So now that many of us have been out of college for dare I say a decent amount of time, or it is quickly approaching. I’ve jotted down some things that I wish I would have been told- just for some warning about adulting.
I thought when I didn’t have to work, a social life, class, AND do homework/studying life would be so much easier. But do I wish I could go back to those days? 100%. Adulting sucks. It’s hard. And it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
We had everything scheduled out for us our whole lives– you go to elementary school, then middle school, high school, college. Then what? There’s no map. BOOM! You’re on your own. So here’s what I’ve found out (so far)…
1. Meeting (& maintaining) friends takes work.
In school, you’re “forced” to be with your friends 24/7, so meeting people your own age, with similar interests isn’t that hard. Plus it was easy to weed out the weirdos. Real life, you have a job where the ages could be anywhere, where half the people don’t care to do anything but work then leave.
Not to mention friends you’ve had your whole life, have a whole new life, maybe even in a different city in a different time zone. It’s so easy to “grow apart.” What I’ve learned? If you make time for it, it works. But you have to work at it.
2. Your first, second, and maybe even third job won’t be your dream job.
I was totally guilty of thinking that after college, I was going to land the job of my dreams, with the best coworkers, and do one job for the rest of my life. I was wrong, I worked in a hotel, at a front desk. And while it sure wasn’t ever boring. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing forever. Still? Yeah, don’t have my dream job.
3. Life isn’t a linear track – it has ups and downs, twists and turns.
Sometimes I really think I’m doing good- on the right track, and then a curve ball happens and I am speeding down a different track that I had no idea how I got there. I used judge myself harshly, on difficult times, and while it’s true, it may not be ideal…there’s no going back.
It’s important to see that twists and turns lead to the same destination as one path. I like to now embrace the adventure, the roller coaster’s twists and turns, constantly reminding myself how far I have come, and how none of it happened how I thought it would. But look, I’m alive.
4. No one cares where you went to college, what your degree is in, or what your GPA was.
I think where you went to college is more of a talking point- like “Oh did your school have football?” Or some generic question steaming off of that. Experience matters more than what the degree is in. College was great, best days of my life, but when interviewing, I have never been asked what my degree was, told the person, and then if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear was it a dead end. I was a communication major (which I LOVED), but that has no list of jobs I can do. Nor will I let it give me one.
Last but not least, my GPA, which I thought 100% mattered. Turns out? Again, I was wrong. No one talks about it, no one asks. All you get was “cool, you went to college.”
5. When you feel down, out of place, or sad; it’s normal.
Life has always been mapped out- you finished this grade, you got to go to the next. And spend a whole year again with everyone who was familiar. It’s normal to be lost for a minute, a day, however long. Sure, it’s not enjoyable or fun. No one likes it, but there’s worse things, and life does go on. And once you’re feeling up again, another twist or turn comes along and you’re back down, and you just have to learn to accept that it’s okay.
6. There are no wrong decisions.
I myself struggle everyday with this, still. And I have thought I made wrong decisions in “big aspects” of my life. But even when I thought it was wrong, there were always benefits to it. And you can always change any decision you make, go with it for awhile, and if it doesn’t work. Change it.
7. There are no rules.
There’s no “how-to” book to adult. There is no “right” way to act, there is no “right” way to feel, or “right” path you need to be on. As long as you listen to yourself (brain, and heart) and trust your gut, it’s what’s “right.”
8. You have to be your own support system.
Yes, your parents, friends, significant others will have your back. But why should they be your only cheerleader? After all, we all know we’re our hardest critic. I used to be so harsh on myself, not that I’m not anymore. But I used to second guess if I was doing the “right thing,” making a smart move, going through a rough time, or even if I was deserving of something good that happened.
What I learned? It’s normal to be unsure, or insecure, whatever you wanna call it. If you realize you’re going to be with yourself for 100% of anything that happens, and you can help yourself through it. It makes it that much easier, and you more confident.