It’s time to be honest about what it’s really like on the other side of Uni. Professors, parents, hell even society as a whole has tricked us into thinking that with a little bit of hard work (and thousands of dollars in student loans under our belt) we will make our dreams come true. We often have this expectation that right off the bat, we are going to walk into our career. I mean, that’s what the past four years were for right?
But for the post-grads still bussing tables, working the same job you’ve been working just to get by, and going on countless job interviews, life after college doesn’t always go the way you plan. You can practically hear the Friends theme song here “so no one told you life was gonna be this way *clap* *clap ** clap* *clap*”
It’s been one year since I graduated and trust me, I am not even close to where I thought I’d be. I went from working an internship “for the experience” to being unemployed for two months followed by a receptionist job at a law firm that unexpectedly turned into a legal assistant position. Not quite the track I thought things were going to take. To be honest, it was tough, and it still is sometimes, but I found a few things that have helped.
If you’re not quite where you thought you’d be after you left campus, here are 3 things to keep in mind so you don’t slip into an after senior year slump.
Understand that plenty of other people feel this way
The uneasiness, fear, and longing- these feelings are practically universal. It’s easy to forget when friends post about their awesome new jobs on social media or about how much fun they’re having in their spare time. But in reality, your friends have dealt and are dealing with the same after-college struggles as you. So speak up about it. Be honest about how you’ve been feeling and watch as your friends open up too.
Be a wildflower
There’s a quote I remind myself when I’m feeling down, lost, stuck, or worried.
“Be patient with yourself, nothing in nature blooms all year”
As I mentioned, after college we often struggle with expectations about where we should be in our careers, what we should be doing, how we should be feeling. When we aren’t meeting those expectations, it’s easy to feel stuck, trapped, like “this is how it’s going to be from now on, huh?” But instead you need to take a minute, get out of your own head and realize that where you are in your life right now and how you’re feeling right now is temporary. Things are going to change, opportunities are going to come around, you’re going to get used to your new routine. Like a wildflower, you’re going to bloom- just give it time
Embrace the uncertain
Remember when the commencement speakers at graduation talked about how “the possibilities are endless” and “the world is your oyster” and all those other greeting card cliches? I hate to regurgitate those same sappy speeches, but they had a point there. This time in your life can be anything you want it to be. Don’t you realize how awesome that is? You don’t have to work towards one thing for four years like you did in college, you can change your mind, do something different. Hell, you can take a flight to France for the heck of it! (provided you have the money for it of course). Let this unfamiliar time of your life excite you instead of worry you.
Reality check, you’ve only been in your twenties for a couple years. You’ve still gone plenty of time. This is your opportunity to question your passions and explore the possibilities. This is your time to cherish the memories while looking forward to all the good that’s still to come.