Unsolicited Advice To New College Grads

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A new batch of fresh faced college kids are entering the "real world" right now. I know because I heard a group of them talking about it at Starbucks yesterday. They're taking on internships, and traveling the world, and really planning to put their major to its specific use.

I was exhausted just listening to them, but also quite entertained. I love to hear what new college grads think of the real world. A few times I wanted to lean back in my chair and say, "listen here kiddos, I've got some knowledge to drop on you..." But I resisted because I was in my Monday tracksuit woman outfit (not really, but a little) and also because they might not have appreciated the fact I had been eavesdropping on their convo for the last hour.

But here's a bit of the unsolicited advice I'd like to give those new college grads.

The best years are not behind you. I repeat, you have a lot of "best years" ahead of you.

Don't believe people (or movies) when they say that tired phrase. I had a great time in college (too much fun sometimes) but I'm having an even better time now.

And no, I'm not saying I go to crazy house parties on the weekends (the thought of that actually makes me cringe now) instead I have fun doing things I couldn't do in college.

I travel more, eat better dinners, won't touch a bottle of Bartons. Or Skol. Or "Country Club" vodka. I don't know what country club that poison water comes from, but I'd certainly never belong there.

I have better relationships with the people that matter to me. I've let go of the ones that don't.

As for the first few years out of college (like what you're jumping into now) buckle up, it's going to be a rollercoaster. You'll have some of the highest highs, followed by the lowest lows.

My first years out of college were scary and confusing. I had constant breakdowns about feeling stuck in jobs that I absolutely hated.

Is this my life? Am I doomed to do this forever? I thought every morning as I got ready to go into a workplace that I couldn't stand.

The answer: no.

I think to a certain degree we all have to have those jobs we hate so we can figure out what we want to do.

The good thing about this time we're living in right now is that if you can't find a job like, you have the opportunity to create one.

Thanks to social media, small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to affordable advertising that can reach the masses like never before. Every morning I wake up and feel as if there's 100 different ways to grow my business. The hard part is simply choosing which one.

If you've lived in the same place your entire life, move somewhere new. I'm not saying it has to be forever, but moving to Chicago was one of the best things I did right after college.

Stop comparing yourself to the friends you've had forever. Chances are your paths were pretty similar the first twenty years; middle school, then high school, then college. But now you're at the time when things really start to change. Five years down the road your bestie may be married with three kids and you're living the single life. That's okay.  The only timeline you should be on is your own.

Try to put yourself in a new situation, surrounded by people you've never been around before.

Make yourself uncomfortable.

Do that thing that you can't stop thinking about, but makes your stomach drop when you actually imaging yourself doing it.

Once you do that first terrifying thing you'll want to do more things like that. And this is when you start to change a little bit as a person.

Take things day by day. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you first realize how big the world is outside of your college bubble.

And don't forget, everyone is just as scared and as uncertain as you are, some are just better at faking it.

One last thing, things never really "slow down," so stop waiting for that perfect moment to come around for whatever it is you want to do. That "perfect moment" doesn't exist, you have to create it.

College Grad Nine Years Removed


  1. It took a career change for me to realise what I studied in university was wrong for me. University is definitely not the end, there's so much more ahead!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Great advice, and add- sometimes you may need this advice 5, 10, 15 years down the line! - 12 years removed.

  3. Love this Taylor - it's so true that you have to make the perfect moments. And you really have to do stuff that scares you! Even though it can be SO scary sometimes. I love being able to have my own business, work from home, and make my life work for me. There are SO many things we can do for our businesses. It's hard to focus on just one thing at a time. Enough procrastinating for me :) Yay for your 30s and being comfortable with yourself!


  4. I graduated college back in December and even though I'm less bright eyed and bushy tailed than new grads, I'm thankful for this post! I just walked out on a job that was absolutely miserable and was costing me my mental health. Sadly it took me a long time to realize that just staying at a job I hated as a "resume builder" wasn't going to actually get me anywhere. Since then I've re-entered that scary interview-to-interview limbo where everything is full of uncertainty, but this post reaffirmed that's kind of how I should feel as a semi-recent grad. It's easy to feel like your life is defined by your job, especially when you're just starting out. So next time I'm in tracksuit mode at Starbucks and hear kids talking about their fear of the "real world" I will refer them to this post. :)

  5. Such great advice - I am actually forwarding this to a recent grad and totally relate especially as I head to my college reunion next weekend - eek!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  6. Some pretty damn good advice here, life is good and bad, happy and sad, fast and slow and full of the unexpected and oh so exciting

  7. Is it sad that I still drink Bartons? I actually give it a french accent and call it Bartones, with an accented 'e'. Hahaha! But do I regret it every morning after? Yes. Yes, I do.

  8. Where were you when I was graduating from college?!

  9. Love this! If only I knew then what I know now...

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