Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Freshman Year of Life
So this is it. My freshman year of life is officially over. A year ago I graduated college and started my first full time job. In some ways it seems like yesterday and it some ways it seems like ages ago. While I can't promise my post will be as good as The Frenemy's or as ridiculous as Hyperbole and a Half's here are some of the lessons I've learned during my freshman year of life. Hopefully they will help all you new graduates navigate the coming year.
1. Never in your life will you have friends like you did in college. When we arrived at college we were a bunch of scared teenagers that had never lived on our own before. We had to form an instantaneous bond as we tried to grapple with taking care of ourselves and dealing with our problems *somewhat* independently. My girlies became my family for those four years and that isn't so much how it works in the real world. You'll make some amazing friends but it will take you a little longer to find them.
2. Working a 9-5 is pretty amazing. You mean I don't have to go home after work and write a paper or study for an exam? I can go to happy hour anytime I want? I don't have to spend Saturday afternoons in the library? Yeah, it's a pretty nice perk.
3. No one expects you to know exactly what you want to do at 22. It's ok to flounder a little bit. If you don't like what you're doing, find something else. And don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. Your employers hired you because they want you to contribute. Share your ideas, volunteer for a new project if it sounds more interesting than what you're currently working on, and learn as much as you can from whomever you can.
4. Your life won't be as glamorous as you thought. Things like student loans, electric bills, and groceries are a lot more expensive than you think. You'll learn to budget and make do with what you have. On the bright side, just think of how much better it'll be once you don't have to budget anymore.
5. You'll learn to rely on yourself. There will be a week where everything goes wrong. When you're working 12 hour days, your sick, your computer breaks, oh and that guy you've been seeing...he'll choose that week to break things off. I give you permission to crawl into bed and wallow Rory Gilmore style for a day or two. But you'll be ok. Get up and work through it. That first time feels impossible but it leaves you feeling more confident and the next time everything feels like it's going wrong...you'll brush it right off.
6. Find something you love to do. Is working out your thing? Join a gym. Do you love to read? Find a book club. Are you an oversharer like me? Start a blog. Making time for something you enjoy can transform your whole day. It's also a phenomenal way to meet people with similar interests.
7. Don't be afraid of new experiences. Thinking about moving to a new city? Do it! Never again in your life will you have as few commitments as you do right after graduating college. Take risks and meet new people. Save your money and go on trips. Accomplish as much as you can.