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