I graduated after four years of college in May 2017. As we're approaching the new year, I know many eager, college seniors are awaiting their final days in the classroom. Whether you have a job lined up, plan to travel, or are unsure of what's next, DON'T PANIC. Everything will be okay and all will happen just as it should. There are a few things, however, that I wish someone would have told me before I crossed that stage. Here's everything I think you should know before you enter the "real world."
1. Time doesn't stop
If I could rewind the clock or hit pause, just for a moment, I surely would. Every second, every day, and every year seems to be moving faster and faster as an adult. College dragged on forever in my mind, but it honestly wasn't enough. Time doesn't stop, and when you finally graduate, you'll see how quickly your time goes with full-time jobs, individual responsibilities, and everything else in between.
2. Jobs do not come easy
I had a killer performance record with so many extracurricular activities, you wouldn't believe it. I was in leadership positions, honor societies, social clubs, and whatever else I could find. You can imagine the shock on my face when I was getting turned down or ignored by employers after applying to nearly 300 jobs. No, I wasn't horribly ill-prepared. It's just how the market is. Jobs are not easy to find, and if you apply to 100, it's likely that only 2 percent will call you for an interview. Luckily, I found a job and don't worry, you will too.
3. You'll miss your family more than you know
Leaving home and having the chance to explore a new city with my husband was all I ever wanted. I couldn't wait to move out and have my own place. Now, I'm doing just fine without my parents here every day, but I really miss them. I also miss the familiar faces of my town, my college, and my friendships. Being in a new city is exciting, but it's hard to experience so much without the people you love.
4. Everything falls into place
Raise your hand if you worry a lot (my hand is the highest, right now). I stress over everything. Where will I live? What will I do? How much should I eat? Should I buy this? Should I do that? All of these questions can cause serious distress with the future being unknown. Don't worry, but instead trust in the Lord. He will keep everything right on track, and help you cope with all the new changes in your life.
5. You have more value than you think
When I was looking for jobs, I was overwhelmed by the number of qualifications people wanted me to have. I thought that I was horribly unprepared for the next steps of my career. But the more in-depth I read things, the more I realized that I did have those skills, I just didn't recognize what they were in my own abilities right then. You have incredible value as a new graduate, and you need to trust in your abilities to find the confidence it takes to survive out here in the real world.
6. This is only the beginning
Always remember that you're starting your life, not finishing it. It may seem as if you're stuck where you are forever, but that's never the case. Plus, most amazing celebrities and influential figures didn't get their start until they were 25 or older. If your dreams aren't happening right now, they can still come true later in life. Appreciate where you are and enjoy the beginnings.