My post-college life started a year and (almost) two months ago. There were a lot of expectations, a lot of plans, and a lot of surprises. I read my journal of the past year and summed up the lessons I learned so far. I would like to share those lessons with you if you’re a twenty-something college student/graduate.
1. It’s funny how life never turns out the way we plan it
Here’s a part of my journal
“…It’s a new beginning with a lot of opportunities. I feel excited and energetic. It’s the summer, but that doesn’t mean anything to me, right? I can’t just stay home surf the internet and watch TV! I have to do something; I am not a school student anymore. I have to find a job now! If I stayed inactive I’d get depressed…”
funniest thing is that eventually what I feared to happen became my reality. When I was a senior I used to say “I can’t wait for next year and all the great things that will happen (that I planned for)”. The thing is, you never know how or where you’ll end up next year. You can’t even predict where you might be tomorrow. Having plans for the future is important, but don’t be surprised when life messes with it.
2. Moving on isn’t always easy, but it’s required
Letting go of relationships or places…etc is important for moving on and being able to live the next stage of your life. When it comes to relationships with others, you have to know when you should let go. Don’t be upset if you feel that your friends are no more able to find time to hang out with you. Maybe this wasn’t a real friendship from the beginning, or maybe they are busy now and simply don’t see you as a priority. Bottom line is, don’t be shocked that others don’t treat you the way you treat them, just walk away while you still have your dignity.
3. Follow your intuition
I believe that life consists of events that happen in a specific order and lead to a certain destiny. Sometimes we don’t understand why specific things happen to us, or why they happen that way. Life gives us signs to direct us to the right path. And how can you read those signs? By trusting your instincts. That is not the same as listening to your heart or deciding with your brain. Your intuition isn’t emotional, nor is it rational. It’s something inside you that guides you through life. When you’re able to find it, listen well and follow it.
4. Stop saying “I think I’ve hit rock-bottom”, chances are you haven’t!
I don’t mean to be pessimistic or anything, but it’s true. There’s really nothing to say about it, but trust me, life won’t cease to blow your mind.
5. Sometimes the things you want the most aren’t destined for you
As I said in number 3, life will direct you to what is really meant for you. If something you planned for didn’t happen don’t be sad, be patient. I wrote in my journal
“…Don’t you think it’s a little weird? I mean I did everything a graduate can do! Right after I graduated I started to look for jobs and internships. I finished my CV and I sent it everywhere. I looked on the internet, I looked in the newspapers, I even applied for a volunteering job…etc. What did I miss?? I don’t know. I mean I sent my CV to companies, to schools, but I got rejected from an internship and no one wants to answer my emails or job applications…”
Now I think that this all happened for a reason and now I am a step closer to my real destiny.
6. It’s okay if you’re not ready for the real world just yet
When I first graduated I thought that I am super ready for joining the real world and getting a real job. When I faced the truth I just knew that I need some more time to adapt to the fact that I am now an adult and I should be living the 9-to-5 life. If you want to take a gap year, it’s okay to. Travel the world, meet new people, do crazy things while you still can.
7. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your dreams
If you want to find your right path, you have to believe in your dreams no matter what the rest of the world say. If you don’t believe in them then how are you even supposed to accept yourself the way you really are, and how will you be able to listen to your intuition? Stop listening to those who don’t believe in you or your dreams. It’s your life, you know better than anyone else!
8. Stop worrying too much
Worrying constantly about the future is something I am guilty of. There were days when I couldn’t sleep because of it. Now here’s the thing, worrying doesn’t change anything! It only affects your health badly and might even stop you from actually doing something. That’s what I keep telling myself now so that I can stop worrying about what will happen next and instead focus on what I should do next.
Finally, remember that life is an adventure; we live, we learn, and we have fun.
Wish you all the best!