Adulting 101 For Those Who Just Graduated from University

Hey you! I heard that you just graduated from college. Congratulations, welcome to adulthood!

No one enters adulthood completely unaware of what it might consist of. We all have some sort of picture painted across our frontal lobes due to the Hollywood movies we grew up watching on repeat, the teenage angst books we re-read the moment we finished them and, most commonly of all, the words of warning given to us by adults who’ve been living in “the real world” long enough to have formed an opinion of it (and one they think is worth sharing).

However, these introductions to adulthood are far from the complete picture. In fact, most of them are fabrications that leave out the truths. So, before you ask your parents to exercise some patience while you throw your graduation cap in the air over and over and over again until you get a shot worthy of Instagram, here are the things no one tells you about adulthood:

1. A Job Doesn’t Have To Be Just A Job

When you start a job, you’ll come across a group of 40-plus-year-olds that loathe their lives, not so secretly wishing they could go back to college and start over. And I get it. Life isn’t all Jelly Tots and Slush Puppies. But jobs don’t have to suck, which is why I urge you to avoid these miserable people and hang out with the people who have fun at work, smile a lot, live for the weekdays as much as the weekend and find meaning in what they do.

2. Don’t Compare Yourself To That One Friend

Life after college is not easy. Not for anyone. Except for that one friend who landed their dream job within a week, moved out to Los Angeles, managed to rent an MTV Cribs-type house and constantly hangs out with celebrities. It’s the kind of meteoric rise that makes you feel a little sick with jealousy. But don’t let Instagram fool you and don’t think you’ll never have that. We all have highs and lows – focus on you and your day will come.

3. Pay Off Your Student Loan ASAP

I know how terrifying it is to put your head above the parapet and look your big pile of student loans in the eye. It’s like opting to wrestle a creature that has the body of a snake and the head of a lion. But you need to. It doesn’t matter whether you use to help you in this fight, whether you ask your employer if they will contribute or make sacrifices elsewhere, you need to take on your loans. Burying your head won’t make them disappear. The only thing that does is paying them off.

4. It Is A Pretty Lonely Time In Life

You know those films and books I mentioned, well, this is where they will start to warp your idea of reality, as you sit down to binge watch another Netflix series, your mind wondering if others your age are doing this or if they are at a massive club rave right now. This is only natural. You’ve just left college, the largest and tightest concentration of people your age, and now you’re out in the real world where people of all ages belong. The point is: you need to go and hunt this kind of community down. You can and will do it. Alright?

Adulthood is not easy. I graduated from university 2 years ago and I am still figuring it out. I just hope that you have a better head start and not give up so quickly. Go forth, my child. You got this! 


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