I have quite a few friends that have graduated this month, and since I’m an expert at real life, having been in it for about seven months now, I thought it would be a good idea to write them all a letter of advice.
So without further ado, I give you my gentle slap in the face for those of you who are excited to be done with school.
First of all, life doesn’t magically become easier. In fact, it becomes harder in so many ways you wouldn’t believe. All of that “time” you thought you didn’t have you’ll wish you had back. Welcome to a world where naps are reserved for the weekends, and you feel guilty taking them because you lose an hour of your freedom.
Those evening hours that you think will be so productive turn into you sitting in front of the TV, working up the will to move. If you have a physically/mentally/emotionally taxing job you will understand. When it’s over, you want to do nothing. Seriously, nothing.
Every hour away from work becomes extremely precious. Grocery shopping, getting gas, anything that has to do with a necessity that doesn’t seem outright fun is automatically blacklisted. Even a five minute pit stop on your way home from work is deducted from however many hours you have until bed time.
And that’s another thing. Bed time. It’s strict and enforced. There are very few reasons that will keep me up past it.
If you could make a weekday into a color, Friday would be gold.
I don’t say all of that to complain or sound like I’m trying to scare you away from your future career. I hope you love it. I hope it’s exactly like what you thought it would be.
I just want to forewarn you, because maybe you’ll listen to me before your parents. People warned me, and I didn’t listen. You don’t get time to adjust to the real world, so I want you to be ready for that.
My advice: go with the flow. If you can’t find a job, neither can a billion other recent graduates. I got lucky. Not everyone gets lucky. And not everyone works in their first choice career. In all honesty, you’ll probably work in exactly the career you don’t want to, because life is funny that way.
I want you to be honest with yourself at all times, because if you can’t be honest with yourself, you won’t be honest with anyone else.
I want you to keep your head up and your dreams close. Don’t cast your net so wide that it’s impossible to reel back in. Be bold with your dreams, but also be persistent. It isn’t going to fall into your lap ready for you to pick it up and run with it. And if it does, that makes for a boring story. If it’s any good at all, a dream takes work and dedication.
I want you to fight discouragement like it’s the only battle you’ll ever face. The world is going to try to make you feel unworthy, incapable, or just plain stupid. Don’t let it. Fight against those lies with everything you have.
I want you to remember who you are. Don’t become a drone. Don’t take the easiest path to get to the end. Explore. Try new things. You’re never to old to learn something new. And it’s never too late.
I hope I didn’t scare all of you just coming out of school. You’re entering a new stage of life. This stage of life. Embrace it, because now, there’s no turning back.
Well, unless you go to grad school.
This is probably the ONLY One Direction song I will ever like. And I’m really only posting it because my freshman friend needs a boost. You can do it! One semester down, seven more to go! Don’t rush it. Enjoy it.