Campus to Real Life: What I’ve Learned

Hey everyone, it’s been awhile! I’ve been transitioning from graduating college into the working world and it’s been crazy thus far! This change from undergrad to regular life can be difficult in a lot of ways, and I’ve definitely struggled with it a lot. It’s taken a lot of time and grace to find ways to navigate this part of my life as I’m sure it has for many of us. Here are some challenges I’ve faced and how I’m working through them.

Money

This is probably one of the bigger ones that many post-grads struggle with. I am the most intimidated by money out of all of these still. When you get your job(s), you suddenly are equipped with a lot of money which is great! No more campus jobs and no more class to keep you from getting more hours! Needless to say, budgeting can be difficult because it’s easy to overspend and important things such as rent, groceries, and gas money go out the window. I try save at least $50 out of each pay check to go to my savings account, and I try to limit myself in expenses I don’t need such as going out for food/drinks or buying coffee in the mornings. I also plan things such as grocery lists, rent, and gas expenses for the month to get a rough estimate of how much I will spend.

Safety Job

Here’s where we have to set our pride aside. Most of us have this idea that once we graduate, we will have our perfect dream job and life… very rarely does this actually happen. Alongside my main job is a dance teacher (yay!), I have a job I enjoy which helps me with student loans and my savings. Very rarely do we get our dream job that allows us to fully fund ourselves right away. I’ve noticed that once graduation happens, we put this heavy expectation that we should have our perfect job right away. Honestly, that RARELY happens. (If it did for you, yay yay yay!) But there’s nothing wrong with hustling for what you need to accomplish, saving money, and not being exactly where you want to be!

Downsizing

When I moved into my apartment, I realized how much crap I have. And I really mean it. Crap. I had so much random stuff that I never use such as: clothing, books, college papers I don’t need, etc. I highly recommend going through everything and asking yourself when the last time you used each item was. It will save you a lot of space! Not to mention, you can sell things on Facebook market or donate to a thrift store help downsize and to allow others to recycle items.

Friendships

College makes friendships super convenient. You can run into people on campus almost anywhere (especially on a small campus). But once everyone has graduated and spread out, you don’t have campus and class to keep connections with others. You need to reach out to others and be good at planning quality time. I’m not much of a planner, and I’ve realized that when I don’t follow through with friendships, they dissipate. Even though it may seem ‘forced’ to make plans, I’ve realized I have to in order to catch up and spend time with those I love! Planning is SO worth it.

These little themes of what ‘real life’ looks like can’t even begin to explain how it really is when you’re working through everything. Transitioning to a new chapter in life is super hard, but things come together slowly. If I have learned anything from this first month of the working world, it’s not to worry so much about making everything work perfectly right away. It takes time to adjust and that’s ok! Whether you have your dream job or you’re still figuring it out, I hope you know you’re not going through it alone! Things will work out. 🙂

xo, Brynne