5 Lessons I Learned After Graduating College
Your twenties are a weird time. Half of your friends are in serious relationships/married/having kids while the other half seem to have endless amounts of energy as they party/travel/appear to be having the time of their lives. Regardless, everyone is out there trying to live their best life. And then it seems like you’re just…there…trying to figure out your own life.
Well, I’m right there with ya! With college graduations in full swing, check out 5 lessons I’ve learned in my post-grad life:
1) It’s okay to not have a job right out of college.
It took me six months to get a job after I graduated with a degree in marketing. Was it my dream job? Nope. I didn’t even know what I wanted my dream job to be. But I learned SO much and it really helped me figure out what I wanted my career path to look like.
Reflecting back on my job search I realized a couple of things:
I didn’t start looking early enough. Maybe I could have been one of those people who got a job straight out of college if I started looking in January instead of in April or May, who knows?
I was WAY too picky. I wanted to find the perfect job with the perfect company. While it’s great to set standards for yourself, you also have to be realistic. An entry level job most likely won’t have every single thing you’re looking for, but it’s a great way for you to test your skills and learn what you’re good at, what you like and what you don’t like. That doesn’t mean you have to hate it. I enjoyed my first job! You just have to find the right balance for what you’re looking for.
So, don’t get discouraged! You’ll find a job and grow from there.
2) FOMO is real.
While you’re in college, it’s so easy to have a social life. You have classes with these people, you have a central spot to meet up, you’re involved with a lot of similar groups…UGH how I miss the simpler times. Today I have to schedule hang outs with my friends at least 2 weeks in advance since three of us have full-time jobs, one is a med student and one lives out of state (she gets FaceTimed in).
You just have this fear of missing out (aka FOMO) because you don’t see these people every day like you used to but we are also lucky to live in the time of social media and smart phones. Everyone is just a text, call, snap or DM away. After you graduate, it just puts into perspective who you really want in your life and want to put the effort to keep in your life.
3) Take. Your. Time.
Almost everyone I know, including myself, is always looking forward to something. The weekend, a vacation, a hang out, an event. We’re always in a rush to go to the next thing that we forget to live now. Yes, I know, I know…super cliché but it’s so incredibly true, especially in your twenties.
We have all of these expectations for what we think our twenties will look like. Mine included graduating college, landing my dream job, becoming a decently-known blogger, finding the love of my life, getting married and having a house. It’s been a constant go-go to the next thing in this perfect future I had set for myself that I didn’t leave room for real life. The two things I have accomplished so far are graduating college and finding the love of my life. I didn’t expect to get burnt out and hate going in to work in a million years, but it happened. I didn’t expect to stop blogging half-way through college, but it happened. I definitely didn’t expect to find the love of my life in college, but I think it happened!
It’s great to have goals and expectations, something to strive toward. Just don’t rush toward it and leave behind all of the important stuff in between. Enjoy your twenties! I’m four years in and boy it’s been a roller coaster. Cheers to the next six years!
4) Discover you.
Building off of the previous three points, take the time to do things you enjoy. Nowadays people are calling them “side hustles” but I prefer to stick to the term “hobbies.” Read that book you put off reading, take that art class, join that gym…do something for you so you can continue to grow and challenge yourself.
Since I graduated I dabbled more into freelance graphic design, got a new job, joined a book club, started working out with a personal trainer and even relaunched my blog!
Always push to be the best version of yourself, and have fun doing it!
5) You got this.
Being an adult, or as we like to call it, “adulting,” is hard. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with looking for jobs, trying to figure out your finances, learning about 401Ks and insurance…it can be a lot. But remember you’re not alone and you have so many resources out there to help you figure it out.
Take it a day at a time and remember to breathe! Life isn’t meant to be easy. Every day is a learning experience and helps us a grow. (:
WHEW, yeah, that was a lot. Take post grad life one step at a time. YOU GOT THIS!
Still in college or high school? Check out some more tips below!
I wish I had learned more about building a line of credit, financing, marketing, starting my own business…money man!
- 23, General Manager
Enjoy college and make lots of connections & network! Also, intern while in college because lots of places want you to have some sort of experience in the field.
- 27, Juvenile Institutional Officer
I wish I spent more time on myself and learned more about myself. I should’ve tried new things like learning the guitar or joining some club. I feel like sometimes we just get so caught up in the day to day things we just forget about ourselves.
- 31, Dev. Ops Engineer
It’s not always about the grades but the experiences you take. Do those internships, study abroad, etc.
- 26, Account Specialist