5 Things to Remember When Graduating

I am happy to have Olivia Adams of Olivia Adams PR guest post on my blog today. I’m graduating in December and reached out to Olivia to share some of her tips for creating a healthy post-grad life. Rather than hoarding these awesome tips to myself, I asked Olivia to write a comprehensive guest blog post on the subject. Whether you are about to enter post-grad life, know it’s just around the corner, or are currently living it, her final product does not disappoint. 

College graduation will probably be one of the scariest leaps you'll make in your twenties.

What makes college graduation so scary is that there’s no one there to tell us how to create structure in our lives. It’s up to us to find a job, create a new routine, and find a social life that fulfills our needs and passions. Regardless of whether you’ve landed a job or you’re going to graduate school, no one can tell you how to prepare for life after college.

Transitioning into the post-grad life can be stressful, but it’s also some of the most exciting years of life. To help you stop worrying about life after college, here are five things you should remember:

1. First things first, be proud of yourself.

Many of us become so absorbed by our post-grad plans that we forget about one of the biggest accomplishments of our lives: Earning a bachelor's degree.

When we stress about finding a job, looking for a new apartment, or making new friends, we totally forget that we’ve just earned a diploma that will open a number of opportunities in our lives and careers. This is why it’s important to take a moment to sit back and enjoy what we’ve accomplished.

The reality is, it’s very likely that college graduation will arrive and you still won’t have an idea of what your next five years will look like. You might be stuck in a part-time job for six months. You might be moving across the country for another paid internship. Even if you don’t land a job immediately, don’t doubt your success. Be proud of yourself for earning your bachelor's degree. This is an achievement not every person has the opportunity to have in their lives.

2. Create short term goals.

The most important thing you can do for yourself after college is to focus on the short term picture. Sure, it’s great to dream about where our careers will be in the next five years, but at the end of the day, these dreams will only cause us more stress.

Instead of focusing on finding your dream job or finding your life-long partner, think about what you’re going to accomplish in the next six months to a year. What’s going to be your next step? What do you need to do to accomplish your goals? These are things you should keep in mind as you focus on your post-grad life.

3. Force yourself to make new friends.

One of the hardest things about leaving college is figuring out who your friends will be. You might find yourself moving to a new city with your college friends or you might move to a place where you don’t know a single person.

Instead of viewing this as a scary transition, this is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Push yourself to meet new people, even if it seems scary. Try joining professional networking groups in your city or get involved with a cause you’re passionate about. You could also try to connect with some alumni or go to events by yourself. Branching outside of your comfort zone is the only way you’ll meet new people.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Your greatest enemy after college will be comparison. You’ll see that some of your friends have landed “cooler” jobs than you or have moved to Italy for five months. Stop worrying about what other people are doing and focus on what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Everyone has a different journey.

5. Make the most of your free time.

After college, you’re going to have an insane amount of free time. With this free time, you’ll likely want to pursue your passions or start a side hustle (whether it’s blogging, a business, or consulting). Whatever you decide to do with your free time, make sure you stick with it and follow through with your goals.

Believe it or not, it’s really easy to let the hours pass you by after college. The post-grad life gives you time to watch that TV show you never had time for in college or you finally have the opportunity to have a lazy Saturday afternoon. While it’s important to create time for leisure, it’s also important to make sure you’re always sharpening your skills and pursuing passions you love.

Life after college can be amazing if you enter the post-grad life with an open mind. Don’t worry so much about where you think you should be and instead, focus on making the most of each day in your career. Opportunities will come and go throughout your life, and it’s up to you to make the most of your new life as a young professional.

What is your post-grad life story or what do you anticipate will happen in your post-grad life? Let me know in the comment section below!

Kayla Hollatz