True Confessions of a Graduate

Angela Stanton ’16, Advertising Major

Like many of those who walked in the graduation ceremony June 12th, 2016, I am feeling excited and relieved to finally graduate but scared at the same time.

What’s so scary about graduation? FOR ME EVERYTHING! It is a little overwhelming to spend four years and $37,640 on a piece of paper (I mean a degree). Graduation itself is easy. It is what comes next that is so hard. How do I describe the complete chaos in mind about the future? I think my childhood friend, SpongeBob SquarePants, sums it up quite well.


The last four years of my life have been an endless sea of classes, work, study, and sleep. I have been on a mission for 4 years, to get through college. I felt like “the little engine who could” and guess what? I did!

Now that graduation has come and gone, many of us are wondering now what? It seems everywhere I turn, people are asking me, “Didn’t you just graduate?” And, “What are your plans now?”

Well, I have a lot of plans, but no job lined up yet and no idea of how I am going to pay back my large amounts of student loans. So I did a lot of soul searching and here is the top three pieces of advice I took to heart.

1. Take a break. Go camping, sleep in, binge watch your favorite crush, drive across country, do something fun, but whatever you do take some time off! Because if you are anything like me, that is a hard thing to do. I came across a great book written by millennial Katherine Schwarzenegger (yea, Arnolds’ kid) who has just recently experienced the “I just graduated now what syndrome.” This book really puts things into perspective. Her mother, Maria Shriver, spoke at her commencement ceremony about the “power of the pause.

2. Don’t give up on your dream job. I think there is always pressure on graduating students to get a great job right after graduation. We all know it doesn’t work like that, so as you can see the pressure is on. Well, take the pressure off and just get a job you want to do every day. And if that isn’t your dream job, just don’t give up. Having a back-up plan and get by job is good but don’t settle. Sometimes finding that first job in the field of your study can take some time so be prepared if it takes a couple months, 6 months or a year. Just keep trying.

3. Keep calm, nobody else knows what they are doing either! It’s okay to not know what you want to do. Just take life as it comes at you, surprises and all. Keep in mind that this is an opportunity that you have been preparing for. Finding a job is not easy – but it is possible. Portland State University also offers a wide range of additional Resources for current students and recent graduates.

The Academic Career Services (ACS) offers services and workshops for resume review and mock interviews, as well as other workshops on topics such as LinkedIn or networking. Portland State University also offers online job opportunities and internships for alumni through career connect.

  1. August 4 – Career Workshop: Networking 101 | 3:00-4:00pm

  2. August 11 – Career Workshop: Writing Resumes and Cover Letters | 2:30-4:00pm

  3. August 17 – Career Workshop: Introduction to Interviewing | 10:30am-12:00pm

  4. August 23 – Career Workshop: Introduction to Interviewing | 3:00pm-4:30pm

Graduation means different things to different people, but the one thing everyone has in common is the feeling of uncertainty that comes with the unknown. It is the way we handle ourselves and the choices that we make that will determine our success. And remember, we are the future!


From left to right: Chuck Nobles, Angela Stanton, Maureen O’Connor

~Angela Stanton ’16, Fearless Senior

Angela Stanton is a recent Advertising graduate.
She is also a member of the FIR Advertising student-run agency.

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