Entering college and leaving college are similar experiences on multiple levels, from moving into a new room, starting a new experience, and most significantly making new friendships.
Throughout the four years a person spends at college they make lifelong connections, but once you separate after receiving your diploma, it has to start all over again.
“You’re constantly surrounded by people who you cry when they leave for the summer,” Emilie Hocter ‘20 said, “but after graduation it could be the last time you ever see them.”
On top of the stresses of entering the professional world and trying to find a job, outgoing seniors have to balance that with developing another social life, a vital part of every person’s life.
With the challenge of attempting to secure friendships after school, a lot of undergrads are attracted to younger companies that can support comradery within the office.
“When I accepted the spot at Epic in Wisconsin, I was convinced by the average age of employees. It was on the younger side and was optimal to meet people who also just finished university recently,” Thomas Guillaume, Wake Forest Class of 2018, said.
Students at Marist College and many institutions have been acquainted with people who match their backgrounds and upbringings which help support immediate relationships, but once you leave the stone gate, it is all uncertain.
“Marist has people from very similar backgrounds and places which in my opinion help people connect much quicker than normal, I’m not sure about going into the professional workplace though, it’s probably a lot harder,” Hocter said.
While graduating students hope to move to New York City, or places where Marist graduates tend to frequent after school, it’s not always like that. Many people have to search far and wide in order to find a place that will hire them.
“Graduating from Wake Forest a lot of people gravitated towards Charlotte or New York City, but I went all the way to Madison, and I can guarantee you no one from Wake wanted to go to Wisconsin,” Guillaume said.
Luckily, graduates around the country experience the same thing and create helpful guides to assist other struggling young professionals.
“Attitude is everything… Get used to being uncomfortable… Small talk isn’t the enemy… Instagram is basically a friendship dating app,” these are just a few of the guidelines Georgie wrote on her blog, In It 4 The Long Run.
The inherent, inevitable struggle of building relationships following college, and leaving behind old friendships is universal for all graduating seniors, but some people can be lucky and be able to keep college friendships.
“I know girls in my sorority that have been able to share rent on an apartment in New York City after graduating Marist, but I don’t think that’s common for many graduating students,” Hocter said.
Students enter the gates of Marist College with butterflies in their stomach wondering if they’ll make friends, and leave the same gates with the same butterflies and the same worry. It’s a cycle of unknowing and excitement.