The real world is a whole new ballgame. From high school to college, you hopefully took a couple steps in the direction of maturing, growing up and figuring out what you want in this life because the time has come to put it into effect. Starting this new stage of life means becoming a "real" person, and the only way to dive into what will soon be the rest of your life is with your head on straight.
While you've been busy living in a fantasy world, the world has been growing increasingly advanced around you. It might come as a shock that no one cares if you were the biggest partier or hottest thing on the scene by the time you graduated. Your glory days and selfish years have quickly and sadly come to an end.
It's not all about you, anymore. You will soon become the smallest ant on the hill and you will, like many other things in life, have to climb your way to the top. In the past, working your way up the totem pole might have been achieved by winning over the approval of your older counterparts. This time around, gaining a higher level of responsibility, along with a potential small group of minions, will be completely attributed to hard work.
Maybe you coasted through college; maybe you were the hardest worker among your group of friends. Either way, hard work has a whole new meaning post-college. No matter what career you're about to embark on, or where you're about to land, getting to the place you want to be is all about putting in the effort to get there. It's time to take some initiative on your own, make the right moves and probably go through hurdles along the way to get what you want.
Post-college life is all about getting serious. The fateful moment you've been dreading is finally here: time to grow up. No more acting completely absurd, sleeping the day away, drinking the whole week through and doing whatever your little heart pleases on a daily basis.
You have the world in your hands, ability to go anywhere your dreams might take you, and all the tools you could ever imagine at your disposal, but all the resources in the world and the biggest dreams won't gain you success or respect as an adult. Everyone has to start somewhere, and whether daddy got you a job, or you landed a job on your own, earning respect is completely attributed to the individual. Take advantage of this new beginning to reinvent yourself. On top of maturing, be the best version of yourself wherever the road leads you. You have to give respect to get respect, and this is the best way to get a head start on a successful future.
Another crucial step towards growing up is making mature decisions. Everyone has made poor decisions in their past, and most of these mistakes were probably made during the college years. Put your lessons learned to good use and avoid making the poor choice when given an option.
Particularly in your professional life, it's important to maintain a clear head and apply everything you've learned to every move you make. Ethics and morals take precedence over personal opinion in the real world, and you need to consider the potential outcomes or consequences of any decision. One wrong move could stain your professional reputation and stunt your growing career. Now, more than ever, you need to think before you act.
When we were young, all we wanted to do was grow up. We wanted all of the luxuries of the teenage years, followed by the long-awaited year we turned 21. Now that we've been fully corrupted by sex, drugs and alcohol, we have all the material things we could possibly ask for and undervalue, we're wishing the world would just slow down a little bit. The reality is, the world keeps revolving and you have to keep up. Growing up is the next step for all college graduates, and there's no stopping at procrastination station.
Embrace this new stage of life, but do it in all the right ways. You can do anything you want, go anywhere you want and be anyone you want, as long as you keep your goals in check and your mind set on what's important. Graduating college doesn't necessarily mean you'll be sitting at a desk for the rest of your life. Let your mind wander -- the possibilities are endless.
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