I am in my mid-twenties and I have so much that I am still learning.
This month will mark three years since graduating college and, man oh man, a lot has happened. I graduated virtually, during lockdown. Before I landed a full-time job, I had two part-time jobs and one internship, all overlapping each other.
In that timeframe, I have learned a lot. Whether in my job or adult life, I have had my fair share of growing pains. Here are some things I learned since graduation.
You have to be your own advocate in your life.
Entering the “real world” is scary and you may be afraid to show others what you are capable of. Don’t! No one is going to do that except for you. Showcase that confidence and others will see it too.
Mentorship in your career will go a long way.
Find that person in your career, whether at your job or someone in your industry, that will mold you into the person you want to be in your career. My current boss instills confidence in me by making me do things outside of my comfort zone but something I’ve always wanted to do. That is what I needed in a mentor. Your mentor will serve you which will make you the best version of your professional self.
Priorities shift and that is okay.
Your priorities in college will not always be the same as a working adult. Going out with your friends may have been the most important thing. With a full-time job, it may be to go to bed at 9 p.m. to get lots of sleep. Those priorities may change day-to-day too. That’s normal. Just be sure to listen to your body.
Don’t be discouraged if your first job is not your forever job.
That first job is just for you to get experience in your industry. If you love it, that’s amazing. But that is rare. In your first job, you will learn what you like and don’t like about your work environment, your boss, their management style, etc.
Some friendships in college may not last throughout adulthood and that’s okay.
Just like you may lose some high school friends throughout your college years, you will lose some friends from college as you move through your adult life. Nothing is wrong with that. People grow in different ways and you learn what kind of friend you need in your life. But there will be people that you get closer to after college and that is what makes college and that memory so amazing.
You don’t have to have it all figured out
No one has it figured out. Some people around you are getting married. Others are having babies. Some are moving away and getting the job of their dreams. Me? I am still living with my parents with an awesome career. As much as I want to have the things other people have, I don’t and that’s okay. On that note…
Comparison is a thief of time
Comparing yourself to others only creates anxiety for you. You want to be somewhere that you are not and it can cause unnecessary stress in your life. It will steal so much happiness from you when you could be using that time to celebrate where you are right now and be proud of that.
Make time to hang out with your friends
You won’t see your friends every day like you did in college. Make the time to hang out once a week or so.
Staying in on the weekend does not make you old, sometimes you just need to rest.
Again, priorities shift and you are not old because you want to stay in. I want to go out once in a while but not all the time like in college. That is completely normal.
A job is a job. It should not be your whole life.
Find a hobby that is different from your job. If you love your job, that is amazing but it’s a business (more than likely) and things happen like layoffs and stressful days. Having an escape like going to yoga or fun rec leagues makes life so much more enjoyable and fun.
Your mental health is important. Do not neglect it.
My twenties have been the hardest on me in regard to my mental health. I, for one, let comparison with others get the best of me. It spiked my anxiety about the future of my life. Do what you need to do like find a therapist or find ways to take care of you. You are the most important thing in your life.
Spend time with those you love.
I live in my hometown near my parents and grandparents. If you have a good relationship with them, take the time to be around them. You will be so happy you did later on.
Don’t take anything for granted.
Life is ever-changing. Tomorrow is never promised so enjoy it!
I am in my mid-twenties and I have so much that I am still learning. Heck, there are days I have no idea what I am doing. Just know, we are all trying to figure it out all at once. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others. To those that are graduating and a little worried about the future, don’t worry. You got this!!!