Most people look forward to graduating from college — other people get really anxious. For me, post-grad life seemed scary AF, especially because I had no idea what the future had in store for me or what I even wanted to do in life. I’ve currently been “adulting” for ten months now, and after talking with some fellow graduated friends, I have to say that there are lots of similarities in each of our experiences. Here are a few “realities” of post-grad life that I’d like to share from my own personal journey towards adulthood:
Reality: You might have mixed feelings about post-grad life.
After graduating college, I definitely had mixed feelings about post-grad life — especially when school got back into session and all of my friends were making Facebook statuses about their first days back on the grind. I realized I missed being around my friends and running into people that I knew on campus. I missed being able to procrastinate and skip classes (lol). I missed taking part in student group activities, leading as a board member, and going to fun events that had free food (like Cane’s, mmm). But what I didn’t miss was feeling stressed over assignments or exams. I definitely didn’t miss finals week (hell to the no). I also didn’t miss those group projects where you would have a team member that didn’t give a shit about their grade or yours. I definitely had mixed feelings about post-grad life.
Reality: Finding a job can take up to several months.
Finding a job takes time. I thought that I would find a job after just one month or so of searching, but in reality, it took me three months. (It also didn’t help that I was indecisive and picky.) I applied to countless job openings, spoke to so many recruiters, and wenzipt through dozens of interviews. I also received several rejection emails and phone calls (and let’s not forget being “ghosted” by companies too!). Let me tell you — it was discouraging and for sure attacked my Beyonce-confident vibes. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or qualified enough no matter how hard I tried to stand out during my interviews or how enthusiastic I showed myself to be.
But despite how many rejections I received or how discouraged I felt, I kept trying. Weeks passed by and it definitely wasn’t easy, but eventually I was able to land a really great job opportunity that I felt content with and grateful for.
Reality: Once you get a job, work is life.
When I first started working my “big girl job,” I didn’t understand how adults managed to work eight hours every day. I remember coming home each day after work feeling super exhausted and feeling like my life was revolved around my job. From Monday to Friday, I would go to work and then come home, feeling too tired to do anything “productive.” I would find myself relaxing at the end of the day or resorting to watching Netflix the majority of the time.
But as time moved on, I got used to my work routine. Now, I see myself putting in more effort to make plans throughout the week, like going to happy hour with a few coworkers, catching up with an old friend over dinner, or running a few errands here and there. Work can occupy the majority of your time, but there’s always room for balance!
Reality: You start calling yourself old.
Yes, if this ain’t the truth. I’ve noticed that I’ve been saying “I’m old…” more often these days. Especially when I’m hanging out with friends that are still in college and I hear them complaining about their 7-page papers or exams that are coming up. It makes me feel thankful for not having to worry about those things anymore — but it also makes me feel a little older when I no longer can relate as well as I used to. I’ve also been getting tired and sleeping a lot earlier than I used to — like 10pm early. Yikes. #old #og #stillknowhowtohashtagtho #aye
Reality: You actually have no idea how to “adult.”
What even is adulting? How does one file taxes? How do you make a dentist appointment? Why didn’t I start building credit a lot earlier? How does 401k work??
So many questions popped up during my transition into the adulting world. I realized that I had no idea how to actually “adult” or do a lot of things that I didn’t have to do or think about before graduation.
Reality: You actually have no idea how to “adult,” and then “adulting” suddenly gets REAL.
After a few months of “adulting,” I began to realize a lot of things. I realized I was paying more bills and loans than I would have liked. I realized the majority of my paychecks were being used to pay off my bills and loans. It was suddenly more difficult to travel, go on vacation, or take time off because of my limited amount of PTO. Take advantage of the days in college where you can travel freely, procrastinate on homework, volunteer, and explore, because in the adult world, you’ll have a lot more responsibilities to worry about than you once used to.
Reality: Post-grad life is a constant learning experience.
Post-grad life is about learning more about the real world, who you are, and what you want to do with your life. Whether that’s figuring out what your future career might be, whether or not you should go on that Europe trip, how to finance your earnings… you’re on a journey where you’re continuously growing and learning more about yourself every day and from the decisions that you make in life.
It’s been ten months since graduation, but I’m still learning about post-grad life every day. I’m still learning more about the real world, who I am, and what I want to do with my life. Since graduation, I found myself on a journey where I’m continuously growing and learning more about myself each and every day. The future is still a mystery to me, but the reality is, that’s the joy of it all.
- It’s harder to maintain friendships and make new friends. You really learn who your true friends are.