Post-grad is the time of your life, huh? This is the time you'll finally live the life you've always wanted for yourself. It's the time you'll finally fulfill all those dreams written in every corner of your fragile heart.
It's the time you'll conquer every possible challenge and succeed. It's the time you'll go out there and tell yourself, "This is it. My glorious years are coming."
You believe this with all your heart, mind and spirit. This is really it. All your life, everyone all around you — from home, middle school, high school to college — prepared you for this. You have been nothing but prepared for this, for the real life and for the real world.
Your parents, relatives, former teachers, professors, closest friends and even the random commencement speaker all tell you the same thing: You are bound to live an extraordinary life, to do the impossible, to do great things and to succeed in whatever you decide on pursuing.
So, you sadly believed them. However, they don't tell you the other side of the story and all the harsh truths. So, I'm here to tell you what they won't.
1. You'll start to doubt your own strengths and capabilities.
Can you really do it? Are you really good at this, or did you just make yourself believe so? You'll realize the strengths you have — the ones you thought would bring you success — somehow failed.
Where did all your strengths go? Did they vanish after the triumphant feeling you felt when you graduated from college faded away?
Then, you start questioning your own capabilities. Can you really do it? Well, it's up to you.
2. You'll start to get lost between all that was and all that must be.
The college madness, non-stop partying with friends, study sessions at Starbucks and late-night talks with your buddies are all over.
You're caught up between that and your expectations of being a rich, successful, happy person who has his or her entire life figured out, who's sure of the path he or she will traverse and the ways on how to get there. You're caught somewhere in the middle.
3. You'll have a mid-life crisis in your 20s.
Mid-life crises are supposed to happen much later in life, yet here you are, a mere 20-something and currently experiencing a mid-life crisis.
And that's totally OK. It's unexpected, but it's OK. Though it will be depressing and hard, you'll get by.
4. You'll fail at some point. And then you'll fail again.
You can't run away from failure. Contrary to what everyone told you, you can't be a “success” all the freaking time. If you're bound to be great, you're also bound to fail.
Understand, however, that failures play a huge part in becoming your true self. Failures will mold you. You need them.
5. You'll lose some buddies you never thought you'd lose.
You won't be able to keep everyone you had back in college. Some people are meant to drift away. Some people are meant to grow without you. Some people are meant to just go.
Sure, you'll be sad for a while, but understand you have to go on without them. You'll meet new people. It's not that bad; it's just different.
6. Your grades didn't matter at all.
With all honesty, the workforce doesn't care whether you graduated magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. Nobody gives a sh*t, really.
They care if you can do the job. That's it.
7. Once you get your first entry-level job, you'll want to quit.
This is mainly because you realize this isn't the job you imagined for yourself. You can quit, then apply to jobs when you're ready.
Either get the job you like, or be employed in another soul-sucking, dead-end job. That's reality.
8. You'll start to feel insecure due to other people's success.
You look at your college mates, and you realize Daniel already bought a new car. Jenna just bought a new place.
Michelle is currently employed at a job you've always wanted for yourself. Rizza is happily in a relationship. Angel just got promoted.
Mimi is making more money than you could even imagine. Ciara and Micah are out there, exploring the world.
Meanwhile, you're still here in the same place, with the same sh*tty job. You just realized how much of a failure you are.
But, you're not. You'll find your way, just not today. Maybe you will tomorrow.
It might take some time, but you shouldn't compare your progress with others'.
9. You might not land your dream job after all.
They tell you nothing is impossible, that no matter how much and whatever it takes, you'll get there. You'll land your dream job.
But sometimes, that is not — and will never be — the case.
Sometimes your dream job isn't really for you. Not for lack of trying, but because you aren't particularly suited for that job. Maybe you're meant for something else, something different. And sometimes, different is better than what you had in mind.
10. You might not live the life you've always wanted.
Considering the real world and the real situation you're in, you might not live the life you've always imagined.
After all, you may not be a rich, successful CEO. You may not marry a handsome French guy. You may not be a big deal after all, but don't internalize that. The world will not condemn you for being something different.
11. Those you thought wouldn't succeed are actually way ahead of you.
And you're way behind them. That's life.
You can't judge a book by its cover. This principle also applies to you: You can't judge your success just yet. Give it some time, and your life could actually turn around in the coming years.
12. Without even noticing, you're surrounded with a whole new group of people.
You realize you're surrounded with a few good colleagues, some college friends and family, and you're quite satisfied. You realize you don't need shallow, insignificant people. You realize you're good with the few people around you.
13. The real world sucks.
That's it. It just sucks big time.
14. Money becomes more complicated.
You'll realize making a six-figure salary isn't at all easy. Saving isn't either.
You'll realize it's pure hard work just to make it to the next cutoff and that adult life is definitely more expensive than college life.
15. You'll appreciate your family even more.
Through all the hard times, happy times, trying times and failing times, they're there, no matter what.
16. You'll miss college.
No matter how much you said you wouldn't, you will.
17. You may not ever be the “big deal” you've always thought you'd be.
You might never be "big." You might live that mediocre life you've always feared of living.
At times, you'll feel as if life will never come together for you. And that might be true.
It might not happen the way you hope it will, but in some other way — some better way — it will. Welcome to the real world.