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Oklahoma school transitions: College to the real world

BY RACHAEL CERVENKA Modified: August 5, 2013 at 10:46 am •  Published: August 4, 2013

As children head back to school, I am feeling slightly envious of those days filled with new school supplies, teachers, homework and all that accompanies a new year. This month marks the first time in my life that I will not be skipping back to school, backpack in hand.

I have finally completed my schooling. I never thought the time would come as I was pulling all-nighters, writing 20-page papers and ultimately achieving the thing I worked for my whole life: a college degree. However, the only word to describe the way I am feeling about it is bittersweet.

Immediately following my graduation from the University of Oklahoma in May, I realized just how much I had to figure out in a relatively short amount of time. All of the sudden, there I was smack dab in middle of the real world, and I had little to no clue how to navigate this new place. According to Rhonda Harryman, certified life coach, I am not the only college graduate who is feeling this way.

At her private practice, Grace Life Coaching of Edmond, Harryman works with several clients my age who are unprepared for everything the real world entails — the job hunt, becoming independent, paying bills and every other little detail, she said. In her words, students are in for several reality checks once they toss their caps on graduation day.

Harryman offers the following tips to help all parties involved make this time a little less intimidating:

Unemployed college graduates need to be actively and creatively searching for a job. Graduates should treat job hunting like an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job to become adjusted to the real-world schedule.

Side note: Graduates shouldn't fully rely on the Internet. Harryman calls this “passive job hunting.” Leaving the comfort of the couch and reaching out to people in the community is a preferable method as networking is critical for finding a job today.

Parents tend to be more lenient than they should be when their grown children move back home following college. Harryman recommends parents set a date for when their children should obtain a job.

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