SHOP TODAY’S LOOK
You aren’t given a study guide on ‘How to Adult’
I had a remarkable college experience. I cherished every moment and loved every second from the lifelong friends I made to the things I learned about myself during my four years. They say it goes by in a blink and boy, does it ever. I was so excited to graduate and live on my own and work in a new city. By senior year, people were starting to get restless and ready to quit sitting in class and taking tests and would rather be working in a real office environment. At least that’s how it was for me, I spent my Spring semester working 20 hours a week at an internship I loved and skipping class more than I probably should have. My work ethic was ready to graduate but my heart went through all the emotions of leaving my college life behind me.
I went to TCU and graduation was one of the saddest days of my life. My parents said I just looked sad the whole time, it was so bittersweet. A lot of my friends and people from TCU make the migration to Dallas after graduation and I was one of them. I had secured a job in Downtown Dallas working in an industry I loved and I was terrified. You experience so much change all at one time during that summer and it can be a really hard adjustment. Some people experience it later than others or not at all, but for me I found myself depressed after the excitement of my new job wore off a few months into the summer.
These changes are just a part of growing up but can be difficult because if you finally landed that job you dreamed about, are surrounded by friends and making money how could you possibly be sad and lonely?
Don’t compare your speed of life to those around you
I think a lot of post-grads move at different speeds and it can be easy to start comparing your life to someone else’s. I looked at all the people I knew who started getting engaged and planning weddings (which is a big thing in the South) and I was nervous if I should be meeting those milestones at this point in my life. I know it sounds crazy, but it took me a long time to realize I was internally comparing my life to those around me. I am nowhere near ready to get married, which is completely ok, but to see those around me start settling down was scary to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for all my friends who have found their life partner and are ready to take that next step. I just realized that it is okay I am not at that step yet. That doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for them and support them wholeheartedly, I just don’t have to compare myself to their milestones.
This can also be said about comparing your job position to someone else’s. Your friends might start getting promoted and getting raises quickly after starting a job and you can find yourself comparing that to your own job. It is so important to focus on yourself and not feel like you need to meet certain milestones everyone else around you is. Just live at your own pace and enjoy the stage of life you are in because it is passing. You’ll never be this young ever again so enjoy it.
Work really hard and don’t expect anything in return
Starting a new job can be challenging and so exciting. Especially as a new grad you can be so determined to take on more work to earn your way up the corporate ladder. It can be easy to start wishing you were further along in your job and get frustrated as you don’t move up as quickly as you are expecting. These frustrations are all normal and you’re not alone.
You are new and so young, you have to expect to work really hard and expect nothing in return. Whether that be a raise, a “job well done” from your boss, or the recognition you think you deserve. Stay humble and work harder. You are being noticed and your humility goes a long way, even more than you may think.
Push yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone
If you didn’t experience a migration from college and are not still surrounded by all your college friends, it can be super intimidating to experience a new city. This change is temporary and in order to feel more comfortable in your new city, you’re going to have to place yourself in some situations that might make you slightly anxious or uncomfortable.
Remember the first weekend you were dropped off at college, maybe you knew your roommate, most of you probably didn’t and regardless of how many faces you knew on campus you wanted to make a new friend. You can still make new friends at any age, this is so important to remember now and 30 years from now. You are never too old to make a new friend. You have been meeting new faces and saying hello since you were only four years old. You can do this and you have before.
There are so many ways to meet new friends in your new community. The main thing you have to remember is that you’ll never meet anyone from your couch, well, I guess Bumble BFF doesn’t count, but you have to go places to meet new faces. Attend local happy hours and sit at the bar, strike up conversations with those around you. Join an intramural sports league at work even if you kinda suck at flag football. Go places with people from work even if they are older than you. Strike up conversations at the grocery store (yes, I’ve done this people are friendly!) Reach out to that one person you know, even if it was just that one class you were in together a few years ago and invite them to dinner. Make connections with those around you to start your network and once you meet their friends you might like their friends better than you like that girl from chem class.
Know that meeting people is a process and isn’t going to happen overnight. The more you put yourself out there the more you’re going to get back in return.
My mom always tells me you change so much in your 20’s and that you’re learning who you are all over again. Living on your own for the first time is hard. You are finally completely responsible for just yourself and that can be liberating and terrifying all at once. Embrace every moment and know that this too is just a passing stage. You learned how to ride a bike and land on two feet you will get the hang of this adulting thing too. I have a feeling you’ll be pretty great at it.