A fresh new batch of college kids are entering the “real world” again. I always love this time of year.
To those of you filled with fear and uncertainty I’d like to be the first to tell you it’s going to be okay. I was you just five years ago. And look at me now, it’s 10:45 a.m. on a Tuesday and I’m sitting on my back patio eating a cheese stick looking at my dirt patch of a yard in Chicago while I talk to my dog.
So you could say things are going pretty good. Play your cards right and you could be me in five years. For the record yards are really hard to come by in Chicago (when you’re not rich.)
Seriously though, I’ve got some advice I’d like to share from my five years of post college wisdom. So gather around and I’ll tell you some secrets to life.
First and foremost, these next few years will get tricky. And perhaps a little scary. You might cry a lot and find yourself on your couch drinking old wine while googling “how to win the lottery.” It’s completely normal. For as many low times as you have you’ll have just as many high times. It’s the yin and the yang. The Randy Quaid and Dennis Quaid.
The similar paths that you and your peers have led for so many years are about to go haywire. One friend will get married right away and start popping out babies, while another friend will drop off the grid and live in India for the next ten years. And then you’ll have those friends who continue to party like they’re still 21 and get up for work each and every day. What I’ve realized is we all have our own ways to do life. Find what works for you.
That being said, here’s a few of my suggestions.
Don’t settle for a job you absolutely hate. Unless of course you make a ton of money and money is what you want most at this time.
Seriously think about it, what do you want most right now?
I had some good jobs after college with stable paychecks and good benefits, but I was miserable. So I chose option two. The option where I wake up every day happy and thankful I get to be my own boss and do what I love. And then I go to bed nervous as hell because it could all end tomorrow… It’s a balancing act. Choose what works for you.
If you can’t find the job you love, make your own. (Sell t-shirts whoop whoop.)
Selling t-shirts isn’t my dream job, but it allows me to work on the other stuff I need to do in hopes of getting my dream job…right? RIGHT???
Don’t freak out if all of your friends are getting married. This works for some, but not for all. However if it really bothers you just move to Chicago. Nobody here even considers marriage until their late twenties.
Speaking of moving, I highly suggest you skip town after college- at least for a little bit. I know I’m bias on this one, but you learn a lot of things when you move away from your homeland. Get out and see the world with a fresh set of eyes.
Make yourself uncomfortable.
Do the things that scare you.
If you’re lonely, get a dog.
And if you’re really lonely, get a Vizsla.
Travel. You hear this one time and time again but it’s true. You’re at a time in your life where you can pick up and go at a moments notice, so do it.
Don’t ignore those nagging feelings you get about trying something new, or going somewhere different. They’re there for a reason.
Break out of your college shell. The you on the other side is much better, I promise.
Remember nobody has it all figured out. Some of us are just better at bullshitting than others.
We’re all just a bunch of lost children running around pretending we know how to do adult things- like paying our taxes and buying a house.
You have a lot of time, but time goes fast. Really fast. If you don’t use it wisely you’ll wake up one day and you’ll already be five years out of college wondering what just happened… while also eating cheese sticks and talking to your dog. Don’t judge me, it’s not a bad life.
And if all else fails, just start a blog. Everyone else has.