Life after college seems daunting before graduation, as if it’s the end of an era. But, once the loans for college start to roll in, the self-reflections usually begin.
Once the six-month mark hit for me, I started to see things in a completely different light than I did when I was in college.
I am glad I see them now instead of then, but some I wish at graduation that I knew some of the things I've since learned:
Not all of your friends are friends
In college, everyone who lives near you seems to be your friend. Your neighbor is your friend, your frat bros are your friends, the random girl in class is your friend and heck, so is the guy on the street.
Once college is done, a lot of people end up moving and start leading different lives, and that’s when it’s clear that a lot of people in college are really only fun to hang out with at the bars. Anything not involving alcohol with them is just simply painful.
It’s a hard concept to grasp, but also a gratifying one. You won’t have to dig for time to spend with them and after a while, you realize that they didn’t really bring much to your life anyway.
At the same time, those who stay in contact and continue to ask how life is will be your friends forever. You’ll begin to value all of the time they spent with you, and the times they challenged you.
You can do anything you want to in the world
During college, it seems like there are only a few paths you can take. You go to specific classes, do tons of internships and get a job. Once you graduate, if you can learn to block out the noise of others, you’ll learn that you can literally do anything you want.
There’s no more class requirements or certain paths you have to take. Many people listen to the noise and fall into something that seems like a directed path. If you follow what your gut tells you, you can do anything you want to do.
It’s the noise that drowns out our dreams.
The job you choose chooses your destiny
There are many people in college who say you have to get a job after college, even if you don’t like it, in order to gain experience. A lot of the people I see now have jobs they really don’t like just for the money.
They become boring, and they stop doing the things they were passionate about in college. Don’t be that person. Don’t get a job for the money — you’ll find a way to get money. The important thing is to choose a job and a company that fits you, because if you don’t, you will lose yourself.
Life itself becomes a class
Learning can seem really awful in college. Outside of college, you’ll realize that all you will want to do is learn. You’ll find that you are most likely not one of the smartest people in your work center, unlike when you were in your classes.
Learn to desire a learning environment if you want to keep growing after college instead of staying in the same place. When you begin to view the world as a classroom, life gets more fulfilling.
You’re the smallest pea in the world — so conquer it
Once I finished college, the world seemed even bigger than it was before, and that’s saying a lot since I travel often. Once you finish college, you’ll discover that because you’re no longer situated around your friends, the world is HUGE.
For some, it can seem lonely. For others, it’s exciting because there’s so much more air to breathe. Take the time to explore the world and the world will seem a lot smaller to you.
You have to learn to trust yourself
Many people felt the need to comment on my work habits both during and after college. I knew in my gut there was a purpose behind what I was doing, why I was working so many hours and why I didn’t jump at the first job I could land.
You have to trust yourself and know what you want. There will always be people who will feel the need to gossip about your life, comment on where you work and bring you down.
These months after college will be the hardest times in your life to learn this, but it’s important to understand what drives you and motivates you as a person, or else you’ll end up working for someone else.