It’s incredibly weird for me to think a year has already passed now since I’ve graduated from college. As of yesterday, May 15th, it seems life has changed so much within this past year, some good and some bad. My life is very different from then and I wanted to take the time here to reflect and share what I’ve learned/realized here on the blog for anyone else just trying to survive the post grad transition or for those who are just starting it.
Really and truly this post is mainly for myself, to serve as a little reminder that I am actually doing OK for myself at this point in time. I find it’s really easy to get lost in this transition and to focus on the fact you don’t fully know what you want or how to be a full-fledged adult. Sometimes you’ll compare yourself to others who either are older than you or in a different situation than you, but the concept is the same: we don’t know their circumstances. So Hi Allie, let’s take this time to give yourself a pat on the back because you busted your ass this year and you are making progress. You will be OK and things will turn out how you want if you keep doing what you are doing.
- No one can fully prepare you for transitioning to an adult. Man I couldn’t tell you how true this statement is, I honestly went into adulthood and post grad life thinking I was more prepared than anyone else I knew. I had a real adult job working part-time at a software company during college and still maintained good grades. I really knew how to take care of things when *pardon my french* shit needed to get done in serious situations. But none of that mattered, I was not prepared for the complete change in lifestyle, day-to-day scheduling, and time management. On top of that, I just felt lost… not knowing what I wanted to do, and the stress and frustration that comes with that I didn’t handle well. I’m sure Sean will leave an editor note to confirm that (Editor’s note: It was a rolling dumpster fire). That actually inspired me to write a post last fall, “Why It’s Ok To Feel Lost In Your 20’s,”which is one of the posts I’m most proud of to this date. I really wanted to write it because I found I was giving this advice to my friends but it doubled as something I found hard to say to myself. Sometimes it’s hard to take your own advice, but once we do, things do start to get better.
- Shit will hit the fan at the worst possible times and life just goes on. This past year I had a lot A LOT of unfortunate things happen and let me tell you, when working full time, saving for the future, and moving out of your parent’s house, and then three unexpected life events JUST HAPPEN… Yeah that sucks and you can find yourself just becoming victim to a wave of negativity. Try your best to keep it together, because you could get some time off work to deal with things but ultimately you still need to work, make money, and pay the bills. You still have to take care of yourself and your loved ones. I remember the first time something like this happened last fall right when my allergies were badly affecting my health and I didn’t handle that well either (it’s still a problem, but thanks to going to the allergist regularly I’m now getting better at managing it). Most recently in April, the entire month was another one of those situations and I found I was able to hold it together relatively well. That goes without saying I had my little breakdowns a couple of times, like anyone would under extreme stress, but I didn’t let it affect me taking care of business.
- Exercise is really important to keep a clear mind and relieve stress. Now this is one I knew however, I haven’t been able to exercise for almost a year because of my allergies. I got diagnosed with asthma this year and had a condition where I broke out into hives in the heat and while working out. THANK GOODNESS that’s gone now and I just have to deal with the whole asthma thing. So you can image during those situations mentioned I would have loved to exercise to relieve that stress but I couldn’t. Now I’m slowly working back into finding an exercise routine that doesn’t make my asthma act up. I found I really enjoy taking barre classes and man does it help to relieve stress when I’ve had a bad day. I would like to try taking up kick boxing but I’m unsure if my lungs would like that. Any who, my point is, try and find time to exercise and really make sure you find an activity you really enjoy. That really does make a difference between exercise being a chore and exercise being fun.
- Making time for the hobbies you love is a survival essential. Honestly, blogging consistently and now painting has made such a huge difference in my overall mood and happiness. Before I started painting I was just blogging and I really enjoyed it. In fact I say everywhere that I started this in order to survive the post grad transition and it’s true, it’s still true for that matter. It’s nice to have something you enjoy and stimulates you creatively to do in the free time you have outside of the office. Especially me who loves being creative in every way as oppose to my job which is devoid of creativity, and I spend most of my time there so I found that during the small window when I didn’t have a hobby and was working full time I was miserable. I felt I lost the ability to be creative because I never used it, but it’s like a muscle memory: It comes back after being in use. I can’t tell you how much a difference adding painting to my hobbies has made. It’s so different from blogging but I love it. With blogging I can get all my ideas out and express myself with words AND photos but painting is my escape to the creative places in my mind. I love being able to bring my ideas to life and to be able to show others. Something about that makes me happier than anything else in the world.
- Things will take longer than you think, and that’s OK. I can’t tell you how many times my father has said this to me. And I bet you if he reads this post he will definitely make a point to be like, “SEE what did I tell you?” later HA! There’s truth with that as much as I hate to admit it. In every aspect of this transition, everything has taken longer than I expected, granted that might have to do something with the fact that I am not a patient person. Patience is not a thing I learned this year, ha, but I guess that will take some time to learn… See what I did there? Any who, Sean and I are finally moving into our first place this year and out of my parent’s. This is a great example because that’s something we thought we would be able to do in January…. and then March… then April… we did not expect May but hey everything worked out and it’s the right time. I know this definitely applies for job hunting too as I know so many people struggle with that especially here in the Bay Area, but it’s a numbers game. Just keep it up and remember it might take some time.
So there you have it. That’s what I have learned so far in year one after graduating. I mean I’m doing pretty well for myself, I have a full time job, my boyfriend and I are moving into our first place, I have a blog that is growing, I’ve also established myself among a great community of bloggers on Twitter and Facebook, and I started painting at home and found I have a bit of a natural talent for it. That being said, I’m not the next Monet yet, but hey practice makes perfect right? And I enjoy painting so I could very well get there HA. I mean don’t we all want to be the next Monet or Van Gogh in some way? I’m a firm believer in making things happen and sure you can’t control everything, but you can control your actions and how you react to situations. So it might take longer than I want, but I know that my dreams will happen if I continue busting my ass and taking care of business like I have this past year. Let me know what you’ve learned this past year or from life after college in the comments.