Advice for New College Graduates

As of lately every time I open my Instagram or Facebook app, I'm showered with photos of graduations and cap and gowns. It's crazy to me that three years ago I walked across the stage, well, more like waddled. I should have known my first year after graduation would me a mess. The sign? Oh nothing big, I just got my period in the middle of the my graduation ceremony.

No big deal. I didn't work four years to walk across the stage while bleeding through my dress. Whatever

To be honest, my entire graduation was a mess. Family drama ruined the day, I spent the night with a guy I kinda couldn't stand, and I'm almost sure I cried myself to sleep. The entire experience was not what I had imagined, but it was what came after that was even more unplanned. 

If you're a recent college grad or a few years out, it's always nice to hear how other people manage to figure their shit out. I may not be at my end goal, but hey, I make my rent, have a job I love and managed to find a pretty good guy in a pool of weirdos. Okay, let's get into the advice!

Life after college can be hard, which is why I wanted to share the 10 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me when I graduated college. New grad advice from where to live to how to write the perfect resume.

You will break down

I don't think I ever cried so much as I did during my first year out of college. Whether it was stress from graduate school, paying my bills or finding new friends, it was all a lot. Don't think you're any different because you get overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities thrown at you. Just because no one talks about sometimes hating their life doesn't mean they're not feeling the same way. Break down, wipe your tears and get back to being the badass you are.

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The best years are not over

Just like high school was not the best years of your life, neither was college! Yeah college had its fun moments, but being able to control my life fully beats college parties, nonstop exams and worrying about how I was gonna feed myself. Being a twenty something isn't always fun and games, but there are definitely moments when I stop and appreciate all that I now have because of how hard I worked in college.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

Avoid comparison

Social media makes this so hard to do, but don't feel any worse about yourself because someone online looks to have it all. I have old classmates on my feed with seemingly perfect boyfriends, jobs that take them on trips, and parents who pay off their loans. Meanwhile I'm at home yelling at my boyfriend for eating my snacks, with no trips booked for the year, and I avoid answering calls from my loan adviser. 

Most people only post the highlights of their life online, which is why you can't believe everything you see. If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I made it a goal this year to post the good and the bad, meaning I want to authentically show what it's like to be a twenty something living in the city. If you want someone on your feed to totally relate to, you can follow me on Instagram @whenlifegivesyourubi

Move somewhere new

While this isn't necessary, it's what helped me figure everything out on my own, all at once! By moving from California toWashington DC I had to find a job, make friends, figure out the city and really define who I was without the help of others. Moving away from home helped me enter adulthood without the crutches my friends had, plus it gave me the sense of starting new after college. 

Life after college can be hard, which is why I wanted to share the 10 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me when I graduated college. New grad advice from where to live to how to write the perfect resume.

Work a job you hate

I know, this sucks, but we all do it at one point. For me, it was a minimum wage position at a nonprofit in the city. The job was great, it was my coworkers who made each day feel like an eternity. The year I spent here motivated me like crazy to job hunt the next summer, both increasing the level of responsibility I wanted to take and the wages. Trust me, a job you hate will give you the kick in the butt you need to make your next position one you'll thrive in. 

Don't rush to graduate school

My initial reason for choosing to live in Washington DC was because of graduate school, although I think I would have come back at some point anyways. Thankfully I've always known what I wanted to do with my life, which made graduate school an easy decision for me. If you're not sure of what to do next, don't go to grad school just for the sake of going. 

Make sure you apply and attend a graduate program when you're sure of he career path you want to take, and you can balance the extra responsibilities that come with being in school.

You might also like: 5 Reasons Why You Should Wait Before Going to Grad School + Why I Didn't

Perfect your resume

If you can avoid it, don't leave your college campus without having the career center look over your resume. If you've already graduated, I have a resume writing post that has helped tons of people create a resume that gets them actual interviews! Ignore what everyone is saying and stick to these basic rules; one page, with relevant job experiences, and skills that will benefit the organization. That's it! For more advice, click on over to my resume writing post. 

Don't force friendships

No one warned me that after graduation I would lose touch with over half of the people I spoke to in college. And I'm not talking casual acquaintances, I mean best friends who I would spend all my hours with. New jobs and cross country moves will do that, plus friendships are a lot easier to maintain when you live on the same college campus. It's not that anything is wrong between the two of you, life just gets in the way and you make new friends as you enter new stages of your life. 
Life after college can be hard, which is why I wanted to share the 10 pieces of advice I wish someone had told me when I graduated college. New grad advice from where to live to how to write the perfect resume.

Travel if you can

I'm gonna be honest, due to working full time and going to grad school, I haven't been traveling as much as I would like. But even if you're situation is similar to mine, there is always room to travel just a bit. Take advantage of the years where your income is disposable and you don't have to worry about buying a ticket for your children. Go abroad, travel your own country, just get out of your regular routine at least once a year. You can even reconnect with those old college friends on a yearly trip.

You might also like: 10 Reasons You Should Travel Abroad

Figure out what you don't want

As a new therapist, it's hard for me to ask clients what they want out of life, cause who really knows the answer to such a big question? You know what we do know. What we don't want. Take a few minutes and think about what you don't want, whether it's in a new boyfriend or new job. Such a small exercise can help you avoid giving something a chance that is totally wrong for you, and it helps you avoid wasting time. Try the exercise out, then keep the list somewhere next time you're making a big decision. 

4 comments

  1. This is so so so great. I'm about to graduate v. soon and I am so excited but also freaking out. I have no idea if I'll find a job at the end of all this but I am just looking forward to getting out into the real world.

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    1. You got this girl! I had ZERO clue what I was gonna do when I graduated, but after a few weeks I had a plan. Just dont stress about having a job at graduation, I didn't and none of my friends did but we all ended up fine!

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  2. These tips are so great! I did my MBA while working full-time and talking to my boss was key. He was great about letting me work earlier and leave a little earlier on the days I had class

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    1. aahh, you're so lucky. My last employer was not flexible at all, and I just needed two hours a week. It's hard but definitely possible!

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