Life After Oneonta: Former Managing Editor Writes from California

Alex Fredkin, Former Managing Editor

Seniors, I know what you’re all wondering–what is life like after graduation? In the eight months, three weeks, and five days since I graduated (but who’s counting) I’ve learned a lot. Post-grad life is at times happy, sad, exciting, scary and everything in between. But don’t worry, the best four years of your life don’t have to be in college, only if you choose for them to be.

The weird thing about graduating is that all of the sudden you are given an empty book called “The Rest of Your Life,” and it’s up to you to decide how to write it. How do you decide what to do when you can go anywhere and do anything?

Most people will choose to move back home for a little bit until they get a job, but nothing says you can’t go backpacking in Europe for a couple months, or even move there for good if that’s what you’d like.

If you do choose to move back home for a short time, as I did, keep in mind that the job search might only take weeks, but it could also take months or years until you find something you really want to do–and that’s totally fine! Things will sort themselves out in due time, so be patient. I drove across the country and moved to California after three months at home. The opportunity came up, and I wanted to try something different and see what the west coast was like.

I urge everyone to try to travel after they graduate, and I don’t mean take a week vacation to Florida. Do something totally different and outside of your comfort zone. There’s a whole world at your disposal, so go out there and explore it! You will have the rest of your life to settle down, but while you still have relatively no responsibilities, take advantage. I had a lot of great experiences on the road and out here in California that I will never forget.

When you do move away, some of the inevitable doubts will sink in and you will miss your friends and family. So, while you are living at home make sure to enjoy every free meal you can from Mom, spend as much time as you can with your pets and enjoy your brothers and sisters. When you move out you’ll miss all of that–and in a different way than being at college. But they’re always just a phone call away.

And for your friends, the good part of moving away is that you end up realizing who your best friends are, and you’ll slowly lose touch with the ones who were just “acquaintances.” In the end, it’s your really good friends that count, and those are the people who you will be friends with for the rest of your life. I haven’t been out of school for even a year yet, but I can already tell who those people are for me.

They say the point of college is to prepare you for the “real world,” and hopefully you prepared yourself well enough. The real world is definitely a lot harder than college. You’ll have the added pressure of trying to find a real job, rent to deal with and believe me, pitchers will no longer cost four dollars, so drink as many as you can in your last couple of months. (But you didn’t hear that from me.)

The greatest thing about life after college is also the scariest thing: you now have to plan out the rest of your life, and a lot of it is unknown, and will be for a while. In college, you generally can only see what is right in front of you; there is no thought to post-college because you are living in the protective bubble that is SUNY Oneonta. After school you realize that life is not about the destination though, it’s about the journey.

So while you may be living paycheck to paycheck for the first couple months out on your own, things may be undecided and scary, try to enjoy every moment. Because what you do in the short period after college will influence what you do for years to come.

I don’t know how my decisions in these past nine months after graduating will affect my life years down the road, but I know that they will somehow, and that’s the magical thing about it. I loved my time in college, I’m loving my time after it and I hope you do too.

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