Author: Kelsee Hankins
Congratulations Graduates! Or congrats to those of you who are soon-to-be-graduates! You’ve worked your butt off for four (or more) years at this point and you are ready to take on the world! Lots of huge changes may be happening, but that’s ok, you just graduated and you’ll know how to handle it!
…Or will you? I thought I could do anything after I graduated! That I would soon be able to afford everything I wanted just because I had a full-time job and be able to save some money and of course, start paying on my student loans! Awesome!
…Or so I thought.
It’s hard to believe that almost 3 years ago, I walked across that graduation stage and shook hands with the university president. On that day, I was overwhelmed with a crazy feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie between all of my fellow graduates. It was a wonderful day and I felt like everything had ended just like it was supposed to end.
Fast forward to today and this post-grad life is definitely NOT what I expected it to be. Not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just not what I expected.
Now, I’m a happy (yet under-employed) 25 year old with two jobs. Fortunately, I have not lived at home since graduation, but with that, I did make some sacrifices. I drive an old car, I’m still using my stepfather’s health insurance until I turn 26, and I have a LITTLE apartment in a busy downtown area. I did not really have a solid plan for after graduation, but my jobs crossed my path at the right time, and here I am. So I don’t complain too much.
That’s just my journey, and there’s no single be all-end all path for everyone. And that’s part of why this transition of life is amazing. Enjoy this time and transition for as long as possible. Enjoy the moments you’re in — even if they may seem terrible at the time — they’ll pass and hopefully you will learn something. If you spend all your time agonizing over the future and what’s going to happen, you’ll miss out some great things.
This is also a great time to start worrying about “you” and only “you.” Now is the time to stop comparing yourself to others and start doing your own thing. And do that “thing” however you want and don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Life doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have a syllabus. Be your own biggest fan and strive to do new and different things. Do what you know is best for you.
You should also be prepared for the tough times. You will sometimes be broke, and that’s ok. You may need to ask for help, and that’s ok. Sometimes you’ll eat PB&J for a week because you don’t get paid until Friday and can’t get groceries until then, and that’s ok.
This is the time that you have to live for you — not your parents, not a significant other, just you. Make this time the best you can! Your twenties are only a decade long, ten years is nothing when you think about it. There’s a lot of wonderful things to do out there in this big and scary world, go and find what YOU want. It’s that time.
**All month we are featuring articles from recent grads and graduating seniors on where they are now. You can read the rest of the articles here. If you would like to submit a post for this segment, read this and/or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**