I caution students to not count on freelancing when they first graduate. Freelancing is networking, if you don’t know people in the business you won’t get much work. Plan on working for one or two graphics companies, giving each one about two years. In those four years, you will (1) learn so very much from working with other professionals and (2) make an incredible number of contacts. These contacts won’t necessarily become clients but they will know someone who needs your skills… networking.
Freelancing is also a lot of hard work. Imagine going on job interviews 3-4 days a week to get one job that will pay about $150. Do that every week for several months and you might build up a client list and a reputation for quality work.
Lean times always seem to hit freelancers first. Agencies and studios will try to keep their staff busy rather than send work out. Even if their people take twice as long to do a project it is cost effective to keep them busy first.