Transitioning from college student to professional career

By Kory Calhoun| February 6, 2019

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It’s not a secret that college students would love to live the young adult lifestyle forever. It can be challenging to transition from college student to working professional for recent college graduates. Some just have a degree with no job in sight. Some have the great job in place and struggle with the adjustment process. It’s a stressful yet manageable procedure that can be taken care of through steps and guidance. Here are just a few pointers that can help with your transition:

Face the fact that you’re actually in transition

• Be straightforward to yourself and others about your situation and its obstacles. You may have family and friends asking you what you’re doing now that college is over. It is okay to acknowledge you do not have all the answers that they are expecting. Embracing uncertainty during your post-college transition reduces stress of unrealistic expectations. It creates a non-judgmental mental space for you to explore your options


Social life will take a turn

• Working 8+ hours a day fresh out of college is not an easy task to get accustomed to. Don’t expect to live the night life with friends several nights during the week and stay up until midnight every night like we’ve all done in college. Your body will show you that it is not as superior to fighting off those late night hangovers and dealing with those during work won’t be the best idea. A midweek outing on occasions by all means is not the worst decision you can make – just remember that it’s all about having fun in moderation. The last thing you want to happen is your night out affecting your career. Not to mention, do you really want your boss to see the party side of yourself right after you graduate? Take my advice, when you’re out with the boss after work, stay in the mindset that you’re still working. People have been fired for what they’ve said or done during happy hours

Fellow WISH resident Dylan Bohn of Texas A&M University shared his thoughts about the small transition he’s experiencing here in Washington, DC during his internship.

“I think this internship will give me the opportunity to go back and reset my habits and lifestyle,” Bohn said. “After working in a professional environment, it’s not easy to go back and regress into that college party lifestyle. I now know what I’m stepping into after graduation and I can set my eyes on that goal.”


• Along with the social lifestyle change, that comes with adjusting a healthy sleep schedule to follow and an actual agenda to follow throughout the day to ensure you stay on-top of all your work obligations. Your designated sleep hours are usually a lot later in the evening, why? Well maybe you spend most times at night binge watching shows on Netflix or even just up on the phone scrolling through social media. If you must tune in, relocate to the living room couch and keep your bedroom a screen-free zone.

“Too much free time means I wasted it away and would go to bed at terribly late hours nearly every day,” Bohn said. “An internship forces me to act like an adult in a city where I came in with no contacts. As an 18 year old, it’s invaluable to get this kind of real world experience. Otherwise I fear I would have gone through my college life never truly learning how to adult but rather how to ‘get by’.”

Bohn credits WISH and their guidance as a huge help with this transition in a new city working where he is not familiar.

“Of course, the process was also made easier by WISH, who provided housing, roommates, a neighborhood with dry cleaning, groceries, and other facilities close by. It really made moving to another city so far away from my home in Texas ten times easier.”

If you’re looking to make that next step into the professional work world like Dylan, WISH is always accepting applications for the spring and fall semesters! With the help of WISH, it only makes your decision to apply that much easier.

Go to www.InternsDC.com to fill out your application today!

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