So you’re fresh out of college and have your bucket of dreams in hand, ready to conquer the world head on. You can be anything you want, right? Ok, so maybe the first interview didn’t go as planned, but you’ll land that dream job soon enough! …Until you realize there are thousands (hell, millions?!) of freshly-graduated 20-somethings in the same boat as you. And I’M supposed to get that job? After months of countless interviews and blatant shutdowns, you’re deflated. WHO SIGNED UP FOR THIS?!?
I definitely didn’t. I guess I missed the memo that post-graduation sucks! It’s this horrible limbo between freedom and dependence, uncertainty and conviction. You want to go out into the world and conquer all these goals you’ve set for yourself, live life the way it’s “supposed” to be. And yet there’s no roadmap, no paved path. Can you say scaaaryy? Suddenly, college—the 12-page papers, the finals, the cramped smelly dorms—doesn’t seem so bad.
It doesn’t have to be this bad. However bleak it may seam, there is light at the end of this long-ass tunnel. Embrace the journey!
1. Always remember, there is no “right’ way/time/age to do anything.
If you’re anything like me, you have this notion that you need to rush into the things you think you are supposed to have. STOP. Stop comparing yourself to your peers who may have the job/relationship/stability you think are supposed to be yours. Everyone is constantly working on improving something. There is no time limit on life. So next time you’re facing a full blown panic attack because you’re 24 years old and not working at a top-tier agency with your own private office, remember Sylvester Stallone was dead-broke and 30 when he first began his acting career.
2. Never stop exploring. And don’t settle.
Whether it’s the city you live in or possible career paths to take, continue to explore. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I’m almost certain you’ll survive its wrath. Instead of binge-watching Netflix and being sappy about your “going nowhere” life, use a free Saturday afternoon to walk around your neighborhood and finally try that lunch spot you pass by every day (p.s eating alone is nothing to be ashamed of).
3. Change up your daily routine.
There is nothing—I repeat, NOTHING—worse than routine. It quickly makes things that once seemed so exciting, so mundane. A daily routine, no matter how convenient, can lend to a feeling of being “stuck” in life. Don’t get stuck! Start a hobby, like writing or photography (again, binge-watching Netflix doesn’t count). Organize a weekly meet-up with friends to grab drinks or bike ride around the city. Any little change in your day-to-day can make a big difference.
4. Give yourself something to look forward to.
Whether it’s a trip across the ocean, or a local dinner with a friend, having something to look forward to can help get you out of that funk. In a world that seems void of any plans or organization, having future plans will keep you happy…and sane.
Yes, it really is that simple. It is scientifically proven that making an emotional face tricks your brain, eventually causing you to feel the emotion associated with the face. Next time you’re stressed or just bummed out, force a smile; it will change your day.