Dear College Grad: You're Going To Be OK
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Health and Wellness

Dear College Grad: You're Going To Be OK

The end of college is the beginning of something new.

Dear College Grad: You're Going To Be OK
NBC News

Hello there, friend. I hear you've graduated college. You're having a freak out? Oh, honey. So is everyone else.

Okay, maybe the few of you that say you have it all together can't relate to this, so this may not be your article to read. Graduating college is a monster of a transition for a lot of reasons, so to those of you struggling; don’t let anyone tell you that it's supposed to be a breeze for everyone. It's not.

Here's the deal, guys. Graduating from college might mean that you are now facing a long list of expectations that up until now, you were probably pretty oblivious to. Heavy expectations. Maybe it means that you’re getting married soon, or maybe the big day has come and gone and now you are figuring out how to be a husband or a wife. Maybe you are a new mom or dad. There are big roles to step into, new career possibilities to think through, job applications to submit, interviews to prepare for, grad schools to consider, bills to pay and friendships that will strengthen or drift away. You are suddenly forced to realize that so much of life is seasonal, and that can be a gut punch if you've been relying on permanency. Maybe your friend group or sports team was your lifeline and now you don’t have that to fall back on. You didn't have to worry about paying off those college loans until now. Maybe you’re still single and you’re dreading the next Save The Date that’s coming in the mail from yet another friend. That is a lot to process. College can be a bubble that leaves you rethinking a lot when it pops.

No one tells you how hard it’s going to be or how different. There isn’t a manual that walks you through it. Your college years were spent figuring yourself out, growing up, filtering through career options and settling on a major that you may or may not use. You’re so sick of every person you come in contact with asking you what you’re going to do with your life. “So, what now?” Maybe you know or maybe you don’t, but that question gets old regardless.

If you’re like me and so many other people I’ve talked to, you need to be reminded of some truth.

It’s not over after college.

It’s crazy, but life continues on after your time in college. Just like any other chapter, this one will close and another one opens. You’re still you and still have an amazing story to live out. Your friends might stick around or they might not, but there is a point in time where you can’t live out of those years anymore. Telling stories and reliving memories can be so good sometimes, but are you staying there? Look ahead.

Who you are and what you have to offer is needed in the world.

Don’t fall into a life of selling yourself short and doubting your strengths. We all have weaknesses to own up to and work on, but we’re also gifted with unique skills and passions that can make our communities better places. It’s time to be done with passivity and negative self-talk.

You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Or really ever.

The people I know living out of true confidence, joy and freedom are the people that know they don’t have it all together and they don’t have to figure everything out. They know that trying to have control of what goes on around them is an illusion and they don’t waste time chasing it. They do the best with what they have and they spend time doing things that matter. Things that grow them up and make them more wholesome human beings. If someone ever tells you that they've got it all together, feel free to laugh out loud.

The process is hard and it takes time. That is what post-college has looked like for me and it means being okay with not being okay for a while. Eventually, the blinders come off and you look around for the first time. The world is bigger than you expected and, surprise, it needs you! For exactly you and no one else. Maybe you have a lot to learn, but that’s what we do. We will always be students to the world and people around us. It’s okay to be a newbie at adult life and big change. Lean into that and lay down the lies of inadequacy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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