Life After College: The Stuff They Don’t Tell You

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These are the best years of your life. You hear this time and time again all throughout high school and in college but no one ever says why. And throughout these “best years,” you never really understand what they mean until you graduate college, find yourself lonely, gaining weight with each cookie you devour, and confused with a whirlwind of questions that begin with, “What is my life’s purpose?”

Then you start to see what adults meant by those being the best years of your life and not long after, you think, “Are the best years of my life really behind me? But I have so many more years to live! Does this mean it’s all downhill from here?” Panic sets in and on a daily basis you find yourself trying to run from these feelings, trying to run from the thoughts that the best of you is in your past.

No one warns us that the years of our 20s, the years we transition from full-time student to full-time adult, are pretty much like going through puberty 2.0. No sense of self and emotions that seem out of your control.

I remember hitting rock bottom. It was in April of 2013. It had not even been a year since graduating and my bottom already hit. I didn’t see it coming. There I was, in the gym, by myself 10pm, and as I went to do another leg curl, I found myself crying and sobbing. I couldn’t pinpoint what was going on exactly – I just knew I no longer felt like me.

I was waking up at 6:00 am every weekday and dragging myself to a job that I couldn’t stand. I tried the whole “Be grateful you even have a job thing,” and it took me awhile to see that doing work you despise is not only a disservice to you but your employer as well. I saw my friends an average of once a month and my days ended with several hours on the couch wasted in front of television.

So there I was sobbing in the gym. I called my parents, told them what happened and asked to stay over for a night. I just needed shelter – I needed familiarity and what better way than staying in the same house I grew up.

I thought I was the only one having experiences of doubt, unworthiness and confusion of my life’s path since graduating and I’d felt ashamed about it. Here’s the top 3 things I wish someone would have warned me with upon graduation:

1. You are not alone

It is completely normal to feel like nothing is in your control at this point and guess what? So does everyone else. Despite what you see on FaceBook and Instagram, no one has it all figured out. Some are just better at covering their struggles than others.

2. The best years of your life are entirely up to you

Breathe. You have the power to make an amazing life for yourself. Those that say the best years of your life are behind you, are the ones that made the choice to stop living years before they actually took their last breath. You don’t need to own that same fate.

3. Trust in the uneasiness, it means you’re growing

With all the chaos that seems to spin in your head and stomach on a daily basis, it may be hard to have any hope that things will get better. Just know, whenever you feel that sense of uneasiness, use your values as a guide as to what is right for you and push through. Whether it’s the last mile of a CrossFit workout or finally signing up for your first dance class ever, always challenge yourself and always push the limits of your comfort zone. TC mark

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