What I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

No, college graduates, you do not need to have your entire life planned from now. Here are some things for you to know after you get that diploma.

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There I was, a glimmer-eyed college graduate excited about the world before her…

JK who am I kidding, I was petrified. I loved college, and I didn’t want to leave.

I guess it hasn’t been that bad since I left. I am beyond grateful for my job, I continue to utilize my vacation days, and I even have a couple of side hustles.

But, that doesn’t change the fact that I had no clue what was next when I got my diploma in my hand. And if you’re a recent college grad who also doesn’t know what’s next, well, that’s normal. Here are some things I wish I knew then though, and hopefully it helps you too.

You don’t need to have your life planned at 22 
I was such a different person at 22 years old than I am now in my later 20s. You think differently, you act differently and you have such a different perspective on life. Plus, as much as we want to have control over this thing called life, we don’t. We’re here for the ride, folks, and to see where life takes us.

Take advantage of (appropriate) opportunities in your path
Don’t think that anything is below you. You never know what the experience will teach you, or who you may meet while doing it. Everything can be a resume or cover letter enhancer, if you word it right. You’re still young, there’s plenty of time to change careers or move on to something else if this opportunity doesn’t work out.

Utilize your social media 
And no, I don’t mean this in terms of using it to keep in touch with your college friends. Use it to network. Engage in conversations with people in your field. Look for great opportunities you can act on. Show off your knowledge on a specific subject. And, of course, college graduation is a perfect time to untag yourself and delete all of those pictures from a frat party.

It’s okay to take time off
You may feel pressured to, but you don’t have to go right into working 9-5. Take the summer off. Travel. Go to the beach. Lounge around the house. You just worked your butt off to get a degree — you deserve it.

You will get rejected
And it’ll suck. The job hunt in general sucks. You’ll ask yourself why all your friends are getting jobs, but you’re not. This is all normal. We all get rejected. It just means that the job wasn’t meant to be, cliche but true. Remember, a career doesn’t define you.

You will miss college, and that’s okay
But at the same time, you’ll see which friendships are meant to last; who you’ll still see after being out of college for four years. But, instead of being wasted together at 3a.m.,  you’re now drunk at 6p.m. at Happy Hour… and that’s okay.

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