Graduation - What’s Next?

Graduation season is here. College graduations are in full swing and high school graduations are happening over the course of the next six weeks. Graduation day is such a special moment. It signifies the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice, while also opening the door to an endless amount of exciting new possibilities. The day itself represents the ending of one chapter and the beginning of so many more to come. 

While we are elated for these young adults, it won’t be long after the parties end when they realize they still have a lot of work ahead of them. College students - now alum, are anxious and eager to find a job, pay off their loans, and settle into their new or old living arrangements. So parents, be patient a little longer while they learn to navigate the road ahead of them.

High School graduates may choose to go away to college - live in dorms and frat houses, commute to school, do a gap year, go to trade school, perhaps enter an apprenticeship or even enter a family business. Others may feel stuck and aren’t sure what to do. One observation I have made as someone who has gone through this decision making process with her own children, and as someone who just graduated in August with a Master’s Degree, there’s a lot of pressure to figure out what to do in life.

My son Patrick just turned 22 yesterday. He’s one of those kids that wants to work with his hands, so he likes trade careers, excavation, horizontal drilling etc. While he likes what he’s doing, I keep pushing him to try more things (probably because I have so many interests myself, and because I think it’s healthy and smart to have other skills in the hopper…) So, this motivated me to buy books for the store on the subject of careers, and other related subjects. You may consider purchasing one of these to help your graduate work through his career decisions (and by the way, these aren’t just for recent graduates.)

One thing is certain for these grads, the major that they studied in college is not always what they will end up doing for their career. About 27% of college grads have a job that was closely related to their major, and only 67% ended up with jobs where they actually needed their degree. (Plumer, 2014) The point is that it’s okay to revisit your career aspirations from time to time and to re-think what you want to do. In fact, people will change their career between three and seven times in their lifetime! (McKay, 2020)

All that said, it’s important to recognize and celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments today. At Piper and Dune we have some great gift ideas - some are even practical too.


Resources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-grads-have-a-job-related-to-their-major/
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-often-do-people-change-careers-3969407

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