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Don't Freak: Sort Out Post-Graduation Anxiety

Don't Freak: Sort Out Post-Graduation Anxiety

How will you deal with life after college?

By Ariana Finlayson

March 16, 2009

You know how, when you go home for breaks, all your family members and friends ask you the same line of questions: “How’s school? How are your grades? How are your friends?”

I’ve noticed a change when I became a senior. The questions are as follows: “Have a job yet? Have you started looking? Will you have a job when you graduate? Have you started looking at apartments yet?”

Those questions never stop, and though I am thankful that people are interested in my success, I can’t help but feel added pressure about the whole situation.

The reason is because I see that the magazine industry is different than many of the industries my friends are going into. One friend has had a job lined up at JP Morgan (investment banking and insurance) since last year. Another friend lined up a job with Deloitte (accounting) three months before he graduated. “From college to cubicle” is a direct path that my two friends have chosen, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing such immediacy.

I wish that I were going on interviews for jobs that promised to be waiting for me in May. Unfortunately for me though, job seekers don’t begin seeking out opportunities until April. The names and positions that you see on the magazine masthead are pretty much the entirety of the full-time staff, and any openings are usually for immediate placement.

It really has me freaked out! I imagine my competition: Girls coming from great nationally-accredited journalism schools, girls coming across the country — maybe even the world — all for the same job that I want. And as for the girls who are changing their minds from going to law school to working in magazine publishing instead — they have me freaked out too (not to mention the males out there). It’s enough to make me never want to earn my 124th credit that will finalize my undergraduate degree in print journalism. Sigh.

When I interviewed for internships, I met my designated editor-supervisor, and then the editors with whom I’d be working. With jobs, I’ll be meeting with the human resources people, and the higher-up editors. It won’t just be a one-shot interview that takes 15 minutes and then I find out in three weeks whether or not I got the internship. Job placement takes multiple interviews, and the current editorial assistant at CosmoGIRL! said that her interview process took three months! Three months? How will I be able to pay NYC rent while waiting on the finalization of a job for three months?

Who am I kidding though — I’m super-excited about finally emerging into the industry as an employee of a large magazine publisher. And I feel that I have made some really strong connections with my internship supervisors and other staffers so that, come time to begin the job search, I’ll have a lot of magazine people who will have my back and stand as my cheerleaders.


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