associateships). I guess I just remembered that they ask for your transcript (which means if they care to do the math they might be able to, but given that they’re lawyers, who knows)[its an clearly-not-always-true inside joke between non-IP lawyers that lawyers dislike/stink at math] and that my honors were mostly GPA dependent, so I think in my head, they could “see” my gpa. Also, I’ve interviewed people applying for jobs and some of them do have their GPAs on it (for sure!) but only 3.7 or above.

        Sorry if I set anyone in a panic with my utter wrongness or accidentally painted myself way douchier than I am.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy May 23, 2012, 12:34 am

        GPAs are used in my field, for new hires, and people who are only a few years out of school. But I work in an area of engineering that involves higher math skills, so it makes sense. You can have candidates who’s graduated from a prestigious school, but their grasp of the underlying techniques is poor vs one who has come out of a less prestigious program who actually has stronger abilities in the relevant areas.

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    • avatar

      bethany May 22, 2012, 2:25 pm

      My employer didn’t even check to see that I actually graduated college… They just took my word for it!

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki May 22, 2012, 2:05 pm

    #21 is dead on. My current job is not even close to my field (ok, if I wanted to stretch, I could pretend it almost kinda sorta relates) but in my interview, I focused on my skills with Microsoft Access and I’ve been told that those skills are the main reason they picked me. Of course, 3 years later and it keeps coming back to haunt me because they apparently assumed I’m an “expert” when in reality I’m self-taught with it and can make it do a lot of things, but usually through trial and error or google searches. They get annoyed when they ask me a super specific question and I can’t help them.

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  • avatar

    Holly May 22, 2012, 2:09 pm

    So basically this entire list is true for me. The entire list. Feels very comforting to know it’s potentially common in my generation, though. I feel like a total failure for not having a full part time job a year out of college (though I am starting my 2nd part time.. it doesn’t feel the same.)

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary May 22, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Ok, so yes, this list is depressing. And I felt badly about many of these things after graduating with a MASTERS and not having a job. But, then I got a job. And I can pay my rent and student loan bills. And I have health insurance/paid vacation/401K. And one day I will accumulate savings so I can go on spring break. So really you will be depressed about these things for a little bit while you are suffering through the worst of things but your life will not be like this forever. 4-5 bad years (and “bad” is a relative term-talk to people with REAL problems) in the midst of 70-80 years of life really isn’t that bad.

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    • avatar

      amy May 23, 2012, 11:24 am

      I’ve been out of school and working for 5 years, and I JUST paid off my car loan after 5 years. I’ve been happy to actually have money to do stuff that is unnecessary, like get my hair colored instead of just cut.

      LOL. It takes time, but people WILL get there. You have to sacrifice. You can’t get what you want right after college. Money is tight and you can’t buy the clothes that you want, go out when you want, or color your hair when you want. Everything goes to rent and bills.

      But eventually, you find that you have some extra money saved up, and being able to do luxary things (like a professional highlight/lowlight job) feels awesome

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  • avatar

    painted_lady May 22, 2012, 2:35 pm

    That internship thing turned out to be so true for me. I spent four months killing myself in the hopes that I could convince this awful theatre company to hire me, and they dangled that possibility to get me to dance their jig. But they actually had no intention of keeping me, and it was a very…trying summer.

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    • avatar

      va-in-ny May 22, 2012, 2:38 pm

      I did it for 11 months.. and every three months, I’d say “any chance there would be full time opportunites available?” to which they’d say, “sorry, no, but we’re working on it!”

      When I finally decided it wouldn’t be what I want and left, it was the most freeing thing ever.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady May 22, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Yeah, I thought about taking off mid-summer and decided against it, but knew I would never be returning to the world of non-equity summer stock, and I stuck it out.

        Still, it was such a slap to figure out, no, they didn’t want to hire me full time.

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  • avatar

    Lynn May 22, 2012, 2:40 pm

    12. Most of my close friends, their internships did turn into full time jobs offers. Granted they’re all engineering and accounting folks, so that makes sense.

    The first job I interviewed for (it had nothing to do with my degree), I made it to the final two and cried when I didn’t get it. The second job I interviewed for – I did get. Which works for me because it has everything to do with my degree and pays roughly 10K more. So in a way I’m thankful I didn’t get that first job.

    I don’t agree with a majority of this list because as a recent college grad – I just didn’t have these things happen. I know the economy is tough and finding a job is hard BUT you have to stay positive! Make sure your resume stands out (do. not. lie. or. exaggerate.) and that you have great references (employers do check)… and when you get called in for an interview – be charming and be yourself. Prepare for interviews, know the types of questions they’re going to ask (where do you see yourself in five years, why this __ instead of __), research the company/firm, etc. Just be confident without being arrogant and have faith in yourself because if you don’t have faith in yourself… who’s going to want to hire you?

    You are not a failure. You’re going to find a great job, and it’s going to be OK. Promise.

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      kerrycontrary May 22, 2012, 2:45 pm

      I agree that you have to stay positive. Like I was unemployed after grad school and I was really stressed out and frustrated and disappointed. But hearing my friends go over and over this stuff is just…tiring. Like you can’t wake up every day and be pissed off at the world. It just takes too much energy.

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    Trixy Minx May 22, 2012, 2:56 pm

    I’m so happy to be going back to school!!!

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    SpaceySteph May 22, 2012, 2:26 pm

    So true about the GPA, at least in my field. I worked so hard on it and spent so much energy worrying about it in high school and college. Now I don’t even remember what my GPA was when I graduated. And I’ve only been out for 4 years. Amazing how fast that ceased to matter.

