6.26.2013

Post College Misconceptions

The one year anniversary of my college graduation is quickly approaching. All I can say about that is...for real? These past ten months have flown by, and in ways, I feel like I have learned more during this year than my entire four years of college put together.
 
At this point, most of my friends are college graduates as well. We have been talking a lot lately about all of the changes that happen after graduation, and how a lot of our expectations have been turned upside down. A lot of young adults fall into the notion that after college, everything is going to go perfectly according to plan. I felt like that. My friends have felt like that. When we were handed that degree, we were confident in the direction that we were planning to take. After all, that's what college is for, right? To prepare you for perfectly mapped out careers and responsibility?
 
This leads me to my first post-college misconception.
 
 If you have a plan, you are good to go.
Not necessarily. More times than not, something is going to change. Maybe you don't get the job or the internship that you were counting on. Maybe you can't afford to move to that new city that you are determined to settle down in. Maybe grad school is just not in the cards right now. From my own experience, along with learning about the paths that others take after graduation, it seems that most recent college grads have to take jobs that they didn't foresee themselves doing, or creating a completely new plan at the last minute. This can be a negative thing, but it can be a positive too. Sometimes it's just hard to let go of that path that you had imagined for yourself for so long.
 
Something else that college grads look forward to is a steady paycheck. This brings us to misconception number two.
 
I'm going to have so. much. money.
That full-time paycheck may be two, or even three or four times as much money as you made at your part-time, college job. And let me tell you, it is so exciting to see that first direct deposit go into your bank. You will feel momentarily rich. But...then you have to pay bills. Maybe you have always had to pay rent, but do you remember those other bills your parents used to cover for you? Car insurance, cell phone, health insurance? Oh, yeah...those are yours now too. Add those to your rent, utilities, gas, and groceries...and you may have enough money to go see a movie or something after it's all paid.
 
And what is the one thing that a college grad looks forward to more than a pay check?
 
No more homework? Look at all of the free time I have!
It's true...not having to stay up until the early hours of the morning writing papers on who knows what is pretty awesome. After 16+ years of being a student and doing homework, you kind of don't know what to do with yourself when you don't have any. But, that 40+ hour a week job takes more out of you than you think. It's basically like doing homework all day long...and at the end of the day, you don't want to do anything but your necessary work out or errands, eat dinner, and go to sleep. Then you get to wake up and do it all over again. I'm not going to lie though, the vacation time isn't bad. That definitely makes up for everything else.
 
Life always has lessons to teach us. This is just another phase of maturing...even if we don't like it.
 
What are some of the things you have learned in your time out of school?
 

Bekah @ re·solve said...

Oh don't I know it. I can't believe my graduation was three years ago. I graduated at the top of my class, sure that the bad economy wouldn't effect me because I'd done so well in school...nope. Still working for the hourly rate I made with just my hs diploma. Reality is depressing.

The Nanny Jenny said...

Whew girl you just stated everything that goes through my mind and what I tell to all kids about to graduate!!

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