Alright, so you’ve successfully completed your college journey. What’s next? There are numerous paths to consider. Are you thinking about taking a year off to travel the world? Perhaps you have a job waiting for you, ready to dive into the corporate realm. Alternatively, are you daring to start your own business?
The burning question on everyone’s mind is, does life gets better after college?
Honestly, I believe it does, but the key is putting in the effort to make it better. Now that you’re not obligated to study or work rigorously, the responsibility for shaping your life rests entirely on your shoulders. Yes, it might sound intimidating, but it’s also remarkably exhilarating!
How Does Life Change After College?
If you’re not prepared, post-college life can hit you harder than you’ve ever expected. Here are some differences between college life and “the reality” and how to prepare for them:
Your Network Trumps GPA
Post-college, you will uncover a stark reality: your GPA holds minimal significance. Despite applying to over 200 jobs on LinkedIn, not a single recruiter or company inquired about my GPA. While grades may reflect academic dedication, real-world success hinges on experiences, connections, and effective self-presentation during interviews. Securing that initial job after college is challenging due to limited experience, making networking and leveraging college connections vital.
Feeling Left Behind
In college, competitive comparisons were constant – grades, internships, social circles. After graduation, this comparison trap intensifies. Thoughts like “Why can’t I land an interview like Lilly?” or “Tom skyrocketed on TikTok; why haven’t I?” can lead to energy-draining self-comparisons. It’s crucial to resist this and focus on self-improvement rather than social media-induced negativity.
Building Credit is Crucial
Credit awareness often comes too late. Acquiring a credit card early, managing balances responsibly, and keeping credit utilization below 30% are vital for adult life. Good credit facilitates financial opportunities like loans or home purchases. Utilizing credit card perks, such as cashback and points, can be lucrative, but diligent monthly payments are crucial for building credit.
Facing Student Loan Realities
The looming specter of student loans becomes apparent after graduation, with interest accruing after a grace period. While the prospect can be daunting, addressing loans promptly is essential to avoid prolonged financial burdens. Starting a side hustle while job hunting can contribute to loan payments, offering financial relief.
Friendship Efforts Post-College
Friendships in college life takes less effort, but life after college demands extra effort. Whether relocating or staying in the same city, building and maintaining friendships as a “real” adult requires intentional actions. Virtual meet-ups, like Zoom calls, can bridge the distance and keep connections alive amid busy lives.
Taking Side Hustles Seriously
In hindsight, starting side hustles early seems wise. The conventional 9-to-5 lifestyle may not align with everyone’s preferences. Exploring online money-making avenues like affiliate marketing, blogging, or coaching can provide financial independence. Dedication to side hustles can eventually replace traditional job income.
Full Responsibility for Your Life
The structured nature of college contrasts vastly with the post-graduation landscape. In college, success is clear-cut, but the definition becomes elusive afterward. Post-graduation, every decision shapes your future, and you hold complete responsibility for utilizing your newfound freedom. Although intimidating, this autonomy empowers you to pursue dreams with courage and commitment.
Does Life Get Busier After College? Or Is Life Easier After University?
Contrary to the notion that life becomes easier after college, it often brings about a new set of challenges. However, there are practical strategies to make life more manageable and enjoyable:
Learn to Say No: Prioritize your commitments and don’t hesitate to decline additional responsibilities.
Trim Your Social Media: Follow fewer people on social media to reduce information overload and comparison stress.
Declutter Your Space: Organize and simplify your living environment, starting with your bedroom.
Reduce Screentime, Embrace Nature: Spend less time on screens and more time outdoors to promote mental well-being.
Automate Payments: Set up autopayments for bills and loans to avoid unnecessary stress.
Budgeting Apps: Use budgeting apps like Mint to track expenses and maintain financial clarity.
Daily Schedule: Establish a daily routine to bring structure and stability to your life.
Focus on the Controllable: Concentrate your efforts on things within your control, letting go of what isn’t.
Self-Care Moments: Treat yourself occasionally to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Journaling: Write in a journal to process emotions and navigate through challenging and lonely days.
What You Need To Know About Life After College
The learning doesn’t stop after graduation. Stay curious, be open to new experiences, and invest in continuous learning. This will help you adapt to a rapidly evolving job market.
Life after college often involves significant changes, such as relocating for a job or adjusting to a new routine. Embrace these changes with an open mind, as they contribute to personal and professional growth.
Recognize that you are fully responsible for shaping your life. Every decision you make has an impact on your future. Take ownership, set goals, and work towards building the life you envision.