My last day on the UMW campus was Thursday, March 12. I’m writing this on Monday, April 12, which was not intentional, but feels symbolic. It’s basically been a month since I’ve been in the Career Center (CCPD), seen most of my colleagues (besides on Zoom) or interacted with any of you all.
It feels weird.
Everyone I talk to (again, via Zoom or phone, or DM) agrees. This is a mother of all weird times. You wake up. What day is it? You go back to sleep again for a while because you realize it doesn’t really matter. Eventually you get up, get some coffee/tea or your beverage of choice and start thinking about the day. There’s work to be done, but where’s the motivation? Maybe you have a virtual class coming up, so you smooth down your hair, brush your teeth and make sure your shirt is clean and maybe not too wrinkled. Your faculty member’s presentation may be flawless or they may struggle. Either way, they are working hard too, trying to get material to you but it’s just not the same as engaging in the classroom.
I get it. I really do. My daughter should be finishing up her AP classes and studying for AP exams Instead, every minute of every day it seems she’s staring down at her phone, on Tik Tok. My son is similar, but he’s younger and so his distraction of choice is Fortnite. Maybe some you have siblings who are similarly addicted, and you hear them screaming from behind closed doors about kills and sniping and you Just Weren’t Prepared to Spend This Much Time Listening to That Crap. Meanwhile your parents are around every corner and the dog keeps looking at you hopefully because clearly you came home this early for no other reason than to give him 519 walks per day.
It definitely feels weird.
In the midst of all this crazy, you realize we are halfway through April now and one way or another you are about to graduate and that means you’ll need to figure out the next steps. Scary/Exciting in normal times, now maybe more like Scary/Terrifying. One thing I find to be helpful when confronting things that scare me or that seem too big to even deal with is to take a moment and think of one or two small items I can accomplish that are concrete. What does that look like in this case? Well you could read this article for some inspiration. You could update your resume and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a review. You could go outside on one of these beautiful spring days and have one of your family members take a photo of you for your LinkedIn and Handshake accounts…even if you don’t have them set up yet. You’ll be ahead of the game with that photo ready to upload when you’re ready!
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Every little bit will help and provide you with a feeling of accomplishment and forward momentum. The CCPD staff is here, too, just a phone call or Zoom drop in away to help you. And I promise, if I take one of your calls, I will tell my son to shut his door and stop shouting “YEET!”
Mary Becelia, Career Coach