Thursday, August 13, 2015

How To Deal With Life After Graduation | Lifestyle

Its summer, I hope you find yourself near some source of water and are fashioning your newly sun-kissed skin. It wasn’t even a month ago that you were dragging your feet to get to class and most likely counting down the days until you could spend your time else ware. I was famous for making Summer Bucket Lists as early as mid March, always dreaming of what summer would be. But what happens when the picture of endless days by the pool and late night concerts with your friends becomes you moving back into your parents house and the pressure of applying for a “Real Job” slips into reality?  You may look back now and wish you would have savored those college moments just a little bit more. At this point, you may have experienced the stressful joy of job hunting, interviewing, looking for a decent apartment, or maybe just still trying to figure out what the heck to do with your life. It feels like everyone knows what they are doing next. But trust me; one of the biggest lies is that people know what they are doing. Whether it’s high school and deciding on college, or college and deciding a job most people are just as nervous as you feel. You’re not alone.

So what do you do in this period of time that feels like your worth is being questioned? You may have been seeking advice from family and friends but quickly realized there are as many opinions about your future as there are people in this world. It’s time to listen to yourself. All I hear is gorgeous Ryan Gosling in the Notebook yelling, “Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants? Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do YOU want? What do you WANT?” And if you’re racking your brain for answers, here are 3 things to consider in this transitional season.
1: Embrace the unknown
When I graduated college, like many, I did not have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. While everyone was worried about jobs and “the next step” I truly found comfort in the unlimited possibilities. You could find me weekly spitting out a different answer as to what my future held from California to Africa, the possibilities were thrilling. For those of you that don’t feel as secure in the unknown, I know it can seem scary to not even have a Plan A. Instead of a meltdown, assure yourself that the future is full of opportunity and it is a good thing! If you are a single, this is a time where taking risks is actually less risky. With no family to support yet, you have no one to answer to except for yourself. Embrace it. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Even if you move to a new city, get a new job, and hate it, all that happens is you move back home and do what you are doing now. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen, know it won’t be that bad, and embrace the unknown.

2: Consider volunteering
We are wired to believe that once we graduate the next step is always to get that big adult job. There is so much pressure and too many people asking you what the future looks like for you. If you have a dream job, apply for it. But there are many people who have no idea what career they would like to have and that is when I say don’t force it. I graduated in May of 2014 and still do not have an “adult job” That scares some people and irritates others, but I had a goal of soaking up my twenties by doing things I am passionate about. Volunteering in any capacity can be such an awesome experience to become exposed to new things. A few months after graduating college, all of my friends were putting in applications for jobs and I decided to move to the country of Ecuador to work with a volunteer program called Submerge. I have been living here now for five months and because of this trip I have found things I am passionate about that I didn’t even know were in my heart before coming here. You are young; there is no time like now to embrace different cultures, scenery, people, or just new places in your hometown. I challenge you to not make excuses and experience new opportunities.

3: Be okay with your life not looking like everyone elses.
Most of us grew up being taught that going to college, getting a good job, and settling down is the end goal. It’s a beautiful part of life to participate in but don’t do it just because everyone else is. I have never had a strong desire to work an office job or get married young. While the rest of the world stares at you like you are crazy, know that it is okay to be different. There is not a one way formula to succeed at life and you are not everyone else. What you desire your life to look like does not have to be modeled after anyone else and it does not have to please anyone else. As the famous quote goes “you do you”. You will be the most at peace with yourself when you follow your dreams. Never have the fear of the question “what if” and live the life you will be proud of.

So in this in between stage of life, relax, breathe in deep and know that you don’t have to have it all figured out today. Your worth is not in what you do, but who you already are as a person.

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