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Transitioning into post-grad life: My experience & tips

Hi Friends! Welcome Back! How was your weekend? I hope it was exciting and relaxing all at the same time. I went to my best friend of nearly 18 years college graduation. It was wonderful, I know im biased but she is a brilliant girl and to witness this huge accomplishment was something i’ll never forget. With her graduating this past weekend and with today marking two years since I graduated college, i decided I would give you all some tips for transitioning to post-grad life and my experience with it.

Post-grad life for me, kinda just hit me in the face and I found it challenging to transition. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, all I knew was the thought of getting a job in the field of my degree made me really anxious. (to the point where if I thought about it to long, i’d have a panic attack) Feeling that way after having spent four years and a lot of my parents money and my money, because I have student loans that i’ll be paying off for years to come was really hard for me to accept. Part of it was from fear of change but another part was feeling like it wasn’t right for me. I felt like a failure, like I wasted my parents money that they worked hard for. I felt alone and like I wasn’t going to get anywhere in life, completely forgetting that I was only 22 and that a lot of people felt the same way. Since I have bills to pay for I did get a job, it’s the same job I have now so it’s just a retail position in a beauty supply store and while I have loved my job from the first day I was hired I always felt like I was looked down upon because it’s an hourly rate with no benefits. Even I give into that negative outlook and have to catch myself, did you notice i said “just a retail position” as if that’s less of a job then someone who works in an office when really it’s not. Anyways, post-grad life sent me into a pretty deep depression that I’m just now starting to get out of two years later. I lost friends, I gained weight(more then i’m happy to admit) I wasn’t doing anything exciting i’d go to work then go home and sit in my bedroom. In my darkest days I questioned if maybe the reason I didn’t know what to do with my life was because I wasn’t meant to get to the point where I figure that out. I lost my sense of purpose, and I thought maybe God had fulfilled all the plans he had for me. Thinking back on those times breaks my heart because obviously I was completely wrong. Once I started to discover what strengths I had and started to accept my flaws and just in general started to be nicer to myself certain things started to fall into place. I accepted that I needed help mentally, so I went to the doctors and honestly that appointment changed my life. I told myself a lot of times before that appointment that, I wasn’t doing that bad in life but I didn’t believe it. Now that I trust myself, believe in myself and live for myself I fully believe that for being 23 I’m not doing that bad which is a freeing feeling. I’m the happiest i’ve been in years, i’m at peace with myself, I have a vision of what I want my career to be and i’m taking the jump to try and make my dreams come true while i’m young. I’m appreciated at my current job, was promoted to manager which is a great thing to add to a resume if my dream of blogging doesn’t work out. (However, since i’m not experiencing any self-doubt right now I do think this blogging thing is gonna work out for me) Now that you know a summary of my experience transitioning into post-grad life, i’m gonna give you some tips that I wish someone had told me or more so, wish I listened too.

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It’s okay to take a break.

If you really think about it, being a student is all you’ve ever known when you come out of college. However you’re kind of expected to instantly know how to be an adult and that’s unrealistic. If you want to jump right into your career, that’s wonderful, i’m glad you found something that you’re really passionate about and get to do for the rest of your life. It’s rare to truly love what you do so enjoy that but if you want to take some time and travel or learn more about yourself that’s okay too. As long as you have food to eat, a place to sleep and gas in your car, you can take a step back and figure out where you want to go next.

Friendships take effort

This might seem like an obvious thing but, when you’re in college and live with your best friends it’s a big transition to go from seeing them daily to not seeing them for months. It’s really easy for friendships to fall to the wayside if you don’t put in the effort. You’ll have to understand and be okay with the fact that you have different schedules now, different jobs, live possibly hours away from each other. It’s going to take patience and time to figure out when you can catch up. If you put that effort in, you’ll most likely have that friendship for the rest of your life which is so worth it. My best friend from college, Megan calls me everyday, and we just talk about our day. One thing we loved to do while we lived together was watch tv shows, some of which are still going on so we talk about those shows as if we’re still living together, it helps make the physical distance between us not feel so far. Getting closer to her after college really helped me transition from feeling like a failure for not doing anything with my degree into a better more grateful mindset. To me, the bond I have with her is so much more important then anything I could learn in a classroom.

