This year over 1.75 million college students will walk across the stage to pick up a diploma. Seniors everywhere are anticipating graduation and their parents are thinking about words of wisdom to impart. With the scarcity of jobs and school loans due, it may be harder than ever for these kidults to engage in adult roles. If your brand new graduates are about to boomerang back home, here’s some practical insight to share:
Face uncertainty with a positive attitude. You can’t change the slow economic recovery but you can have control over how you handle it. You may feel frustrated that you don’t have a job or anxious about the future - these reactions are normal. But try to face your feelings directly as you explore situations that will work for you.
Take control of your circumstances. It'll help you focus and gain perspective when you spend time identifying your inner strengths and external resources. If you know that what you want is within your reach, keep going after it no matter how hard it gets. Be sure to recognize the difference between what you can manage and what you can't.
Turn to those who support you. Family and friends care about you and you can count on them to cheer you on. They’ll be there to help because they love you and want you succeed. And remember, as you move ahead, you don’t have to do it alone - ask for help whenever you need it.
Make a public commitment. Talk with others about your intentions and you’ll create a strong reality that’ll motivate you. As you begin to set and reach short term objectives toward longer range goals, you’ll become even more determined. Although there may be stumbling blocks along the way, don’t give up.
Listen to the advice of those you trust. But look inside for answers and find your own voice. Don’t jump at money or do what others think you should - define success on your own terms. If you feel you’re moving in the direction of where you belong, believe in what you’re doing. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity to grow.
Discover your passion. With our society and the job market in flux, you may have to reorder your priorities for now. Keep busy and try to make a contribution as a volunteer or mentor where you can use you talents and energy to be of service to others. You can tap into your compassion and courage to find a larger purpose.
Increase your capacity for resiliency. At times it may be difficult to maintain composure under trying circumstances. Take one day at a time. Develop strategies to manage stress and build your confidence. Call on your faith or spirituality. Step by step, you'll turn hopes and dreams into reality.
Your recent grads may not be sure of what road they’re on or whether they should have taken it. Perhaps they’re having second thoughts: if only I had applied to graduate school or what if I had majored in education? Feeling ambivalent is common - having the desire to hold on and to let go, excitement as well as fear about the future.
The 20s are still the defining decade and your kidults are living with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Let them know you have their back. Encourage them to reach deep for the resolve to face their situation squarely – in time, they can’t help but grow from the challenges and experiences.