Saturday, March 22, 2014

Words from Other Post-Grads

I asked several people (who have all had different experiences) to give me anywhere from a few words to a paragraph about anything they want to share about their post-grad life. I wanted to give you guys a sense of how other people are feeling (not just me) and what advice they may have to give. You'll be surprised at how similar we all feel (or maybe it's not so surprising.) Some are funny, some are serious, many are inspirational. Take these words with you, whether you're already a graduate or soon-to-be graduate.


"You'll never really be ready for real life. You'll just pretend to be."

"Be prepared to feel a little let-down after you graduate. College is just such an awesome experience; you have so much fun, you work so hard, you look SO forward to graduating and the excitement of moving on! It’s this huge milestone in your life that’s really difficult to follow. So, be prepared to feel a little bummed."

"What I learned after graduation... Choose a major that will actually get you somewhere or go to graduate school if you want to pursue a career that you will actually enjoy. It's no fun dedicating 4 years of your life to hard work and not have it pay off. With this being said, do not be a communication major ha. How I felt after graduating… Bitter sweet feeling. Miss being so close to everyone and having independence. But it feels good to have accomplished graduating college in 4 years and passing math!"

"I love money- it makes me really fucking happy. I get to buy myself basically whatever I want and don't have to ask for permission. I still feel like a kid and I'm wondering when I'm going to start feeling mature and grown up. I also thought moving out on my own would make me more social but all I want to do after work is eat, drink a beer by myself and binge watch tv. I've also given myself mild anxiety attacks on how and when I'm going to pay off all my student loans while managing all my expenses and started thinking of really stupid things that won't happen for the next few years like owning a home, being responsible for a living person, etc."

"I couldn't find a job in New Jersey so I had to move to France."

"Being in your twenties plus being a post-grad is terrifying. You thought everything would fall into place, and you'd have a career/life right out of school.  Most people don't know what they will end up doing for the rest of their lives. It's okay to try out a few different jobs and gain some experience in a position you don't necessarily want to have for the rest of your life.  Live your life. You're never going to have enough money or time so be wise with your spending, but also go take those spontaneous trips, take chances, and do what you've always wanted to do.  Lastly, no one learns how to be an adult, you just realize you are an adult one day.  Take the time to learn about your taxes and insurance, setting up a 401K, how to budget your finances, how to cook, and taking care of things like bills.  It's not as hard as it looks. As my life mantra continues to be-just remember to breathe and be happy. You'll figure out who you are and what you're supposed to do (believe me, I'm still working on it!)"

"The real world sucks. But thanks to booze and Netflix I'm doing alright."

"Don't lose sight of your dreams, but also don't get your hopes up. Chances are your first job will not be your dream job. The money and the experience will be a nice change of pace, though. Also, START SAVING MONEY. Contribute to your 401K immediately. Pay off debt. I know it may be tempting to spend & travel right now, but think long-term. Wouldn't you rather have a cushy retirement and then you can travel all you want? Also, prioritize what's important to you. You will quickly find that you can't do it all. There's just not enough time in the day. Lastly... your health is important! Lead an active lifestyle, make smart choices about your food, etc."

"Working a painfully boring job, I can now (almost) truly empathize with Tyler Durden's actual ego, practically needing someone to just punch me in the face. That's usually only during office hours though. Things could be worse."

"I graduated last May and now having made the transition into the "real world" I would tell others that everything works out in the end. It is a big transition to go from college to post-grad life. Applying to jobs can be frustrating and it may seem like you will never get hired but you will! It takes time so don't give up on yourself and keep putting yourself out there. And while you have the time, try new things and pick up a new hobby. "

"My post-graduate life is graduate school so I have a really biased view on this whole transition thing. The biggest change in my life is not living in a house full of all my close friends and actually having an income (yah). Graduate school is chaos balancing teaching, research, class and having a social life. It is not what people think. You are tied down. You cannot move. You won’t get an actual job till you are 30 but I love what I do. I am currently writing a grant “Facultative Mutualism in a Parasitic Relationship” and this is my “thing.” My advice: With no obligations, now is the time to fool around with who you are (even if it involves working in a parasitology lab!)"

"Be brave. Life after college will hardly look the way you expect but be open to new experiences, new jobs, new relationships, new cities, new adventures. Be open. Be brave. You never know where a door will lead you."


"I have literally driven myself crazy trying to figure out what my life purpose is. I stressed myself out to the point where I had to seek professional help. And for what? I'm not going to get the answers I'm looking for by worrying about my future every single second of every single day. I've learned to relax and take things as they come. I have realized that the true path to success is chasing your own happiness, however you may find it. Everyone is different, so don't compare yourself to others. Don't compare your life to someone else's. We are all meant to follow our own unique paths. This life is yours so make the most of it."

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined."

"After graduation, spend the summer doing something completely new and different. I quit my college job right after graduation and worked as a summer camp counselor to de-stress after years of college. Camp was the best summer of my life. While I was left looking for a job in August (which I found a great one through CRAIGSLIST!), a year and a half later, I got rehired by the camp company to work year round! If you had asked me when I was graduating college where I thought I'd be two years after graduating with a journalism degree, I would not have said "computer lab teacher." I wouldn't have it any other way, though. So do something different with that summer - move for a few months or do a job you don't expect to like. It will help you solidify your dreams, and find your true ones."

"Basically, just follow your heart."

A huge thanks to my fellow bloggers who contributed quotes! Check them out:

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