Have a hobby

Chances are, you’re going to be moving home with your parents and they are gonna be the only people that are constantly around. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with your parents but, it’s very easy to become lonely when you move home. I recommend finding a hobby. It can be anything, reading, drawing, TV shows something you wanted to explore in college but didn’t have the time too. For me I love to read and I love to lose myself in a TV show. I also like to pick up my flute from time to time and see what I remember since it’s been years since I actually played. Just do something for yourself, if you do better interacting with people get involved in a local club or if you do better by yourself find something helps you get in touch with your inner self.

Make happiness a priority

This is probably my biggest tip, please make happiness a priority. You’re closing a chapter of your life so alter what you need in order to start the new chapter with happiness. If you need to distance yourself from people, that’s okay. If you need to take time to focus on your mental health, that’s okay. If you need to re-evaluate what you want to do with your life, that’s okay. So many people go through life just making it through each day and don’t fully enjoy what they’re doing. While I can understand it, because people have responsibilities I don’t think that’s how God wants us to live life. Take this time while you don’t have many responsibilities and make your happiness the most important thing.

It’s okay to live at home

There is no shame in living with your parents, things are a lot different from our generation and our parents generation. While our parents were probably married with their first house at 24, most 24 year olds now a days still are living at home and that’s okay. If it’s better for your mental health to move out and you can afford it then absolutely do it, but don’t make yourself broke because your giving into the pressures of society. Use the money you’d use for rent and save it for something that will make your life fuller in the long run, be it more schooling or back-packing across Europe. You’re not a deadbeat for living with mom and dad.

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Your story, is really just getting started and you can write it however you want. Go after your dreams, travel the world, do whatever you want. Everyone has a different experience with transitioning into post-grad life but one thing we all have in common is obtaining that degree and the endless list of possibilities of what to do with that degree. If you are graduating soon or have just graduated, congratulations enjoy every second of it. What are you most looking forward to now that you’ve graduated? What scares you the most? Leave me a comment below! If you’ve been graduated for a year or more, what was your experience transitioning into post grad life? I would love to hear it down below! One thing I want all of us to remember is, that’s it’s going to be okay and you’ll figure it out in a way that works best for you. Thank you for stopping by, i hope you enjoyed. Until next time…..

Be Nice. Be Good.

Mich. x

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Simply Michelle View All →

Hi! I’m Michelle, but you can call me Mich. I’m just your normal 23 year old trying to figure out life and thought I’d share some of my experiences and interests with the world. This blog will cover all things under the sun from makeup favorites to mental health to religion and everything serious or not so serious in between! I want us to build a little community filled with love and support so please leave me comments and hit that follow button on your way out. This blog has a very special place in my heart and feels like a important part of my path in life so I hope you stay a while and check out what it’s like to be Simply Michelle.

Be Nice. Be Good.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is really inspirational Mich 💖. I’m so glad you are feeling more positive and happier. Change is always hard but you have shared some fantastic advice. Getting a hobby is a great idea and helps to have something fun to focus on when life gets tough. I agree, there are no rules to post grad life, you just gotta do things at your own pace and trust everything will work out okay in the end. Fab post girl! 😘🌷 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to hear you’re in a better place now!
    I think we get hit with crisis of success. We’ve achieved what we were aiming for, and suddenly it’s like “now what?”.
    You are bang on though, as long as you have aims to be moving toward, whilst recognising that you’re only young and moving towards a fulfilling life takes time, you’re setting yourself up to be resilient, strong, and less prone to existential conundrums😄✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I agree that we all go through a “now what?” moment because up until that point all we’ve known was the structure of being a student but once you get comfortable with the fear of having endless possibilities you start to realize how beautiful and exciting that freedom can be

      Liked by 1 person

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