For those of you who graduated from college in May, this is your first year where you won't be going back to school since before Kindergarten. That's 17 years of schooling. And for the first time, you won't be having your first day back at school.
Every other year has had the same regular pattern. There's a sort of comfort in regularity and familiarity. And for 17 years you could count on school to be that in your life. And as much as you hate to admit it, and may not have recognized it at the time, you kind of love back to school shopping and welcome week activities. You get to see all your friends again that you may have been separated from for the summer.
But now after you've graduated, things are going to be different. Maybe you're job hunting, maybe you've started your new full-time job in your field, but either way, it's time to begin your real adult life. The hard part is that you can no longer count on the regularity that you had before. Full-time jobs don't have breaks in the winter and summer like school does. You don't have a schedule of classes to pass to get to your next goal. Instead, the path is not quite so clear. And your new job might also be in a city or state far away from your family and friends.
This new adjustment can be really tough because for the first time your life is no longer in a lateral line. There's not really a clear path to take to reach the rest of your future. In school, this was easy. You had to take certain classes mandated by the government to graduate high school, and once you decided on your degree path, you had a direct line to reaching your college diploma. But from there, your future is open.
This is an exciting thing, but also a scary thing.
You have control over the decisions in your life and it can go any way you choose. But first, you have to make that decision.
It's important to know that no matter what decision you end up making, nothing is set in stone. You've got your whole life ahead of you and it's okay to try out several different career paths.
This year is the beginning. It is the beginning of your future self and your future life and it's time to make the most of it. You have so much power to direct yourself in whatever path you may choose. So even though it may be hard to leave the comfort of your school and your friends that have been there for so long, do it. Challenge yourself. Those friends, if they're true friends, will always be there for you. Your school years are just one period of your life; you've got the rest of your life to make it what you want.
I know your 20s can be tough, but find the adventure in the journey.