It’s been over six months now since I’ve graduated and it’s hard to believe how quickly the time has passed! So much has changed since I graduated and my post-graduation expectations sure have changed. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I’ve learned since graduation and how my expectations have compared to my reality.
In college it’s so easy to network. You’re constantly coming in contact with people who are in a similar field as the one you want to go into and professors are full of knowledge and resources. You can talk to guest lecturers, ask teachers for help or even just run into someone in the hallway. After college though, networking is not as easy but still just as important. Dust off your LinkedIn and check in with people you interned with or had contact with in the past. Send them an e-mail to see how they’re doing or to let them know you’re thinking about them. You never know when having these contacts could come in handy or what they may have available for you.
Stay Connected with Friends (and Reconnect with Old Ones)
A lot of times (and in my case) graduating means moving back home and away from your college friends. One of the things I was looking forward to least about graduating was moving back home. Even though you’re moving away though doesn’t mean you should lose contact with the people you met while in college. Take the time out of your day to check in with them and make plans to visit! Also, get in contact with people from your past who live in the same area as you! It can be really lonely moving back home after spending time with friends constantly. See if the people who are around would like to do something. They may even know other people they can introduce to you.
Find Some Way to Be Active
After having access to a “free” gym in college, it’s so easy to just not work out once it’s no longer just there. Life is changing so much and working out can be on the bottom of your to do list. Find something though! It takes no time at all to get out of the habit of working out and if you’re anything like me, post college weight gain will be a very real thing. Working out isn’t going to suddenly go away as you get older, so it’s important to find something you enjoy doing and can see yourself continuing to do post-college. Whether working out means going for walks, taking a dance class or going to the gym find something that works for you and make it happen.
Don’t Expect to Suddenly Have all the Answers
I had this idea that once I graduated from college all of these ideas would suddenly flood to me and I would know it all. What I wanted to do, where I was going to live, everything. And let me tell you, I definitely didn’t. Instead of these answers coming to me, I realized I needed to take the time to reflect on what I wanted, what questions I had and what I was expecting from my life. By doing this I was able to realize what I was looking for even if I still don’t have all the answers. These answers will come with time. Remember you have your whole life ahead of you to figure it all out and get to where you want to go.
Give Yourself Time
Finding the dream job, the dream place to live and the dream life isn’t going to come the day after you graduate (I wish it would though). It will take time and lots of patience. Don’t expect to graduate and immediately have the life you dream of. It takes more work than just a degree. And a lot more patience. Try things out and just enjoy the ride. As long as you love what you’re doing that’s what matters the most. As time goes on, as long as you put in the work, you will find a position that makes you happy and you will get to the point where you have everything you dream of and more.
Find Something that Makes You Happy & Don’t Settle
The most important thing I’ve learned since graduating is to find something that makes you happy! I felt like I’d gone to school and done my time and that meant come graduation I would immediately have something that would make me happy. This of course, did not end up being what happened. I just wasn’t feeling happy and instead of hoping it would happen eventually I decided to continue to push on and change paths. Even after graduating college, you’re still young. There’s no need to rush into anything and settle. You shouldn’t do anything even a little less than what you want to do (even if this has changed).