Stop Getting Offended When People Ask You About Life After College

You ever ask a friend what they plan on doing for work after their college graduation and they get mad at you for asking such a question? It happens to me all the time! I run into a friend that is about to complete a Degree in History, Literature, or any other subject and I ask whats next?- only to receive no response or an offended look.

Granted it is none of any one’s business to judge what you do with your time, money (most likely your parents money) or with your education earned but you should wonder why you don’t have a solid response. The problem is that it seems like 90% of the time people get offended because they have no idea what they will do after college. The other 10% of people that get offended do so because they have a plan but don’t feel like disclosing private information with anyone.

Now it’s time to ask yourself, if you get offended when people ask you about life after college is it because you do not have a plan or because you would like to keep your plans confidential?

Fortunately I consider myself to be in the 10% that does have a plan for work and life after college but chooses to keep it a secret. How did this happen? I feel there are four important questions every college student should consider before graduating:

1. Will my major earn me money? There are some college majors that simply have no work and if they do you won’t be earning much money in the field.

2. Am I only in school only for the parties? As stupid as this may sound there are many young people in college just because they didn’t want to miss out on the parties. Newsflash: the parties will end eventually and everyone will grow up, will you?

3. Are my parents forcing me to attend college? If your parents are forcing you to be in school and you’re stuck in a major that you have no interest in but are merely working to impress your parents- there’s a big problem. I will go more into this issue in a future post as I have a lot to say.

4. Where do I want to work after college? Whether there’s a specific company, city, or country you want to work you should have some idea of where you will be headed after college.

If you can realistically answer these questions then maybe next time someone asks you about life after college you won’t get offended.

Don’t worry one day on this site I will tell you all about my plan for life after college.

Until then maybe some of the readers are willing to share their plan for after college? Do you want to travel the world? Would you prefer to start working right away?

4 thoughts on “Stop Getting Offended When People Ask You About Life After College”

  1. My plan for after university is to not have a plan for after university. I am in 4th year of a Commerce program, but right now on exchange in Sweden for a semester.

    When people ask me what I want to do I either say “I have no idea” or “I want to be happy” and I say it with a smile. I know I want to travel, volunteer and enjoy myself for a few years, before (if) I get into the business-type workplace that we are being groomed for. Fortunately, I will be graduating without debt so it makes it easier not to have to get a ‘real’ job right away.

    So many business school students spend their summers on co-op working at banks or the like, and go right into the workforce after graduating. But I think for young people, especially business majors, it is important that you spend time doing something you love, and even more importantly spend some time volunteering. We all rush into the industry trying to work our way up and make as much money as we can so that we can retire early and have….40 years at the end of our life to do what? So much emphasis is put on making money, that it is easy to become greedy, which maybe indirectly leads us to situations like today’s.

    Many young business students are quite easily influenced, and want to make money right away since most have exorbitant debts, that sometimes morals may go out the window once they start working. This is something I have been realizing over the course of my program, and took an influential course last semester that made me see this situation more clearly.

    Volunteering and traveling before starting a career could totally change someones priorities (happiness as opposed to just financial success) and influence them in positive ways.

    I am not in my schools coop program, nor have real work experience. This is something I only slightly regret, but I have spent my past summers working outdoors and have loved it, and am happy I did it this way. Sure I graduate without experience, but I technically have 30 give or take years in the workforce to ‘work my way up’. On the other hand, your only young, with no responsibilities, full of energy and an unjaded outlook on the world once. Take advantage of it.

    My long post seems sort negative, it’s not my intention. I really don’t know what I want to do, but I read many personal finance blogs for a reason, so I can be responsible with my money, start saving while I am young, but also enjoy myself at a young age as well.

    I am confused about why someone would keep what they want to do a secret. I suppose if you don’t know a person well you don’t necessarily want to tell them, but otherwise why not.

  2. Not bad questions to ask before you graduate. Although, it can be hard to know whether your major will earn you money or what sort of jobs will be available until you’re out in the work place (at which point it’s too late to simply switch your major). If I had been asked about what job prospects awaited me with a Biochemistry degree, I probably wouldn’t have guessed that I’d have spent most of my professional life looking for a job.

  3. @Roger: Interesting comments. I think you can get a better idea that that. If you proactively go out and speak with people in your major, professors, recruiters, etc… you can get a decent idea (or that’s how it’s been in my experience).

    College is so much more than taking tests and going to class. It’s a time for you to learn about careers and network with peers.

  4. I’d say the “look” is more annoyance than offense.

    I graduated two years ago and got tired of being asked a million times a day what I was going to be doing.

    I wasn’t sure and that’s because graduating can bring about a lot of insecurities. Every day I had to be aware of my own worry about whether I could cope in the “real world,” leaving friends, etc. Every time someone asks that question, you have to live through a wash of anxiety.

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