7 Things No One Tells You When You Graduate College

A woman with a black leather backpack standing back to camera near cherry blossom trees
Tim Gouw / Unsplash

It’s been exactly eight months and four days since I officially graduated from university and here’s the sad part: I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. And frankly, I find this actually f*cking hilarious {but also in a why-am-I-such-a-failure?-ugly-cry type of way}. When you are young, people ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and then when you go to college, they ask a similar type of question really meant to invoke the same answer: “what’s your major?”. That’s your cue to whip out the perfectly curated answer that you have been working on since your childhood days. But here’s the thing, unless you’re going into a field that requires eight billion years of school beyond college, all that sh*t is going out the door. {Granted, some people are exceptions to this… and you guys are just rockstars!} And if you’re not, my case in point is: you’ll never really know what you want to do–and that’s OK, you’re still a rockstar! 

To preface this, I am sure that these things seem pretty redundant or you’ve heard it before, but this is a topic that hits home for me and for those of you who are feeling it too, I want to be a voice behind you telling you that you are doing fine. Because honestly, sometimes that’s all you need.

1. You never really knew how important time was until you started working full-time.

It’s funny. When you’re in college, you have so much time and so little money but when you’re working full-time, you have little money and no time {and so many student loans}. I mean, how is that even fair? You just have to start putting what matters at the top of your list. That means less of what you did in college and more chores chores chores. And yeah that means you won’t see your best friends every day, but that just makes seeing them that much more special. To be honest, I don’t see the positive thing in this one either. I’m still figuring it out.

2. Prioritizing (in an adult way) is the key to success.

This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first one. You basically have to become a master prioritizer. {I know. Not a word.} Your student loans are in vengeance mode, credit cards have got to be paid, friends need to be seen, there is so much to do and little time to do it. So yeah, learning how to get your ducks in a row is pretty important. Those student loans? Super unforgiving, FYI.

3. You should get comfortable with the “unknown” because you’ll always be lost.

You. Will. Always. Be. Lost. And if you’re not right now, you will at one point in your life. You’ll think you know what you want until another door opens around the corner and you say “oh! that’s the one!”. There we go, back to square one. They say there’s beauty in not knowing, so I guess that’s a perk. If you’re anything like me, who likes to watch the same movies over and over because you know exactly how it ends, then this rule is going to suck for you.

4. Change is absolutely normal and you’ll do it 8,000 times.

Because of #3, you’ll basically change your mind all the time. One day you’ll think you know what you want and another, you’ll do the complete opposite. Change is normal. It’s all a part of growing up, getting to know yourself, and adapting. Basically, change is inevitable and you better get used to it.

5. Rejection, sadly, is also normal and depression is not the answer.

Another thing really, really crappy thing? Rejection. I know this one all too well, especially when it comes to the job hunt. For every {insert # higher than 7} of applications, you’ll get 1 yes. And what’s even more terrifying is that you just have to get used to it. I tried the whole fake depressed thing, it really doesn’t help. My parents still made me get a job. Boo hoo!

6. Another major key? You gotta put yourself out there.

With rejection and depression comes bravery. Not really, but you have to try because that’s the key to success. Being able to rise from the ashes and put yourself back out there. No, it doesn’t just apply to job hunting, it applies to life. Be brave and confident! That’s how you win, win, win no matter what. What’s up DJ Khaled!

7. Lastly, go with the flow.

Understand you can’t control anything in life {other than the things you say}. So just ride the wave and find your passion as you go in life. Everything will eventually fall into place and you will find happiness. If you don’t, you just get up and try again. TC mark

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