11 Things I Wish I Knew About Life After College

Graduating college is one of the most exciting, scary, life changing situations you will encounter. Your life which previously consisted of regulated schedules, regular meal times, extra-curricular, and friends that live just an elevator ride away has completely changed. You’re, essentially, on your own to make your own decisions. It’s definitely scary at first, but after one year of this new found lifestyle, I can tell you that it is all doable.

1. Just because you’re making money doesn’t mean you have to spend it, trust me.

While in college, I was making a lot of money working full-time. I saved absolutely none of it just from not having the discipline to save. When I look back and think about all of the money I could have saved…it is the main reason why I am so good at saving and budgeting now. Just because you save your money does not mean you cannot still reap the joys of having it; a lesson that took me until recently to comprehend.

2. Getting ANY Experience right out of college is better than sitting at home and waiting for your dream job to land in your lap.

Trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was work an unpaid internship right out of college, or work part-time in a retail store. However, that experience is what helped me climb the ladder a little quicker in my field than expected.

3. The people you work with are not your friends.

You have to know when you are not in right company to share certain information. I was going through a rough time appreciating my first job that I confided in my boss (who presented herself as someone I COULD confide in) about how bad I wanted to be in PR, right at the same time there were conversations about me being promoted. She took that information and tried to give me a bad review so that I wouldn’t be promoted to the PR department. Not saying this will happen to you, but from that situation right there I am way more careful about what information I let my coworkers know. At the end of the day, it’s just business.

4. After 17 years of school, you’re fed to the wolves.

The plan seemed straightforward: graduate from college, land a job and then you’ll be set. You have no idea how drastically the professional world would be from college life. Everyone in my office is well over 30. I am the youngest person in my whole company. It’s so hard to not say “OMG there was this meme on Instagram…” without everyone looking at me crazy. My tip, make the most of your weekends. It really helps break up your time spent at work. You no longer have a prolonged summer break, so make your two days of freedom count.

5. You might not like your first job.

If this is the case, leave. No sense in spending 40+ hours a week there when you hate it. You will lose your mind. There is always this big fuss that you should stay at your job for a year then switch it up, that doesn’t have to be the only option if you present it well in interviews. However, you are not obligated to stay and you do not owe them anything. But hey – that’s life after college.

6. You might have to create your own fun.

In college there were always events planned for you; SAC events, Greek life, sports, etc. Now could be the time to find new hobbies. When I first moved to New York I got involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after months of debating. What new hobby have you been planning to try out? Life after college is fun!

7. If it scares you, go for it.

This is pretty self-explanatory. I moved to a new city right out of college which was scary in and of itself. Life after college is about taking risks and being bolt.

8. You might feel a sense of loneliness.

You have a lost a sense of community. I guess this will apply to those not living near their friends or family. None of my friends live near me in NY. It was so easy to run across the street to their house to see them when in school. One myth is that once you move away from your friends, you lose touch and maybe never see them again. Wrong. You are really never too busy for your friends. My friends make it work, not as much as we would like but we have a schedule in place that we are all on board with. Every March/April we go on a trip somewhere.

9. If you do not have that luxury, then meetup.com is really the next best thing.

10. Student Loans are not that bad.

There are a couple options for loan repayments based on your income and if you do not have any income, there is an option for that as well. For me, it really helps with planning out my overall monthly budget. Yes it sucks to have to pay them in the first place but it’s inevitable and doable. Life after college means adulting.

11. You will figure it out.

What makes you happy, sad, the people you want to be around, the person you want to be, your career. People expect you to have the answers but it is really okay to just not know and honestly it wasn’t until like yesterday that I became content with that. After all, we’re still in our 20s.

Have anything else to share about life after college?! Drop us a line!!
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Samantha Lewis

"23 years old and living in New York City.Join me as I continue to explore everything this city has to offer and much more.Instagram: www.instagram.com/adoseofsam_"