From College To Career: 10 Truths About What The Real World Is Really Like

by Sam Maracic

For those of us who have officially outgrown the kind of enjoyable oblivion that the college experience promises, moving toward a 9-to-5 grind is, at best, a transition. Looking back, the lessons we each learned during those first few months of undergrad life were what helped us to navigate the next four years.

Whether it was how to write a research paper or how to shotgun a beer, those little pearls of wisdom enabled us to get from point A to point B, or in many cases, from scared freshman to seasoned senior.

Look at you; you’ve finally made it! You have a degree, you’re an adult and you’re ready to take on the working world. Oddly enough, it's kind of like being a freshman all over again... minus a lack of actual responsibility.

Well truthfully, while all good things (like the luxury of skipping class to nurse a hangover) must come to an end, the next phase of life can be just as, if not more, rewarding.

Deciphering between college days past and big kid living generally comes with a healthy dose of culture shock, but it's one that should be welcomed. I mean, after all, no one wants to live at home forever.

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here are 10 need-to-know truths about taking on the world of full-time employment. The good, the bad and the ugly, these are the realities that will help to shape a new set of life lessons for your journey:

1. For most people, the job they nail down right out of school doesn’t pan out to be the one of their dreams. And, that’s totally okay. Your first stab at employment is about learning the ins and outs of the real world more than anything else.

Embrace the experience for what it is: temporary. Keep pursuing your passions in the meantime.

2. When it comes to drinking, the term “rally” will no longer mean heroically continuing on with your evening after vomiting. You’ll be expected to function, no matter how many shots you had at happy hour.

3. A newly developed affection for sleep will almost surely be a thing.

4. Earning a paycheck is an incredible feeling, but sadly, the illusion of “having money” will fade. How much life actually costs will be a hard pill to swallow — use this as motivation.

5. You’ll make mistakes, but don’t get down on yourself about them — it is just part of the process.

6. The term “going for a drink” is not typically code for blacking out… especially on a Wednesday.

7. Every person has something to teach you, even if it’s just a cautionary tale of what to avoid. You will meet mentors and friends who will enrich your life and you will also meet people who will lead you to question who you are and what you believe. Pay attention to both.

8. Respect those who helped get you to where you are in life. Whether it’s your parents, an older sibling or another family member, you will finally understand the depths of their efforts each and every day.

9. Even if it feels like it, your social life is not over. You simply need to up your game when it comes to prioritizing.

10. The sense of accomplishment you will feel from busting your ass five days a week will make everything else entirely worth it.

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