The transition from college to work and the real world is well, very real. It happens all of a sudden, and right before your eyes. Here you are, on your new apartment floor with all your belongings surrounding you and a hefty rent on your shoulders. It feels just a little bit different than the apartment you shared with your best friends in college. Now, you’re an adult. Now, you’re on your own. You’ve just spent four years, less or more, shaping yourself into the person you’re supposed to become. You’ve been used to having all your closest friends just down the hall, the dining hall available at your leisure, and pretty much always having someone to talk to. Saturdays have been spent cheering on your team, or lounging around with your people watching Netflix. Graduation rolls around and it’s flashes of cameras and smiles all around. And then…the real world.
I graduated with a degree in communication studies and a minor in public relations and advertising. This degree was the culmination of writing, advertising, writing, marketing, writing, writing, and more writing. So it only seemed beyond perfect to start off as the personal assistant to a New York Times bestselling author. And it was! But sometimes, when you’ve had two internships at the same place, and you’ve gone full-time post-graduation at the same place, the need for a change comes sooner than you had expected. And that is okay.
So here I am…one year later, working in accounting. (And loving it, too!) It’s funny how life works.
The real world can be scary. It’s unknown, changing at the drop of a hat. But that is life.
In the nearly two years since I’ve graduated college, I’ve figured out a few things to help me get through the days when I’ve missed my friends most, day dreamed about late nights in the library with endless coffee and brownies, longed for going out with all my girls on a weekday, and really not having too many cares in the world.
I’ve rounded up a few tips to ease into this crazy transition from college to work:
Make your space your own.
It’s easy to get into a routine of the day-to-day busyness, but there is nothing like coming home to a cozy little sanctuary of your own. Not only is this beneficial for the guest-friendly, aesthetic appeal, but also for the stress relieving, calming, and soothing vibes it brings into your mind. A little candle, a couple flowers, and a tidy space can do all the good in the world.
Be smart with your money.
Whether you had a job in college or not, chances are, these new real world paychecks are the largest sums of money you’ve ever received consistently in your existence. It’s exciting, freeing, and gives you the power to live. What you have to be careful of, though, is not spending it all in one place. Seriously, that number in your bank account changes drastically after that rent check gets cashed.
I’m not saying you can’t have some fun – trust me, I’m the first one to jump on an invite to a new New York hotspot, but maybe things like going out for your lunch every weekday may not be the best decision. Just because your co-worker who has been with the company for 5+ years orders hers everyday, does not mean it’s normal for you to do so. Think about it: especially in a pricier city like New York, a lunch is going to run you anywhere from $8.00 to $17.00 (factoring in delivery fee and if you want a protein on your chopped salad).
The ball isn’t always in your court, but sometimes it is.
Sometimes, it takes your text message or your phone call to reach your college pal. Life gets busy and everyone gets this. Sometimes, though, it’s your text that will get everyone together and excited to go back for that football game. The amazing thing about college friends is that no matter how long you go without seeing them, you can pretty much pick up right where you left off. Calling one of your besties every once in a while just might make their day or their entire week. In the process, it will make yours, too.
Make the days count.
Work is work and jobs are tough. It wouldn’t be called work if it wasn’t stressful. However, this is a whole new season of life and while it may not be all fun and games like most of college life, it’s a new chapter of you, which means it’s meant to be different. Planning trips and visits to friends and family is always wonderful and it’s great to have something to look forward to, but living in the moment is really important, too. Love and live in the now, and the transition from college to work is sure to be all the merrier.