I'm officially irrelevant. I can no longer call myself a recent college grad.
I can't really pull the “Oh well, I just graduated” card anymore because I didn't just graduate: I graduated an entire year ago. A whole 365 days came and went just as fast as the four years of my college career went. I see all my other “college” friends now sitting in the same spot I was in a year ago.
They are fearful and hopeful, just like I was. They're also probably half hungover and half still a little drunk, just like I was.
I feel so many emotions. I'm sad because I miss college. I'm happy because post-grad really hasn't been all that bad.
I'm excited for all these new graduates to enter the “real” world with me, and I'm grateful because I've learned more about life in this past year than I ever thought I could.
Disclaimer: I'm nowhere near where I want to be in life. I'm still pretty immature and irrational, and I can't make a decision to save my life. But it's all taught me something. It's taught me that I'll probably, most definitely, never have it all figured out.
I'll never always be sure if the job I'm in is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life because bad and boring days exist in every office. I'll never always be sure the person I am today is the person I want to be for the rest of my life because bad and boring days exist in life.
In the past year, I've had three different jobs. I've spent weeknights pissed off at the world and crying in my room. I've spent weekends going to bed at 9 pm, and I've spent months wondering where the hell my life was going. I've also spent many dollars on student loans and food.
But in the past year, I've also spent my days realizing my entire future doesn't ride on just this year's decisions. This one year of my life isn't – and was never going to be – perfect.
In the past 365 days, I've learned five very valuable lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
1. There will always be something or someone else.
Like I mentioned, I had three different jobs. Luckily, I've found something I actually enjoy and want to be doing. This is a place where I might actually have a future.
But with the stresses of needing to make money and pay bills, sometimes, you don't always feel like you have the luxury to search for a job that not only includes an income, but also happiness.
There will always be another job, another person and another hobby if the one you have in your life right now isn't working out. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing , know that it's not the end all, be all. You have enough time to fill your life with things and people who fulfill all your hopes and dreams.
2. Fake it 'til you make it.
For the most part, I actually have no f*cking idea what I'm doing. I'm not even exaggerating when I say "What the f*ck?" comes out of my mouth way more than even “Hey, how's it going?”
But if I've learned anything, it's to never let them see you sweat. If you don't know something, smile, laugh and make some sh*t up. Be confident in your little white lie and figure out the details afterward.
3. Never say “I can't.”
This really should be the number one rule in your life. (Unless someone's all like, “Hey, go rob that bank.” Then, you can definitely say "I can't" because you don't want to end up in jail.)
But in all honesty, there's really nothing you “can't” do. When you say “I can't,” you're making the choice to not even try. You're telling your boss, mom or friend that you don't know, and that you don't care to know.
You can figure anything out thanks to Google.
4. Just be yourself.
I don't tend to hide much of myself: What you see is what you get. But some situations and people test you. You feel you have to act a certain way and be a different person.
Don't change for a job, a person or a city. The people and places around you will adapt to the person you are, instead of the other way around.
You've gotten this far by being yourself. Why mess with that system now?
5. Tomorrow is a new day.
I could probably write a list of a million and one things I'd like to change in my life, and sometimes, the heaviness of wanting things to be so different drags me down. Everyone has bad days. Sometimes, you want to harbor that and live in that bad day forever.
But a day is only 24 hours long. As far as the earth is concerned, yesterday is gone. The only thing that makes yesterday real is the memories you had of it. So, spin around a few times, go to sleep and forget about the bullsh*t of the day before. Just enjoy today.
I was scared and timid a year ago. I had no plans and no path. All I had was an empty, leather-backed diploma case, and an idea of what my future was hopefully going to look like.
Today, I'm still scared and timid. But this time, I have a diploma, four years of schooling, a year of post-grad wisdom and the income to buy the “good” tequila.