Last May, I was excited to graduate and take on the real-world. I was anxious for what was to come and excited for new experiences. By the time this post goes up on my blog, it will be technically be a few weeks short of a year of post grad life, but close enough. I wanted to publish this post before some students turned in their last final and walk across the stage to get their diploma.
It's hard to give advice about post grad because it is different for everyone, but I figured I would give it a shot.
#1 - Graduation is going to be weird.
Having all four years of undergrad amount to one piece of paper and trying not to trip on stage on your way to get it, is a strange experience. You put on this miserably toasty gown and move in masses with your fellow alphabetically ordered classmates. At the end of the day, you feel really freaking proud of yourself. You did it. You accomplished something pretty great. Your family is super proud of you, too.
#2 - "Adulting" is no joke.
Sure, you think it is all fun and games, but no. It can sometimes be miserable. I am sorry. I can't sugarcoat it for you. Paying bills, stinks. Going to work every day is crazy exhausting. Dealing with roommates is different than dorm-mates. You can call your mom and ask how to get a stain out of your new top, but she can't exactly help you stick to your budget.
#3 - Just because you get a paycheck doesn't mean you're rich.
More than likely, you have never made this amount of money in your life. You will think you're rolling in it. Newsflash, you're not. I am sorry to be harsh, but better to get ahead of it now instead of when you are struggling to pay off your credit card. Attempt to stick to a budget and keep on top of your spending trends. Work on being more aware of your cash flow.
#4 - Having a full-time job can create a full load of stress.
It's probably just my nature, but my anxiety heightened a little bit thanks to my big girl job. You gain more responsibilities. You get a bigger load of stuff to think about during your day to day. Your phone's notifications can be the kiss of death with an alert of a problem instead of text from a friend asking to skip class for a fun adventure. You learn to handle it though. The "Do Not Disturb" feature can be your greatest tool when you need a nap on a Saturday. Don't feel bad about using it. I'm pretty sure you have worked hard enough to earn it if you are that desperate for a break.
#5 - Take care of yourself.
Your intake of healthy food options can go out the window during post grad. You can get too tired at the end of the day to fix food. Prepare meals the Sunday before your week starts or schedule when you are going out and plan to make an effort on nights you stay in. Get a workout buddy. Gym time can relieve your stress. You need to get moving after sitting at the cubicle all day.
The reality of the real-world is different for everyone, but these tips are just some of my insights. I've got more to come in Part Two, so be on the lookout for that!