So what is adulating exactly? Why does life all of a sudden seem to take a turn for the worst? You go from 4 years of what felt like freedom...partying, sleeping late because classes didn't start til one, on a TUESDAY!, eating whatever the hell you wanted because you didn't care that it would go straight to your thighs. You were the invincible college student with "so much ahead of you". Which is definitely true for everyone. But then you get thrown into the real world. A job, 8 am start time, college loans (the six month grace period goes by really fast folks, really fast. Cherish it while it lasts), feeling like you have no time to do anything besides from work, sleep and eat..while praying it doesn't go straight to your thighs.
If you're anything like me, post-grad life was one big slap to the left cheek.
I graduated from Iowa State roughly 6 months ago and I am not gonna lie, I've had the toughest time adapting to "adulthood". Luckily, I was able to land my first "big girl" job at an amazing new build/construction firm near my hometown. Having graduated May 7th and starting work May 9th, I jumped right into it. No break, nothing. To one extent, that was great! Staying busy is exactly what I like to do...and to start making money right away was well, just awesome!
(in case you're curious, my cap says "What, like it's hard?". Thank you Legally Blonde)
On the other hand, I was struggling to accept my point in time. I had moved back home with my folks, left all my friends back in Iowa, and was trying to tackle the learning curve of my job. I was definitely going through a rough patch. For me, I always like to be in control, and I definitely didn't feel in control. I felt like I didn't have a plan as to where I was heading. I felt straight lost.
Wanting everything to fall into place at once, I became overly stressed and anxious trying to tackle more than one thing at a time. I spent a lot of my time over analyzing things and forcing things to work out..which in return caused them to not work out. One thing that I was reallyyyy concerned about was where I was going to live. A lot of my friends were already on their own so I felt behind and stuck living at my parents house. Trying to move out became a priority. Before graduation, I was super pumped to move back home. Nothing is more comforting than the coziness and familiarity of your house. But suddenly, it felt as though I was suffocating.
I know that a lot of people probably felt the same way. But for some reason I felt alone. My parents were totally awesome and would listen to me while I sat there snottily crying about how I felt and comfort me, telling me that everything would be ok...even though I probably looked like this:
Thanks Wikipedia for the pic.
AND GUESS WHAT FELLOW FRIENDS. They were right...POP THE CHAMPAGNE!
Here I am, 6 months later able to sleep at night knowing that things will be ok. I don't know what hit me (either the second slap in the face of telling me to get my shit together, or a late night enlightenment) but I guess I just realized I had to accept where I was and to take things as they come. Sometimes I still get an episode (?) of anxiety thinking about they way things should be rather than how they are. But then I remember the couple of things that helped me start to feel better about my post-grad life.
Once again, if you're feeling the way I did, you probably need some advice and words of comfort telling you it will be ok. I can't even begin to tell you how many nights I sat on my phone trying to find that one article online reassuring me that I won't feel like this forever.
So I hope that these following tips will help you take a few deep breaths and realize it will be ok.
1). Ok, actually take a few deep breaths. It helps calm you down and you will think clearer. Just focus on your breathing, and if you're doing it right, hopefully you'll feel a little more calm.
2). Don't try to tackle everything at once. One of my biggest issues is that I'm impatient. I was expecting everything to fall into place as soon as I felt it should. While of course, that's not really the case for anything or anybody. Exactly as this point says what NOT to do, I did. I tried to conquer the mysteries of starting a new job, making new friends here at home, planning where I was going to live and with who, saving money while upgrading my wardrobe (quite the mini war let me tell you), and trying to work on my personal life. Tackle one thing at a time. I laid out my priorities and based upon that, I discovered what I should tackle first. The list went something like this:
3). Take things as they come. Things will work out the way they're supposed to. I am a firm believer in the phrase "everything happens for a reason" and the idea that if something is meant to be, it'll happen. Whenever I feel as though things are spinning out of control, I just repeat these two phrases silently to myself and for some reason I always suddenly feel 100 times better.
4). Take on a hobby. I can't tell you how many times people told me to do this. And every time I kept thinking "You don't know me, let me just watch Netflix and wallow in my self pity". But then I finished Stranger Things and I realized that hmmm maybe it's time. So I started going to yoga with my mom and dad (not dorky, my parents are the best), started reading some Interior Design magazines for inspirational purposes, and I started this blog! I actually love it and it helps me express my feelings and thoughts about life. Oh and journaling. It's actually a great stress reliever and you can express whatever you're feeling without having to tell anybody and with zero judgement.
5). Stop caring what everyone thinks and do things that make YOU happy. One of the most important pieces of advice (not just in your post grad life, but for basically everything else that happens) is this point. Your happiness and wellbeing comes first. As soon as you start doing things for yourself and not for anybody else you will feel a whole lot better. For instance, If you REALLLYY love spending all day in bed watching movies instead of being out and about, give yourself these days! Just because not everyone may seem to be doing it, it's alright. It's something that makes you happy and that's alright. In the end, no one can make you happy but you. Of course still be the kind caring person you are, don't stop doing that. But sometimes its OTAY to do things for yourself.
6). Be kind to yourself. I am very critical of myself and get very frustrated when I can't tackle a situation or am struggling to make things work. One thing I have to remind myself constantly is to be kind to myself and be patient. Some things take a long time to work out or for you to grasp and its ok. Just be patient and know that you'll eventually conquer these tasks!
I really hope that these 6 points will help you in your post-grad life. And maybe even in other aspects of your life as well. I know they have really helped me and I can tell you that I definitely feel a whole lot better than I did 5 months ago.