I remember my college years. Specifically and vividly while in grad school. Their remembrance involves both sweet and scary moments. The scary moments were the intense demanding hours of studying that I had to constantly put in for four years. It was a time of sacrifice sitting behind my computer with the company of PowerPoint lectures and books.
Nevertheless, with every pass grade so came the sweet moments; that gratified feeling of self-achievement. Now, five years after graduation, I can tell you it was all worth it.
When I graduated, I was very excited to start working in my field and to be on my own. I had dreamed for a long time of having that full control of my life, with a place of my own and being able to acquire what I wanted. That part of adulthood is awesome but it also entails many changes and responsibilities.
One day, before starting my new job, I stood in front of my closet and glanced quickly through my wardrobe. I saw a few dress shirts and pants and a large selection of: t-shirts, polo shirts, jeans, and… more t-shirts. I thought to myself: “Probably I need to change a bit the way I dress”. Well, in college, t-shirts and jeans were all I needed but not anymore. So, since that moment, my wardrobe changed, but I think it was about time also. Welcome to maturity.
Although being confronted by my wardrobe was something very simple, it made me recognize where I was and projected me toward the new phase that I was starting. Switching from student to professional, fully independent adult can precipitate some thrilling but more serious life changes. Failure to adequately cope with these changes can generate unnecessary struggles that later on make you feel that all your efforts in school do not pay off in real life.
The following hints can help you build up your life toward success as well as prepare you for further upcoming stages.
1. Thrive and don’t be quick to settle
Most likely you won’t get your dream job from your initial job hunt right after college, as some employers may prefer people with experience. But even if you do, don’t get too comfortable at it, keep on giving your best and grow with it. Never settle in your professional career (I don’t mean keep changing jobs) but rather look forward to professional advancement.
If you find yourself at a job that is not your ideal one, give your best, and keep looking for better opportunities. On the other hand, be careful not to become a workaholic. Your career does not define you as a person. Be eager to grow in other personal areas as well and have your different life roles in proper order.
2. Live on a realistic budget and prioritize
Once you get your job, you start thinking of all the things you want to do and get with the money you are making. Don’t get too overwhelmed! You need to decide the price that you can actually pay for everything, according to the reality of what you make. Your list of the things you want will be large but do not attempt to get them all at once but rather acquire them by order of necessity or importance.
Saving should be on your top list of priorities. You should consider your savings as a commitment with yourself. Set out a separate account for savings and make deposits as if it were something that you owe.
We are blessed so that we can bless others. Contribute to causes in your church or community or anyone that you run into that is in need. Giving is an expression of gratitude for what we have.
Life is really more than just working. You should also enjoy it. For the young adult professional, I definitely recommend to take on the journey of a lifetime in visiting other countries. Do it now while you have the time, space and money; you won’t regret it later. Traveling will also broaden and enrich your view of life by seeing different cultures.
After graduation, life starts to get pretty interesting. There’s a lot of excitement coupled to important decisions to make, which is why you should try not to be led just by the thrill. Finding the right balance will help you make the right choices. You can assure security for your future by focusing on improvement and handling well your resources.