So you’re graduating university this spring and you’ve decided to stay in Montreal, have you?
Many recent graduates seem to leave Montreal for one reason or another. Living in Montreal post-graduation means you get to rediscover the city you love. With that in mind, here are some tips to better equip you for your life beyond university - things I would have found helpful before I made the same choice you’ve made now.
1. Make connections with like-minded individuals while you are still in school.
You can make your post-graduation job hunt easier with a little networking. It’s a small world, and Montreal is even smaller. You never know what minor acquaintance might have an in for you somewhere down the line. After you’ve graduated you may be surprised at how much harder it becomes to meet people outside of your immediate circles.
2. For out-of-province students who plan on staying in Montreal, switch over your health insurance asap.
Go to the university clinic while you’re still in school. See a dentist. See a chiropractor. See a physiotherapist. Get your wisdom teeth out. Have your appendix removed. Take advantage of whatever medical plan you get through school because once it’s gone you’ll be sad, and when that time comes don’t dilly dally about making the switch. Don’t put off getting your Quebec health insurance until there’s a medical emergency: commit to it now.
3. Think carefully about which neighbourhood will be right for you when you don’t have to go to class anymore.
People often don’t realize how much their physical routine is governed by school. You may want to move to an entirely difference neighbourhood after you’ve graduated whether it be for rent prices or simply for a change of pace. Be open to new neighbourhoods and don’t limit your searches to the same places you used to when you were a student.
4. If you don’t already have a job, start looking yesterday.
Just because you have a degree now, does not mean it’s going to be any easier to find a job than when you were seventeen and applying at every store in the mall. It will probably be even more frustrating since you may feel overqualified for many of the positions you apply for. If you don’t speak French, you’ll at least want to enroll in a course (more school- yay!), and put it on your CV. Employers look kindly on people who are making an effort to learn, even if you’re not a pro yet.
5. No matter what you end up doing, there is no such thing as bad life experience.
You never know what kind of connection or experience could turn into a completely unexpected opportunity. Montreal is a great place to take your time and figure things out because the cost of living is cheap enough that recent graduates aren’t necessarily forced to move back in with their parents. First and foremost, stop comparing yourself to other people. You’ll never be able to comfortably make a decision if you’re not acting on your own impulses.