Be Careful What You Pray For: Part Two
Post Grad Life
Okay y’all, the jig is up. It’s time to get real about life after your college graduation because I feel like there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the topic.
When I was in undergrad I counted down the years, semesters, and days until graduation. I had the date marked on my calendar, I saved potential poses for graduation pictures on my pinterest, and I got all my ducks in a row. Ya girl was ready. I couldn’t wait to be a young professional in my modern luxury apartment living my best life. After all, I had done everything right didn’t I? I did my school work (well, most of it), I had an on campus job, I had internships, I was heavily involved and I was ready to reap the benefits of my hard work. And reap I did. Graduation day came and went so quickly but it was easily one of the best days of my life (no judgment, I’m only 21).
Post grad life is…. a little different than what I thought. It’s uncomfortable and challenging but it can also be freeing and fun. I distinctly remember throwing a fit in my little modern luxury apartment after my long day as a young professional because this was supposed to be easier. It was supposed to be all fun and games, this was not what I prayed for. Little did I know that God was/is molding me. Even your reaping season can produce growth and knowledge.
Boy, did I have some stuff to learn.
Here are two things I’ve learned in post grad life:
Many roads lead to happiness
When you’ve been conditioned to believe that there are a few narrow paths to happiness, you’re likely choose the one most traveled. That path includes accomplishments like doing good in school, getting into college, obtaining higher education, getting a good job, getting married, traveling, buying a house and starting a family. We’re bombarded with the idea that if we do all these things then we will be happy. Then it’s reinforced by all the posts we see on social media of our ex high school bff cheesing in front of their brand new house they bought with their spouse.
The truth is that happiness is subjective, it’s not one size fits all. In fact, cookie cutter happiness can be toxic and it’s why I’m a fan of evaluating what truly makes you happy. If you want to graduate, get married, buy a house and start a family within six months of each other, do it. If your happiness is found in eating cheetos and drinking wine with your best friend right now with no concern for when or if you’re ever going to get back on that traditional path, do that too.
Chasing what everyone else says will make you happy will ultimately make you miserable. Post grad is really the time for you to explore what makes you happy.
Pro tip: think about the things you love in life and why you love them, this tends to be a good indicator of what makes you happy. Understand that happiness is fluid, it can change depending on the stage you are at in your life and you don’t have to know what will make you happy 30 years from now.
Pause + Relish
After undergrad I was like Velma (of Scooby Doo) looking for my next clue. I graduated and secured a good paying job but I wondered what was next for me. I had been so used to accomplishing something, it felt like I needed a new accomplishment.
I literally almost bought a house (not a good move for me at the time but more power to ya if you do) because I needed to feel a sense of accomplishment. I had just graduated, spoke at commencement, landed a job and yet I was worried about my next accomplishment. I’m sure my boyfriend was annoyed because every other day I came home with a new idea for my future, not knowing that I was just searching for something that would make me feel as high as my previous accomplishments. I’m serious y’all. I really was out here like, “Hmm, maybe I should start a business, or buy a house, or get a PhD.” I didn’t know what my next big thing was so I panicked.
The reality is, you have just accomplished something amazing by graduating college. Your years of grit and hard work are about to be recognized. Don’t let the fear of not knowing what’s next put a damper on your success. Pause in this moment, relish in your accomplishments. That may look different for everyone. For me, it’s watching tv and reading books that I didn’t have the time to keep up with in undergrad. For you it may be picking up a new hobby or meeting new people. Whatever it is, take the time to breathe before your next big move. Trust me, I know it will be big because you are destined for greatness!
Stay tuned for more post grad tips!!