What New Graduates Need To Understand About The Real World

The time of year has begun where friends and family alike are making their move to the real world and graduating post-secondary school. As I find myself scrolling through Instagram posts of my friends proudly holding their diplomas and posing in front of their campus, I find myself feeling very reflective on my own graduation and remembering the difficulties I experienced shortly after.

It’s an exciting thing to finally be done with school and thrown into adulthood. You feel like you’ve gained a new sense of independence and you feel so confident that this adulting thing is going to be easy. But you find out really quickly that it doesn’t always work out that way.

I’ve been done with college for 2 years now, and I graduated at least 2 years earlier than most of my friends from high school and sports teams. No one I knew experienced the same thing as me and I felt isolated and unrelatable. I remember telling my friends about the defeat and struggles I was feeling and them looking at me like I was crazy…. Well, guess they’re going to see what I mean now.

Recent graduates will feel frustrated that they haven’t found a job almost immediately following graduation. The way our professors speak, it is as though you’ll get a job in your desired field so fast and that’s not always the case. Actually, it’s rarely the case. I’ve been out of school for two years without a job in my field while my sister just graduated and two days after finishing school she got offered her dream job (by her definition). Everyone goes at their different paces.

Watching others get a job before you will cause insane jealousy. You’ll find yourself becoming so petty for no reason. You compare yourself to everyone and you search for reasons that prove you’re better than they are and are somehow ahead in life despite being jobless.

The first question anyone will ever ask you is, “how’s the job hunting going?” followed by the ever so favorite like, “keep applying, you’ll get something eventually,” and you’ll want to punch yourself in the face every time you hear it. You know it’s hard and you don’t need other people reminding you and seemingly doubting you. Don’t worry, you’ll stop hearing it as much the longer you fight for your dream.

From now on, no one you are close friends with will be exactly at the same stage in life as you, and it’ll rarely change. Who knows, someone can get a job before you, another is getting engaged or having a child, and your friends won’t be able to do the normal things you enjoy like before. Say goodbye to Sangrita Saturday’s on the patio and hello to girls night out while missing a few.

You’ll most definitely feel like a failure the longer it takes to get your life together. But like I said earlier, everyone experiences life differently. And who knows, you might get a temporary job in something unrelated to what you studied, and you might find a new career path, or find it leads you to new opportunities.

Don’t freak out if you find yourself falling behind in the stream, everyone goes at their different pace. It’ll all figure itself out eventually, you just have to deal with the fact that for the first time in your life you don’t know what to do or have certain expectations like before. It can be an exciting time of life as much as it is intimidating and frustrating. But enjoy this time, because before you know it the pressure of marriage and babies will catch up to you, but you still have a few years for that.

Feature Image via We Heart It.

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