Monday, May 20, 2019

15 Pieces of Advice About Life After College

My new NYC life
As crazy as it sounds, I graduated from college exactly a year ago. Life moves extremely fast after graduation, and the shift into real adulthood can take some adjusting to. All of a sudden the school you called home for the past four years is just a fond memory. And not all of the relationships you created during your time in college will last. Everyone goes down a different path, and your life will shift. Some people have full-time jobs, some go to grad school and others will take a year off to travel or accomplish personal goals. But in my experience, this shift is a good thing and it should be celebrated. Contrary to the stereotypes, life after graduation doesn't have to suck. The reason you went to college in the first place was to educate yourself and pursue a career. You may have graduated, but that doesn't mean all of the fun stops. You will experience new places and new people that you would've never met if you didn't move on. This has been the most challenging yet rewarding year for me. I said goodbye to an internship I really loved, I started a grad school program and I recently accepted a new job in New York City. All of these changes helped me realize what's important and that I shouldn't have put so much pressure on myself. To alleviate some of the pressures for you, here are 15 pieces of advice about life after college.

Relationships Change 
As I mentioned above, not all of the relationships you make during college will stick with you but that's okay. Not everyone you meet is meant to stay in your life forever. Life after graduation proves who your real friends are. With this being said, be at peace with the people who may have wronged you or those you've grown apart from. There's no use in being negative and fostering bad energy. The people that genuinely care about you will make the time and effort to stay in contact with you and you should do the same for them. It gets difficult to make plans with college and high school friends after graduation but don't take these people for granted and reach out to them whenever you can. 

You May Not Land Your Dream Job Right Away 
I'm a grad student, so I can't fully attest to this, but from my friends' experiences searching for jobs, it's very difficult to land your dream job right away. Everything takes time, connections and experience. I'm not saying it's impossible. I do have a few friends who did land their dream jobs right out of college but I also have friends who have tried out a few different positions and that's okay too. It takes time to work your way up to the top of a job industry, and it takes time to figure out what job is meant for you. 

Save Money  
This one seems like a no-brainer, but life after college gets expensive, especially if you move to a big city. I love New York City, but it's very expensive. Save as much money as you possibly can while you're in undergrad and you'll be thankful when you have money to apply towards student loans, a new apartment or personal expenses. 

It's Okay to Make Mistakes 
It's okay if a job interview didn't go as planned, it's okay if you had a hard day at work and it's okay if you didn't call your mom when you said you will because you forgot. Learn from the mistakes you make and don't be too hard on yourself when you mess up once in a while. After all, we're only human and it takes time to figure out what you want after you graduate college. 

Parents Still Want to Be Involved in Your Life
I love my parents and of course, I want them to be a part of my life. However, I assumed that I would have full freedom after graduating from college and that I wouldn't want to be at home or call my mother as frequently as I do. This couldn't be farther from the truth. I think I see more of my parents now than I did while I was in undergrad. While I do have to remind my parents that I'm 22 and capable of handling things by myself, I do enjoy spending time with them and talking frequently with them. After being away for so long at school, your parents will miss you and want to spend time with you so go easy on them.

Shot in Tribeca for the first time!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone or You'll Regret It 
 People are afraid to graduate from college because they're entering the unknown. College is easy and comfortable and starting a new job is anything but that. However, starting over is fresh and invigorating. I'm so thankful I chose to pursue a master's degree in a huge city with endless opportunities. Nothing good comes from staying in your comfort zone. 

Be Open to Meeting New People
I made more friends this year than I ever made in college or in previous phases of my life. I made so many amazing grad school friends, and I had the pleasure of meeting up with blogger friends this year too. You never know who you will meet after college and you should be open to making as many friends as possible. 

Identify Your Goals and Stick to Them 
Now that you're out of college, it's time to create a plan of action and work on achieving your goals. Identify a potential career goal for yourself or a next step and work on those. Only do things that are going to benefit you and your career aspirations. Meaningless drama, pointless relationships and waiting until the last minute to complete your assignments are things of the past. 

Take Advantage of New Opportunities 
I like to stay busy and I took on a lot of different opportunities this year from blogging events to fashion week events I covered as a journalist. Life can get stressful at times, but I recommend taking advantage of the different opportunities presented to you. Take a little time off after graduation to relax but then get right to it. Network with new people, attend events and take on an additional assignment for work. You won't regret it. 

Ask for Help If You Need it 
Taxes, insurance, and financial aid were never my strong points. It's okay to ask your parents, friends or other people close to you for advice and help when you need it. You aren't cut off from help just because you graduated from college. Plenty of people are still more than willing to help you succeed. 

Visiting the New York Botanical Gardens!
You're Young 
You're young and don't have to have everything figured out. It's okay if you don't know what you want to do. The first year or two after graduation are the years meant to experiment with different jobs and hobbies to see what works. Eventually, you will figure out what you're passionate about and what job works for you and your skills. 

Don't Play the Comparison Game 
Everyone is on a different journey after graduation. Whichever journey you choose is right for you, and it doesn't matter what other people think or what other people are doing. People only show their highlights on social media so don't let that convince you otherwise. 

Live a Healthier Lifestyle 
The stereotypical college kid is known for staying up late, drinking alcohol and eating fast food on the regular. While this doesn't apply to everyone, if it does apply, now is the time to start a new, healthy routine. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, get more hours of sleep and try to drink a few bottles of water a day. Your body will thank you. 

Work Hard At Your Current Job
It's easy to fall in the "I don't care" mindset if you're doing a job you're not particularly crazy about. However, if you do a good job and work hard your boss will notice and give you a good recommendation. 

Don't Visit Your Old College Every Week 
While it can be nice to visit the school you used to attend, don't be that person that goes back every week to party with your undergrad friends. You graduated and you have to act like you did. You're now a working professional, a graduate student or someone on a personal journey. Showing up at the same frat house or the local college bar every weekend and maintaining the same cycle of events you did in undergrad will only hold you back from achieving your full potential. 

Thanks for reading! I hope this post makes the transition a little easier. 

1 comment:

  1. Such great lessons! That gingham dress with the blush sweater is my favorite outfit!!! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
    - meg |