What now? A survival guide after the cap falls

Image By Anthony Nations

May 3, 2012

By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter


With May having come at last, the time for graduation is close at hand. However, a year or two at Amarillo College leads up to one of the most frightening things in life: the so-called “real world.”

While many of the graduates this year already have experienced adult life outside the community college, some enrolled at AC fresh out of high school and now are looking toward a future with that lovely certificate, associate degree or those wonderful transfer credits.

How does one survive outside AC, though?

The majority of the answer depends on where the graduate or transferee is thinking of going next. Those who are setting out on their own, certificate or degree in hand, and looking for a job should remember the basics of job hunting.

According to www.theamateurfinancier.com’s blog, one of the most basic parts of job hunting is gaining knowledge that is useful to your chosen field as well as learning to craft an elegant resume and to create a simple cover letter.

A good resume can imply organization and forethought on the part of a prospective employee. Demonstrating a great deal of knowledge about your target job can help you to stand out in a crowd of people who have only a general idea of what the job is about.

Another tip from the blog is to network. In other words, all those friends you’ve made out of your fellow students and staff? Keep in touch with them.
A successful network, according to the blog, can allow you to learn about job offers way before they become public knowledge.

Finally, keep positive about your prospects. It is easy to become discouraged at a few failures, but remember that there are jobs out there for you. You just need to give yourself time to find them.

What about the people who are going on to a four-year college?
There are several things to remember about a university when it’s contrasted with AC life. Expect much bigger classes and less attention from the professors.

In fact, get ready to write some thank-you notes to your AC instructors who took the time to answer your questions in class.

One of the most daunting aspects of university life is getting started.

“Go to your new university’s Student Services office,” said Cody Love, a former AC computer science major. “They will get your started with classes, dorm stuff and parking permits.”

It is essential to remember that there’s a big difference between the campus of a university and AC’s campuses.

“They’re a lot bigger,” Love said.

“You need to get to campus before classes start and learn to find your way around.”

No matter the path an AC student chooses, he or she should not abandon what they’ve learned at the college, especially the ability to think for oneself.

“Be a skeptic,” said Dr. Mary Dodson, an English professor. “I don’t mean a cynic, but a questioner.

“When someone says something, don’t accept it at face value. Find things out for yourself.”

And, of course, one never should stop learning. While AC teaches its students quite a bit, it is by no means the limit of knowledge in the world.
AC students are intelligent and always should look for ways to increase the sum of what they know.

“Being an intellectual has nothing to do with IQ,” Dodson said. “‘Intellectual’ means wanting to learn. Having said that, become an intellectual. Life will be better if you read and think.”Finally, the biggest tip for surviving out in that “real world” is a positive perspective and a healthy understanding of oneself.

As Dodson said: “Take life seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.”

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