Reality Check: 3 Ways To Own The Real World After Graduation

With another school year about to end comes another set of graduates — a new class and a new generation of people who are ready to step into the world.

The world is calling us to come find ourselves amongst its many wonders and opportunities. Too often, we seem to forget that life isn't a handout. We earn opportunities — sometimes not fairly — but even if one opportunity passes you by, there are always other figurative doors and windows ready to open that hold the contents of your future.

It is time to examine how the real world works… plus a bit of advice regarding how to make it work for you.

Take Initiative

Many of us were fortunate enough to grow up in a situation in which things were handed to us. In the real world, however, this might be a downfall for you. We received ribbons at the science fair or on the track team, just for participating; life doesn’t operate in the same way.

There is nothing wrong with being recognized for participating or even recognizing yourself for participating in an event that normally is not your style. The problem is that it’s not how the big picture works.

Sure, we participated, but what happened to jumping back into things for the sake of trying something new and different or just being motivated to take initiative in life? This initiative is what the participation ribbons sought to applaud: initiative that will take us places in life. Being able to see the need and fill it ahead of time without being asked will make you an asset to a company in the future.

But really, why stop at being an asset to someone else's business when you could be running your own company?

You Are On Your Own

Unfortunately for us, teachers, mentors, coaches and parents have held our hands through everything we’ve done in life; we have been sheltered. This is why, for many, college can be a real eye-opener. The Freshman 15 does not just refer to the amount of weight one can expect to gain, but also to the amount one’s grades might drop.

Professors will no longer chase you for your completed assignments. No one will make you write down your homework in your agenda. The guidance department exists in post-secondary institutions, but no one will book your appointments for you. The system will work for you only if you seek it out, and when you do, you will reap the benefits of career counseling. But, that's where the idea of taking initiative becomes so important. You must utilize these resources at your disposal.

You are on your own, so you must decide what is important to you and build your schedule in a way that will lead you to success. This is not because people are heartless and do not care but because you know yourself the best and care most about your own success. Only you can make the best decision for yourself.

Hustle For Your Life

As Mark Twain once wrote, "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

The world does not owe you that fancy job just because you are graduating with honors. The world does not owe you that trip to Europe after graduation. The world does not owe you some grand, whirlwind romance. The world is constantly calling all of our names to go out and chase what we want. The world is larger than just us. You have to hustle for the life you want and work toward your dreams.

You want something? Go get it.

When people decide to inform you that you are not capable of doing something or that you should not have received the opportunity you got, they are wrong. You deserve everything you have worked hard to achieve. So, instead of accepting someone else’s verdict of you, stick to your guns and to your own opinions of yourself.

Remember, if you want something, go for it because ultimately, it’s your life.