By Fatima from Sprinkle of Surprise
Graduating from college is an experience on its own. For me, it was a huge achievement but it was also overwhelming and sad to think that that my formal education was coming to a close.
As a kid, I never appreciated school as much as I should have. I would complain like every other kid. But once I was in college, I began to appreciate it a lot more. I realized how blessed I was to even be getting an education and I never wanted that to end.
Life after graduation brought many changes. Figuring out what to DO after you graduate is really important. Whether that be getting a job, going to graduate school, or taking time off to do whatever—it’s important to decide that as early as possible so that you waste the least amount of time.
For myself, I knew that getting a full time job in what I studied was the most important thing for me. Alhumdullilah, that I was able to land a full time job soon after graduating which I learned so much from. It was really hard to transition to a full time job, where you realize you have no winter or summer vacation. To this day, I miss those breaks because sometimes we all just need a break and do nothing.
The most important part of life after graduation is to still maintain all of the faith based activities you were doing in college. For me, that meant to keep up with my daily prayers while still at work. In such a modern world we live in, it is quite easy to pray while at work. There are multiple quiet rooms around an office building, where you can take a few minutes of your day to remember Allah.
Furthermore, the pressure to socialize by ‘going out for drinks’ increases tremendously in the work place environment. So far, I’ve been out to dinner a few times with my team, and I will be the only one at the table who does not order a drink. Luckily my teammates are understanding, and never ask me to order one, or even really ask why I don’t drink. So I don’t feel pressured and I can still have a good time with my coworkers. It is important to stick to your basic principles and not give into any pressures, regardless of what the situation is. It is not worth the punishments received in the afterlife.
Likewise, staying in touch with your old school and friends is so important while working or moving on from college. I still go back to my university whenever they have Muslim related events. It keeps me in touch with what’s going on at my old school, and maintain those connections while I transition to the ‘real world’.
This is all from my own current experience, however, I know many people go off to graduate school or go on to get married very soon after graduation. I plan on going back to graduate school myself, very soon, inshAllah, and I believe that balancing faith when in grad school is going to be similar as it was while I was in undergraduate.
Furthermore, it is important to just strengthen oneself as a Muslim. I continue to do good deeds, read Quran and pray on time. Keeping your life in balance with our religious duties, will bring ease and comfort to your life.
All of that being said, life post grad is the time to enjoy, learn, and embrace change! Surround yourselves with positive people and friends, keeping to your basic principles and teachings, and make sure to keep Islam at the center of your life.