Hearing your name called before you walk across the graduation stage and receive your diploma is a moment you'll never forget. The past four years have shaped how you view yourself and the world. Honestly, the best decisions I made as an adult after college have so much to do with what I learned and experienced during my time there.
I'm a ramen-making, procrastinating professional to the core. I'm just trailblazing my way through the real world. I'm nowhere near done making my mark, but without those four years of figuring life out on my own terms, things would've likely been a tad more difficult for me after the fact.
I remember being so nervous my first year out of college, because I didn't want to let myself or anyone else down. I wanted to prove that I wasn't just watching Netflix or sleeping through the past four years. I was hustling. There's no life guide stapled to the back of your diploma, so for me, I learned many valuable things that weren't necessarily taught in a classroom. In college, you learn to step out of your comfort zone, and afterwards, that doesn't change. With that mindset, I owe these eight decisions to post-grad life.
1. Exploring Opportunities Outside Of My Major
I didn't go directly into a profession that had to do with my major. I explored and put a long list of skills I obtained while pursuing my degree, towards jobs in other fields. It broadened my horizons and gave me a keen sense of self.
2. Keeping Up With My Student Loan Payments
Sallie Mae and I have some beef, but at least it's a controlled beef. It sucks to owe money, but I have such a peace of mind that I'm at least making the minimum payments. Some money is better than no money at all, and loans won't be the only time in your post-grad life when you apply that motto.
3. Staying In Touch With Influential Professors
Your professors are some of the best resources. Being able to touch base with them after graduation has helped me out with major career decisions. Try to remember that your professors were once fresh college grads just like yourself.
4. Finding Ways To Make Up For My Lack Of Internships
By the time I graduated college, I only had one internship under my belt. I've worked full-time since the day I turned 18, and unfortunately, that workload didn't reduce when I became a full-time student. Experience is experience, and I dedicated my time to racking it up as a post-grad. College opens many doors, but it's not the only entry way to gaining the experience you need.
5. Taking A Small Break After Graduation
I wanted to submit dozens of cover letters and resumes to potential employers, but I didn't want to rush, either. I wanted to thoroughly enjoy the incredible feels of graduating before I was on to the next thing. That subtle break gave me time to think, and I was confident in the direction I decided to go next.
6. Moving To An Entirely New Coast
I grew up in Los Angeles and also went to college there. The City of Angels will always be my heaven on Earth, but I needed to leave in order to grow. I knew that a change in my surroundings would allow me to fly.
When you're done with your studies, it may be an ideal time for you to move to your dream city. Start building the life you want, and make a masterpiece from your clean slate.
7. Making My Passion A Profession
Even if it doesn't work out, you still have your pastime, and that's something that can never be taken away. The success stories you hear about people taking a shot at their dreams and enjoying work that doesn't even seem like work? That could be you.
I've been writing since I was in first grade, and it is all I have ever wanted to do. My biggest piece of advice is to keep your dreams alive, even through a professional scope.
8. Marrying My College Sweetheart
Yes, I have to be a cheese ball for a second because I found love in sociology 101. The class had nothing to do with my major, and I wanted to experience something new. Taking a seat in a new place lead me to the husband I have today.
Your journey after college is going to shape you in more ways than one. Open your eyes, because class is still in session in the real world.