This post is a little different, however it’s happening and I wish someone would have told me this after I graduated!
Graduating college is a HUGE step. You just finished 16+ years of going to school and now you’re supposed to quickly emerge into the “real world”. It’s scary, hard & honestly your emotions are all over the place. I graduated the summer of 2017, moved back home & started a full-time job in August. However all of my friends were either still in college or stayed in our college town. Safe to say it was HARD. I didn’t tell a lot of people but I became depressed and honestly my anxiety was through the roof.
My first full-time job was a bad fit for me. I followed what my parents said and not what I wanted. First step of advice:
Don’t settle for “just a job”
Although my job did get me to Nashville, I wished I waited till I found a job I was super passionate about (AKA why I changed jobs after 6 months). Don’t stress about being on a timeline! Give yourself time to process what you want to do. You should have a personal timeline of when you need a job but, don’t stress too much. Don’t fall into society’s expectations of immediately having a job set up before graduation. (I made that mistake). However keep in mind we all have bills, so we can’t stay jobless forever.
Do not, in any circumstance, compare yourself to others
Advice as old as time. However, people in their twenties need to take this advice more than ever. I’m 23 and have friends getting married, having a baby, still in school, buying a house, getting raises, traveling or moving to different cities. It’s honestly crazy to think about how different people are in their twenties. I struggled with comparing myself to my friends or with people a couple years older than me. You begin to judge your own success by the success of others.
It’s hard to make this transition, because in college you’re with hundreds of other people enrolled in the same classes, striving for the same degree. Everyone’s on the same path to that expensive piece of paper. After graduation that all changes, so there’s no way for you to compare yourself to the girl that sat next to you in accounting.
Hang Out With People That Make You Happy
This one was really hard for me to understand. I was in a sorority in college and lived with 3 or more girls at a time. People constantly surrounded me. Someone was always available to study at the library, grab dinner, go out or just watch movies. Moving away from your friends is extremely hard. Especially if most of your friends stayed together, they continue to do the same thing and you’re now in this whole new world. I had a full time job and started to feel irrelevant.
That is the worst feeling, but you know what? I still have friends that reached out and wanted to catch up. I slowly started to make new friends or strengthening the old. Some college friends were meant to be just that & some are life long. Realizing that life changes & knowing everyone is doing something different, inspires you to move forward, and trust me post graduation can still be fun! Everyone needs a solid support system, but don’t live in the past. Times a changing and so are you!! So get out there and meet new people!
Find Things that Inspire You!
This one takes time, because I had to figure out what I like to do, skills I’m good at & honestly what truly makes me happy! One piece of advice is to not put your self-worth into anybody else’s hands. This sounds cliché, but you have to figure out who you are. This might take going out of your comfort zone. I found out that painting really helps me with anxiety, or that I love the feeling after a good run, or that I love having a creative outlet for my thoughts. Don’t be embarrassed if something you enjoy now is totally different than what it was in college.
I feel like no one told me how hard post graduation was going to be! After talking to some of my friends, I’ve realized we are all in the same boat. No one should be embarrassed about feeling this way; just know that everyone feels lost at some point and that you don’t have to have it all figured out! (Good for you if you do). Don’t stress too much, experiment with your interests and stay close to those who support your success.
I’m a big quote reader, so here are some of my favorites:
“It’s funny how we outgrow what we once thought we couldn’t live without, and then we fall in love with what we didn’t even know we wanted. Life keeps leading us on journeys we would never go on if it were up to us. Don’t be afraid. Have faith. Find the lessons. Trust the journey. “
“The secret to self-confidence isn’t to stop caring what people think, it’s to start caring about what you think. It’s to make your opinion of you more important than anyone else’s. ” -Sam Brown
“A secret to happiness is letting every situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be, and then making the best of it.”
“When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life. And that I can’t do.”