Being a college student is stressful enough, but now you have to find a job or internship, right? Here are four practices to help you maintain your emotional balance and well-being while you search.
1. Focus on the positive.
While the pandemic has slowed down post-graduation hiring, The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that 52.5% of employers expect to maintain their hiring levels, and 16.5% expect to increase hiring this year. And we saw many employers pivot to virtual internships this past summer. (By the way, you can ask 600+ Boston College students for advice about their internships during the summers of 2019 and 2020. See our Summer Experience Database.)
2. Develop parallel plans.
Say your goal is to find a job working in marketing and communications for a museum. Pursue that goal with all the resources available to you, including a conversation with your career cluster coach. But know that you will reduce your stress level if you have parallel plans in place.
Maybe one of your parallel plans includes looking for marketing and communications roles in another industry that interests you, and perhaps another plan involves going back to a summer job you’ve done in the past. Creating these parallel plans doesn’t have to involve a lot of work – just an awareness that if your first choice opportunities don’t come through, you have options.
3. Connect with a compassionate “accountability partner.”
Even in the best of times, the job search can cause extra stress. Everyone experiences this, and everyone needs support to get through it. Consider setting up a regular meeting with a close friend, a mentor, an advisor or a neutral family member — someone who knows you well, who can empathize with your struggles, and who can help you aim for realistic goals every couple of weeks.
4. Practice self-care.
Maybe we think all those self-care suggestions we’ve seen are for other people — we can power through anything. But when we slow down just a bit, sometimes we notice just how much of a toll stress has inflicted on our lives.
- Download a free gratitude app and list a few things each day that you are grateful for. Just a few minutes a day can help you hold a more positive attitude while reducing your anxiety.
- Go for walks, practice deep breathing exercises, or use a meditation app – all these can help you rebuild your energy and simply feel better about yourself.
- Check out the University Counseling Services self-care resources for ideas on how to deal with anxiety, emotional regulation and distress, sleep patterns, self-compassion, and financial difficulties.
Remember: you’re not experiencing this process alone. Be open about how you’re feeling to your mentors. Talk about it with career coaches. Talk about it with your friends and family.
There are people here for you — to not only support you through rough patches, but also to help you achieve your goals. We look forward to working with you!