The day of graduation you’re invincible. You’re at the top of the world and no one can tell you nothin’. Savor that moment because after about a week, you’ll be feeling the exact opposite. The “real world” is a real thing and it comes at you fast. College prepares you for a lot of things, but there’s definitely some lessons you can only learn once you graduate. Here are some of the tough life lessons I’ve learned, so hopefully you won’t have to! (Or at least you’ll be better prepared to handle them…)
1. The world owes you nothing: It’s hard to read, let alone experience, but it’s the truth. It’s not that all graduates have a strong sense of entitlement after graduating, but it’s hard to cope with the fact that things won’t always (usually) go your way just because you have the right degree. There’s many a time where you will apply to a job you think you are the perfect fit for but the management won’t even call you back. The world is one big lesson in perseverance, so don’t let it get you down too badly.
2. Relationships will change: Both for better and for worse. It’s a common belief that the friends you made in college are your life friends so it’s kind of a shock when it’s two months later and you haven’t spoken to half your friends. They’re (probably) still your friends but it’s extremely hard to keep up with people when you no longer have the opportunity to see them 24/7. It make take some time to balance out contacting each other all the time versus never seeing each other.
3. Make time for yourself: Sitting at a desk all day is exhausting!! It doesn’t sound like it should be but there’s definitely mental and physical fatigue that comes with working 40 hours a week. After work all you want to do is lie down which is fine sometimes but don’t get stuck in the trap of sitting around every day. Take some time to read a book, go for a walk, or grab a drink with a friend. You’ll feel immensely better about yourself.
4. Exercise!!!: Everyone warns you about the Freshman 15 in college, but its evil companion is the office 40. There’s always a potluck at work, someone’s birthday, or some company sponsored event, which means there is always food around. You will gain weight without even thinking about it. Don’t fall into the trap.
5. Live in the moment: As cliche as the phrase sounds, it’s true. It doesn’t mean don’t plan for the future (you should be doing a lot of that, too) but don’t let this time go by. It’s probably one of the only times in your life where you’re completely on your own and only have to be responsible for yourself. Now is the time to move your home, see the world, and go figure out what you want. Make moves, make mistakes, make friends, make an enemy, make love, make a plan, make a promise to yourself. Basically do it all, and learn from what doesn’t work.
[Lead image via hxdbzxy/Shutterstock]