Graduating college was one of my proudest accomplishments, although nothing could have prepared for life after college. I felt incomplete like there was more schooling I needed to do. However, my credits showed I was done so I packed up my dorm room and back home I went with my parents and brothers in the car. That was in the year 2015.
I have been out of college for three years since then and it has been a very sad, confusing and frustrating time. I struggle with feeling lost, having a copious amount of fear, and self-loathing that affects my ability to get work done. However, that has not stopped me and despite it all I am still learning and growing from each mistake I’ve made post-graduation. Here are 14 lessons I’m still learning after graduating college, that may help some recent grads as well:
- Don’t feel bad for staying where you are.
Everyone has a purpose and whether that is staying where you are or moving across state lines you owe it to yourself to find out what works for you. However, if you find yourself in the same state you grew up in find a way to figure out what is keeping you there and whether that yearning to leave is being fuelled by something external. There is a reason why you are still in the same place, you just have to find out what that is.
- Your parents are a blessing, even though sometimes it may not seem like it.
Our parent(s) do a lot for us and sometimes we may fail to see exactly what they do because of the myriad of emotions we went through growing up. Overseeing a human being’s welfare is nerve racking and sure there some areas where our parents may have dropped the ball, but despite that some of us have come out better than many of our parents have even dreamed.
- The job you have now doesn’t have to be your end-all-be-all.
If life has taught us anything it’s that nothing is or has to be permanent. You can have a full-time job and 2-3 side hustles if that suits you and what you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Like Nike’s slogan says “Just Do It,” there are no limitations just the ones we set for ourselves. For now focus on gaining skills from your job that will help propel you into the career you want.
- Don’t be afraid to learn something new, even if it’s outside your career field.
I’ve been told that I can never have too much knowledge. But I am guilty of having a one-track mind and fail to see how an outside experience can benefit me. So, do not follow me, go ahead and take that editing for Instagram class, kickboxing, or whatever else you have come across as you do your search on the internet. You have nothing to lose and all the knowledge to gain, so what are you waiting for, go get started!
- Every experience is interconnected.
For some of us who haven’t landed their ideal career, working a part-time or full-time job just to pay the bills and to help keep a roof above your head, keep going. You may not see the point in working at a café, child-care, babysitting, or a tutoring job but skills like patience, adaptability, working under pressure, and giving clear and concise instructions are important skills that can be the applied to any profession that can land you your dream career.
- Make time for your other passions, they matter too.
Listen 9-5 jobs definitely have their place in my heart and wallet but that shouldn’t be an excuse for you not to pour into your other projects. We all are here to serve a purpose, big or small, and we owe it to ourselves to explore that and try to find a niche that works for us.
- If you don’t want to do something, it is okay to say NO!
Saying no for me is still hard because of the guilty feeling that comes along with it. But, if you think about it wouldn’t you rather be doing something productive instead of spending time with people doing something you may not even like. We get 24 hours in a day and time goes by faster than you think and knowing that can help us prioritize our day and time more wisely.
- Your family will be okay without you.
Moving back home made you available to help out with any errands that your family needs but don’t let that be an excuse for not doing what you need to do for yourself. Your family wants you to succeed and they will understand (it makes take a while for some) that you can’t reach your height of success by taking care of them all of the time.
- Don’t be afraid of change, that means you’re growing.
Change means you are growing as a person. However, being resistant to change means that there is something you don’t want to happen, maybe out of fear. But on the other side of fear is an experience that might leave you saying “that wasn’t that bad,” and if not, you will come out with a takeaway that will help you navigate through your life.
- Think more long term and less short term.
Whenever you feel like quitting something you started after a week remember this. In the long run, you would have gained so much insight, strength, and experiences that will make you a more well-rounded person and that is something you can’t gain if your vision is short term.
- Invest in Yourself!
This has been said plenty of times before but it is important to say again; don’t let anyone get in the way of you and what you need to get done. Do you want to start photography invest in a class, fitness been on your mind, invest in a class, take it, switch up your look, do what makes you happy, when it comes to you that should come first before anything else.
- Spend more time outside!!
My favourite thing to do is to walk around different neighbourhoods in the city. Dealing with all the different parts of my life has been very overwhelming; and the one thing that seems to work for me is walking. For you it doesn’t have to be walking, just be outside, people watching, laying on the grass, and listening to music or podcast. I don’t know the science behind it but being outside does something mentally and on a mental level, it can help your mood and give you more energy to go after your dreams.
- Let go of your resentments, they’re holding you back.
You have a lot that you keep bottled up and whenever you get upset at yourself that is the first thing your mind turns to. If that’s what holding you up then let it go, if you can’t do it alone then try and get some help in doing so.
- Don’t be afraid to promote yourself shamelessly!!
How else will people know about all that you’ve written or completed if you don’t tell anyone? Go ahead put your published article in your Instagram bio and tell people to click it. The worse they can do is scroll past it, but at least one person will see your work and that’s better than zero.
By: Kaycia Sailsman
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