5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Life After Graduation

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was running late with my graduation cap in one and my gown in the other. Jasmine, my roommate, did everything but push me out of the apartment to make it on time for the graduation line up. I’d heard so many things in the months, days, and hours leading up to what was about to happen.

“Smile when you walk across the stage.”

“Don’t forget your name card.”

“It’ll go by so fast.”

It was hard to process all of the things people had told me. They all told me what graduation would be like but no one gave me any insight into life post-graduation. “College will be the best days of your life”, subliminally suggested that all of the days after college would be indifferent, mediocre, or just plain meaningless. No one told me what life would be like after the tassel was moved and the diploma was now just a paper serving as a discussion piece in my mom’s living room. What next?

Well, I’ve had some time to reflect and here are 5 things they don’t tell you about life after graduation.

  1. No one knows what they’re doing after college.

You heard me right. That guy or girl sitting next to you in class who’s had 5 internships and 10 positions on campus (exaggerated for dramatic effect) is just as clueless as you are about life after graduation. There were so many people that I assumed had it all figured out that ended up back home with their family. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely positively nothing wrong with going back home! Which leads me to my next point…

2.    You shouldn’t be embarrassed about returning home.

When we watch movies, it always seems like the person who goes back home to live with mom is the failure. However, that isn’t the case. Sometimes it’s good to return to your roots and figure out just what you want out of life. You’ve spent 4+ years on a campus having your life revolve around assignments, meetings, and social activities. When all of those things are over it will take some adjustment. So yes, go home. Regroup. Just don’t stay there. (As much as your mom loves you, I’m sure she enjoyed some of the time you spent away.)

3.    You’re still young enough to make mistakes.

The trial period for screw-ups isn’t limited to the time you spend in college. No one is expecting you to have it all figured out. I mean really, who has ever had this whole “life thing” understood? Whether you’re on a new job or still brainstorming your next move, there are bound to be mistakes that knock you down. The best thing for you to do is get back up, and keep swinging.

4.   More than likely, you won’t speak to your friends everyday.

Remember when you woke up to 4 texts and 2 missed calls from your college buddies? More than likely they were asking what time you would be on campus or if you were eating lunch in the cafe that day… well, those days are over. Everyone’s so busy trying to figure their lives out that consistent communication becomes a hard task. Don’t take this as a hit to your relationships. Think of it like this, the longer you don’t speak, the more you have to catch up on when the time is right! (However, check in on your friends, they’re dealing with struggles as well.)

5.   You should NEVER compare your success to others. 

Honestly, this one is just a basic life lesson. Success is objective and what may be seen as an accomplishment to you may not be the same for the next person. When you’re looking through Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin and see your peers climbing the corporate ladder or making strides in their particular fields, that DOES NOT MEAN you aren’t doing enough. If their on their 3rd promotion and you just scored your first interview, be proud! It is possible to take joy in your own personal successes while acknowledging other’s. Do you booboo, do you. (Also, people only post what they want you to see on social media so don’t get caught in the hype.)

If you’ve graduated from college, leave your words of encouragement in the comments below!

From Me to You, Lots of Love

Shaakira White

3 thoughts on “5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Life After Graduation

  1. It’s okay to go back to square one and regroup to think about what you want your next move to be. Like you said, it’s okay to go back home, relax, and take your time on figuring out what’s YOUR next best move. It’s not a race, and it’s not a competition.

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