You did it! It took four, long, painful years, but look at you now! Boom bitch - you are done with school. I hope you're tearing up everything but your diploma - as in your notes, the dance-floor and life in general. Because you've accomplished something tons of people don't even get the opportunity to do - pursue a higher education and get an actual, physical, degree. Congrats, man. That's awesome.
Post grad, a lot of people take different paths to live the lives they want, and to get where they want to go. Some people take their final summer off; travelling to Europe or Asia. Some people grind out a last credit for the hell of it, and others jump right into the work force. No matter what path you choose, ultimately you're done with your bachelors degree, and that means some change is heading your way.
College life vs. the real world is insanely different. You don't need a degree in anything to figure that out. College/University has its own unique culture that has a big impact on becoming an adult, and helps transition kids into grown-ass people. In that way, people can be sad to let go of college life, because it signals an actual transition point in life & development.
Whether you've just graduated, graduated a bit ago, or are graduating soon, here are some things that'll happen post cap & gown.
1. Post-uni depression is real - don't let it consume you.
Going from a student house full of your best friends back to your childhood room is shitty - that's a given. It'll be weird to adjust to not having people around who understand the more intimate details of your professional & social life. Those relationships you built at school are going to be some of the best friendships you have in your life. Pick the ones that mean the most to you, and try your best to make them work. Maintaining these relationships will never be as easy as seeing who's in the library or courtyard, but it doesn't mean they're not worth it.
2. There is no shame in living with your parents.
Everrrrrrybody's got loans now a days. No one should be judging you for living at home. Paying off debt is way more important than appearances, don't you forget it. When living with your parents, make sure you set up some boundaries for yourself, like doing your own laundry or paying for your groceries, something along these lines. It'll help keep you from sinking into that child-like mindset, and prep you for moving out for real.
3. A job is a job is a job.
Realistically, it doesn't have to be a banking position on Bay Street - it just has to pay the bills. As long as you like what you're doing, it doesn't matter if your job isn't utilizing your degree. If you're an English major teaching soccer to kids, that's perfectly fine. Statistics show we're bound to change our careers 4-5 times throughout our lifetime. Good news is, you have a degree in a subject you hopefully like. Better news? Your career does not depend on it, no matter what your guidance councillors told you in high school.
4. Fake it 'till you make it.
Appearances are everything. We are a visual culture now more than ever, so try your best to be presentable at all times. This translates to all avenues from how you're dressed to how your LinkedIn and Facebook look. It's been said that employers known whether or not they'll hire you within the first 5 minutes of an interview. Make every second count.
5. Never stop learning.
Just because you're out of school, doesn't mean you should never take another class. It's important to stay ahead of the learning curve for the sake of your career and your sanity. It doesn't have to be a university class by any means. It could be a college class, an online course, a weekend workshop - anything that gives you a little insight.
6. Pay your loans off - even if it's a dollar at a time.
Ignoring debt will not make it go away. Paying it? That might help. Set a side a little money from each pay check and get rid of that debt.
7. Be an office all-star.
This means e-mail alerts, paying lots of attention in meetings, and working a little bit off the clock. If you show an employer that you're interested in your work, and what they have to say, they will not only like you - which is a big plus for references - but they are more likely to keep you, and give you more responsibility.
8. Learn 5 meals you love & stick with them.
You can't live off ramen forever. It's time. Binge watch some Rachel Ray 30 minute meals, or Blogilates Cheap Clean Eats. We have Pinterest, Instagram, and the Food Network. You can find cheap, easy meals to make that will last through your young adulthood. If you can write a thesis, you can make a rice bowl, babe.
9. Know your worth.
When you're trying to kill it in the workplace, people may try and take advantage of your eagerness. Make sure you're taking on an appropriate amount of work, that you can balance with your personal and social life. If you're ever unsure of the amount of work you're doing, ask co-workers, colleagues, and when it doubt - Reddit or other forums for opinions.
10. Try to be the people you want to meet.
Dating is a lot harder out of university than when in it. There's definitely a lower concentration of hotties who play lacrosse or love Chinese checkers as much as you do. But don't slum it at your high-school watering hole hoping to find the person of your dreams. Find what you really love to do and do it. Register for fencing lessons, or join a rock-climbing gym and try. The worst that can happen is someone says no, and you make a new friend instead.
11. Take chances.
Guess what - you're young, hot and smart. You don't have kids or a mortgage or 401k to worry about right now. If you ever wanted to do something crazy or out of the ordinary - now is the time.
12. Don't forget to breathe.
You are allowed to have a life. Within your budget, and around your work schedule. Work isn't everything, just as school wasn't everything, either. Set aside certain chunks of time for meeting up with friends, going to the gym, calling your mom. Social interactions will keep you sane, safe and hopefully happy.
Follow us on Snapchat: narcitytoronto