    Honestly though, I don’t think this list is so depressing, having lived most of it. Your view changes, and on the opposite side of all that crap you look back and it just looks normal to you.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina May 22, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I think the worst thing on that list is having to move back home. Seeing my brother miserably live at home makes me really not look forward if i have to do that.

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    Sunshine Brite May 22, 2012, 4:03 pm

    I’m so worried. Graduate from my masters in about a month. My career totally flopped on the first go-round after undergrad and I really don’t want that to happen again.

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    quixoticbeatnik May 22, 2012, 4:28 pm

    This list makes me kinda happy that I’m not graduating until December, even if I don’t really like my university that I’m at. But things will be different soon! I’ll be moving into my first apartment by myself (though paid for by my parents, thanks Mom and Dad) in a great location that’s close to school. I’ll hopefully have an internship this summer and I should have one in the fall, and it would be awesome to have two internships on my resume. I’m so thankful that I won’t be graduating with any debt, so I don’t have to see the meager amount of money that I expect to make go towards bills and debt. I’m staying positive, y’all! We’ll see how long that lasts. 🙂

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      quixoticbeatnik May 22, 2012, 4:29 pm

      Oh, and now I’m thinking that I should really get back on twitter and actually use it….

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    Jessibel May 22, 2012, 5:43 pm

    The one piece of advice I’d give for anyone trying to get a job out of college is NETWORK! Even if your internship doesn’t lead to a job, make an impression with the clients, maybe they’ll have an opening. The great job I have now is the result of meeting people in a restaurant/bar where I was a hostess years and years ago. They offered me a temp job during college, and then after I moved on, I kept in contact, and when I needed a new job called them up and asked if they had any openings. They remembered me and had an opening for me. My husband was recently offered a new job, and they rescinded his offer at the last minute because he “didn’t have enough experience”. However the recruiter called him later and let him in on a little secret that they were actually giving the job to a guy that the CEO knew and was friends with, even though he didn’t have as much experience as my husband, and that they were going to keep my husband in the running for other jobs. This sounds cheesy, but it really is all about who you know.

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    Eve Harrison May 22, 2012, 6:26 pm

    1 & 2.

    I am a rising junior at Rutgers University. I just want to say I know EXACTLY what you mean. I haven’t graduated college yet and I can feel the economic pinch in terms of minimum wage jobs and internships. This year I began the internship application process for the Summer 2012 openings. Normally applicants apply during March. I started applying in November. Despite applying to 100+ organizations by May I had “only” received 2 internship offers. I took one of them, of course.

    The reality is that life is tough as shit when you’re young. I wish someone had told me that I would need to apply for internships earlier, or that I would be competing with highly experienced sharks, I mean students (ahem*). Unfortunately this is the shit we all have to put up with. You learn to apply earlier, and to try to keep the resume updated.
    Just remember that you aren’t alone, 2012 Grad. We all feel the pain.

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  • Lyra

    L May 22, 2012, 8:41 pm

    This is all VERY true. Especially the moving in with your parents part. I’ve been fortunate to be working while living with my parents this year and though parts of it have SUCKED, I’ve saved much more than I ever would have had the chance to otherwise and now I’m financially stable and ready to move out in August when I move for my new job.

    I think someone has already posted this above, but my biggest advice is to network. Network network network. Find ways to meet new people in your field. Volunteer. Do an internship or two. See if you can shadow someone who you admire, even just for a day. If you can, find a summer job related to your field. My network is very strong, and that’s a big reason as to why I landed a full time job as a teacher next year. This year my network has also essentially put opportunities right in my lap. I work as a substitute teacher and midway through the year I was contacted basically out of the blue to work as a tutor in addition to subbing because the office people knew me as a substitute. That additional job has provided me with extra money and more experience. Also after I landed my job, my future superintendent/boss for next year found me a house which is available for me to rent at a very low cost. Networks will help you more than ANYTHING else.

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    DMR May 23, 2012, 5:05 am

    Awesome post.

    Depressing list, but reality.

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    amy May 23, 2012, 10:08 am

    I was very lucky when I graduated in 2007 with a bachelors in accounting. A paid internship turned into a full time job…. but, at a certain age, your body literally changes. You wake up and realize that your body no longer tolerates a fast food diet (resorted to that by working while full time in school) and you not only pack on the weight, but you start going to specialists or whatever because you freak out over the random changes in your body.

    Not only an obvious visit to a gi doctor for me, but also an ear nose and throat doctor for inner ear damage resulting in benign positional vertigo, etc. Weird things will happen, you will literally start to feel your body get older.

    Also, you will cherish sleep more than late nights with friends. Yes, that was me, after two drinks, sleeping on our couch on new years eve.

    It’s a different world, but you can still be happy

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    amy May 23, 2012, 10:34 am

    Another tip.

    My office is business casual. When I actually buy clothes which is a rarity because I try to save what I can, I buy shirts and sweaters that I can pair with jeans (that I only wear twice a week) and wear at the office as well.

    It seems like a waste to me to buy shirts that I can only wear two days out of one week.

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  • Budj

    Budj May 23, 2012, 11:11 am

    26. If you stay single too long people will talk about whether or not you are gay…especially if you have a propensity to spend money on hair cuts…haha….oh the glories of small towns.

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      MsMisery May 23, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Or if you are a lady, spinster. Or lesbian spinster. With cats (even though I only have ONE CAT. ONE CAT, PEOPLE).

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    MsMisery May 23, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Agree with all of these x100. Although *I* personally care about my GPA, even though I graduated like 3 yrs ago. Summa cum laude looks good on my diploma and resume, and I worked damn hard for it, even if no one else gives a crap.

    Also, yes to moving in with parents. Hell, I never moved OUT, and now thanks to those pesky student loans it isn’t even looking good in the future. It used to make me feel like a loser, but now I tell my dad he’s stuck with me >_<

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