I graduated university one year ago. I remember how confusing and overwhelming that period of my life was. I am not going to lie, this one year after graduation was probably the hardest one in my life but I am not writing the post to freak you out even more. Quite the opposite. I remember desperately searching through the Internet looking for popculture pieces picturing the struggles of recent graduates, searching for blog posts about graduating university and friendly souls that could understand. I felt completely alone, because it seemed as if all of my friends were either still in University living completely different problems and summing up all my troubles with a sentence ‘at least you have a job’, or older, so my problems have been long behind them.
For the first time becoming 100% financially independent from my parents I managed to appreciate some things my parents did for me while trying to bring me up and became more compassionate towards their negligence of ideals in favor of just having a peace of mind. However, even if I can understand it better now, I still can’t bear to sign up for it myself.
Floating between the land of monsters and all-nighters recompansated with a bitter-sweet careless emotional rollercoaster of freedom and fear with the mountains of adulthood and full time jobs on the horizon.
Take a deep breath and dive into the deep waters of your life. There are going to be hard days ahead of you but as they say a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. Open your sails, this is just the beginning and the whole world is there at your feet.
I have prepared a handful of tips for you to remember, whenever you get confused and upset.
1. Don’t be afraid of failures.
Nothing is graded in real life anymore and your failure won’t matter to anyone. What’s the worst that could happen if you fail an interview, miss a perfect flat or screw up an application? You are going to have an evening with ice-cream, tears and Bridget Jones and next day you are going to get up and try again. That leads me to another point.
2. We are living in the world of opportunities, and this sea is full of fish, so go out on a hunt and try to catch a next one.
Making your dream come true at the first go is nothing more than luck. Making your dream come true after battling a series of obstacles and sea monsters is a skill. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and in the real world you actually get the chance to learn from the mistakes and correct them with more attempts than just a mere resit exam.
3. In 6 months no one will care if you did or did not nail that First Class degree.
Even you are not going to care yourself. What will become important is how much you actually learned from your university times and degree and what lessons you derived from your mistakes.
4. You are not going to be the best anymore, so give yourself a slug.
It’s important to keep your aspirations high, especially if this is what keeps you going but most likely you will be working alongside people with as many years of experience as you are walking on this earth in total. None of your grades can compete with that, so learn as much as you can but give yourself time. Don’t try to rush things that require time to grow. If you concentrate on your aims and devote yourself to your projects, you won’t even realize when things once difficult became easy.
5. Do not listen to the rules of the old world.
Do your own research. The job market of start-ups and freelance opportunities is expanding and by the time you are going to have an established position on the world of work, these things are going to be even more ubiquitous. So if you fear corporate life and you are afraid that if you don’t do everything by the book you are going to be a lifetime looser, I am telling you once again – these are the rules of the old world – you can obey them as long as the old generation is in charge. This will not last in eternity though, they are at the front steps of retirement and at their footsteps there are young people, willing to introduce the order of our generation. Make their own rules. If you fear selling out for a corporate life while you’re dreaming about faraway lands, use this time to save up money for your dreams and learning from people wiser than you. It won’t hurt to be smarter when you finally feel ready to set your sails for your dreams.
6. Live like there’s no tomorrow, dream like you live forever.
During my degree, I always postponed learning new things that interested me and all the things I wanted to try for ‘the day I will have more time’. I was naive to think that after graduating, when the coursework will not be my priority anymore, I will have sea of time after 5pm and tons of energy for all the hobbies in the world. That reality turned out to be quite the opposite and I faced constant lack of time and tiredness. However, it made me realize, that if I want to do all these things I have to start now, because ‘the day I will have more time’ doesn’t exist, so if I want to make all these thing happen, I need to go out and get them. As busy as my degree was, I still could have devoted some spare time to work towards my passions but I couldn’t motivate myself to do it. Surprisingly, it was the lack of time that was a kick strong enough to make me do it. You won’t run away from the impression that you don’t have enough time, so if we agree on that matter, ask yourself a question – what do you value more – your dreams or shenanigans on Facebook and reddit?
7. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Sometimes life puts you in a situation when you have no other choice than learning new things that are very contrary to your nature. As hard as it may be, you are going to learn new things and you are going to come out smarter out of this thing. I learned how to become organized, something I thought is impossible and I am completely doomed to failure with all my attempts to master it. It’s incredible what a human being can learn, when put in a situation when there is no other way out. Who knows what new skills the future is going to bring your life? Maybe you always had problem with improvisation? Or maybe you are unable to work under pressure? Most likely you will be exposed to these things whether you like it or not and yes, it’s going to be terrifying, but there’s a limited amount of stress we can stand before we learn how to deal with things.
These are 7 golden tips I thought of, that are going to help you with this confusing period of time, but I could probably go on like that for ages! I hope I managed to fill you up with a good vibe about your upcoming independence and I am here to answer as well as I can. Let me know, what are your thoughts on upcoming graduation. I feel this topic might reoccur here on the blog as I strongly identify with the young and the confused but in the end I want to leave you with my recent motto “We are going to be tired, but it’s going to be worth it.”