CES  Peer Advisor Enrique Vargas ’12 shares his perspective on heading home for Thanksgiving and facing questions about his future.

As pumpkins go from jack-o-lanterns to thanks-giving pies I’m thinking about the trip home this fall, along with all the hassles that come with nearly finishing my degree and not seeing relatives but twice a year. Most people in my shoes dread having to face the barrage of questions every relative and family friend asks—the most intimidating being, “What are you doing after graduation?”

Out of everyone back home, my dad’s always the most eager, and most of the time I tactfully side-step the question. “Oh, you know…stuff.”

But not any more! I’m preparing for after school, and even if I don’t have a concrete plan or job offer by Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve at least taken some steps to prepare for life beyond Puget Sound.

Despite the interrogations, I’m actually my own worst source of pressure about my next move.

Having left home almost immediately after high-school graduation, the idea of going back to live with my parents is absolutely terrifying. The thought that there are less than six months of school left has been a necessary bucket-of-ice-water realization, and so I decided to start the process.

In the last few weeks I’ve had the chance to do a mock interview through CES with a few alumni, and I’ve found a great direction to start my job search. I’ve also spoken with a few employers, attended the Career Fair, and even applied for a job! Now no one can say that I haven’t been proactive.

Getting the ball rolling has helped eliminate some of the stress.

I’ve started the application processes for a few different programs like the Peace Corps, and the JET Programme, and every time it gets easier. Armed and at the ready, all I can say is, “Bring on Turkey Day!”

Need a few steps you can take before the break to prepare for all the Thanksgiving table talk?

  • Check out alumni with your major through the ASK Network and be prepared to talk about all the things you can do with your major.
  • Take the Career Matchmaker in Career Cruising.
  • Turn the tables on your family; when asked what you’re planning to do after you graduate, ask them, “What did you do after graduation?” or, “How did you get to your career” and let ‘em talk.

Ready for a second helping? Visit CES for more ways to get ready!

© 2011 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound