For all seniors, college graduation can be pretty exciting. The thought of being done with exams and papers and never ever having to go back to school (except for visits—as an alumni!) makes everyone's hearts leap for joy. But what happens when summer's over and it's time to #adult?
After tossing that graduation cap, you’ll realize what every senior learns after leaving school—you become a freshman again. That’s right. Syllabus and exams will be replaced with resumes, portfolios, and meeting agendas! Honestly speaking, stepping out into the real world will be difficult, but with the right mindset and positive spirit, #adulting doesn't have to be as hard. In fact, it will lead to incredibly wonderful experiences that you will cherish for the rest of your life. And to make it even easier, here are some secrets that you'll face after graduation that no one tells you about:
1. Your first year out of college will be tough. Most fresh grads think finding a job is easy so long as they have a diploma—they're wrong. Truth is, you'll probably find yourself unemployed for the first few months you're out of college, but fret not! Just keep boosting your resume and keep applying and you'll eventually land the job of your dreams.
2. Some of you will face an identity crisis. You're sending out hundreds of resumés to potential jobs but you're met with silence. Are you doing anything wrong? Don't they like you? Should you be changing anything about yourself? It'll be hard to keep your sanity intact but hang in there, girl! If a job is really meant for you, it will come. And if not, that's okay, too! There are a lot of other opportunities that you can explore as long as you know where your passions lie.
3. The first few months can get pretty lonely. After graduation, you and your friends will be scattered around the city (or you may even be countries apart!) and setting a date to hang out will pose a challenge considering your different work schedules. Plus, when you finally leave college, you're also leaving the tightest, largest group of people who are the same age as you—making the thought of making new friends intimidating. But just put on your best smile and you'll make new friends in no time!
4. Budgeting your money has never been more crucial. Remember when we said that there'll be a possibility you’ll be unemployed for a while? That’s what this is for. While you're still in college, save your allowance as much as you can. You’ll thank yourself afterwards!
5. Don't settle for a job for the sake of being employed. The thought of seing your friends becoming employed one by one can be excruciating, but don't feel down and don't feel pressured! If you feel like taking whatever job is offered to you just so you can say that you're also employed, we ask you to think twice before you do it! You might feel worse than when you were without work! Just wait and remember: Good things take time.
6. Put your pride aside. As a fresh grad, you'll most likely find yourself at the bottom rung of the career ladder. The work is hard and the pay is low—that's okay. Your priority now should be acquiring as much experience as you can in your chosen field and not how much money you can make (trust us, you'll be able to haggle that later on when you get better at your job). Keep an open mind and hustle hard—there's still so much to learn!
7. It’s the perfect time to take risks. Whether you want to go #soulsearching, travel abroad or pursue higher studies, just go for it! Nobody's going to judge you if you want to take a breather first before you face real-world responsibilities head on, after all, you're going to do it the rest of your life, anyway!
8. You’ll discover that our generation gets unfairly labelled for being entitled. Do not accept that. Stay humble, work hard and show up! Prove that you are eager to learn and look at work with enthusiasm. Don't act like you know everything, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Just prove 'em all wrong!
9. You will encounter an obscene amount of paperwork. From government taxes, mortgages to health insurance, #adulting comes with a lot of paperwork that you'll never expect. But you'll survive—if you remember to always prepare your requirements in advance in order to avoid the hassle.
10. The real world is fun—don't let other people tell you otherwise. Don't believe middle-aged grumps who tell you that you're doomed once you become an adult. Of course, it's not always rainbows and butterflies, but it's certainly not all about work, too. If they tell you, "a job is just that—a job," don't let that pull you down. Your job can be meaningful and your weekdays can matter, because life is how you make it to be.
To the class of 2017, congratulations on making it to the real world! It won’t be easy, but chin up; with the right perspective, you'll be fine. This is the start of a new phase in your life—make it count!
ALSO READ: In Focus: How To Boost Your Résumé This Summer Break
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