Welcome to the Real World: It Takes a While to get Settled

[Life after college is hard. Like really hard. But it’s not so hard that you should curl up in a ball and watch E! marathons all day long. Not only are we covering the experience from a first-hand perspective, but we’re now covering it from a how-to-survive-it perspective. Every week, we’re going to bringing the best advice to getting through your first post-grad year. Because sometimes, your grandmother’s “just go to law school” advice just doesn’t cut it.]

You’ve recently graduated, congrats! You’ve been living for the past four years in a furnished dorm or a sorority house with all your friends or maybe even an off-campus house you had all to yourself with your best friends in the world! Maybe your parents paid? Maybe your loans paid? Or maybe you were able to pay from your awesome internship the summer leading up? Whatever the case, you had a place to live — even when there were dishes piling so high you had to wash them in the tub or you had so much laundry you thought about buying new underwear before attempting to wash it all – you had it made!

I’m two years out of college (Lehigh ’09) and have lived in four different cities since I graduated, but that’s not all, I’ve moved 12 times since I packed up my geo prism and hugged my college friends goodbye and headed home to upstate NY. I’ve not only lived in upstate NY these past two years, but also in London, Washington, DC and New York City. I’m actually lucky – each time I took one of these journeys it was for an amazing opportunity and job, a move that ultimately landed me in New York City with an awesome gig working in social media at an education start-up!

Okay, so you’re thinking – how did you manage to do this? And how are you affording to live in one the most expensive cities in the world? Here’s the answer – trust your gut, let people help you and follow your heart.

Each city I moved to, I spent about 5 months getting settled, staying with friends, crashing with family members – I did whatever I had to do to accept a great internship or job – I never said no to an opportunity. I slept on couches, mattresses on the floor, pull-out beds, and my favorite – sharing a bed with my best friend in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan for three months. What I would have given to have my pile of laundry back and my stacked dishes – and a bed of my own.

Keep in touch with your friends from home, call your friends from college (even if you’re so busy it’s absurd), and call your quirky family members to catch up. Everyone wants to see you succeed and is always willing to open up their lives to help you live yours.

After about four moves around Manhattan, I’m finally home — the Upper West Side. A ONE YEAR LEASE! Box up the clothes you never wear and donate them to charity, follow your dreams, and cherish your relationships – you may live on a couch for a while, but hey, a couch at your best friends isn’t so bad after all!

Sarah Fudin currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California’s Masters in Education Online program which prepares teachers on how to become a teacher in their respective state. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Follow her on twitter @sarahfudin.

Do you have advice for recent grads? Real life advice and stories that you wish someone had told you. Submit your idea to editor (at) collegecandy (dot) com

Candy Dish: Cheap Candy
  • 10614935101348454