What I’ve Learned During My First Year Of Post-Grad Life

I graduated college May 2014, so my one year mark of living in the adult world has come and gone. And to be honest, it’s been filled with plenty of ups and downs. I’ve arguably learned more during this past year than in college…almost. This year has been spent learning about finances, friendships, and careers, and so much more.
I call this the year of “it’s okay.” Meaning, I’ve had to remind myself, and some of my friends, that it’s okay to not have everything figured out and to be totally overwhelmed by this new season of life.
Here is my list of “It’s Okay’s” and tidbits of what I’ve learned thus far.

1. It’s okay to lose friendships

Some friends are easy to hang onto year after year, and others take a little bit of work. Don’t try to hold onto to every friend you’ve made over the years. Growing up is inevitable and some people just aren’t in the same place they were before. It’s okay to kindly let go of friendships that are not adding substance to your life. In high school, friendships were often based on quality, not quality. As you get older, you learn that quality is most important. Find out who you want to share your life with.

2. It’s okay to get rejected 

Applying for “grown up” jobs isn’t always quite as easy as applying for jobs in high school or college. Applying to multiple jobs means getting multiple rejections, or even no response at all. This may dent your confidence, but for every rejection, there is an acceptance out there waiting for you. Take the time to perfect your resume and build connections by networking.

2. It’s okay to not understand finances

Money is confusing, at least to this non-math girl. Am I paying too much for insurance? What exactly am I being taxed for? How do I budget myself? These are questions I’ve asked myself multiple times this year. And honestly, I’m still not sure of the answer. If you don’t know the answer, try looking to the two P’s: Pinterest and parents. Granted your parents are likely more informative, Pinterest also has links to great blogs and websites that may help you navigate through your financial woes. 

3. It’s okay to be an independent woman

Is it just me or is everyone getting engaged right now? Or at least in serious or semi-serious relationships. It can sometimes be a downer to go to yet another wedding date-less. And although being alone or the 3rd wheel can be rough, embrace this time of singleness. Who has time for men when you’re working on being a Girl Boss? Make these post-grad years all about you, and when the time is right, someone will jump in and run along side you.

4. It’s okay to move back with your parents

Moving back in with your parents after graduating can seem like you’re taking 5 steps back. But if you’re not financially comfortable to move out on your own, this is your best option. Moving as an adult is not as easy as moving out of your childhood home and going to college. You have to find a place to live, near your job, in a safe area, and within your budget. Sometimes this is just not possible. If you are able to move back home, I say, do it!
There are days when it can be tough to live with my parents and sometimes it feels like I’m back in high school, but in the long-run, I’m confident it will make a lasting impact. Since I don’t have to pay rent, I get to save money to move almost anywhere. Not to mention, the kitchen is usually stocked with food and goodies. What could be better? Remember, you have the rest of your life to live on your own.

5. It’s okay to not be where you want 

Growing up takes time. Don’t expect the pieces of your life to fall into place after graduation. I LOVE the quote that says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone’s middle.” I’m always looking at Facebook and Instagram and it’s usually filled with my old high school or college peers embarking on a fun adventure or reaching career goals. It makes me feel like I’m 5 steps behind, which can get pretty discouraging.
Remember, social media is not an accurate portrayal of anyone’s life. Don’t base where you think you should be on where everyone else is. Everyone’s path is their own. Create your own unique path, set some goals, and what is meant to be, will be.

6. It’s okay to have a job that sucks

As wonderful as it would be to jump right in and work at an amazing company or become a manager or lead, it likely won’t happen right after graduation. It’s okay to be the person who goes on coffee runs for the company or stuffs envelopes all day. But with that being said, it’s also okay to quit. If a job is holding you back, move on and find something better. Be realistic with your expectations, but also remember to keep taking steps forward. Sometimes you have to start at the very bottom in order to work your way up. Be willing to work hard because success does not come overnight.

7. It’s okay to go on an adventure

Explore a new country, state, or even city. Get out and see what life is like in different places. Try not to get stuck in a little bubble and try exploring new perspectives and sights. Go on a hike in a new city, drive to a nearby state, or even go on a road trip with no specific destination. Go on a mini vacation once in a while, you deserve it. Maybe plan a trip to visit an old roommate or college friend!
Remember, we’re all just winging it. Regardless of age, none of us have life figured out. Even our parents and mentors are learning every day. In time, you will end up right where you’re supposed to be. Don’t be afraid to dive into something new and take risks!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?

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