5 Things I Didn’t Expect After Graduating College

When I was in college I thought that graduation meant that I’d finally have time for all of my hobbies, get shredded as f*ck, and see my friends more.

Disclaimer: I graduated at the start of quarantine, so this may be slightly exaggerated, but I still think these struggles would exist either way.

I do NOT actually have way more time for all of those things. The time I have in my life feels about the same (meaning still extremely limited).

You see… what I didn’t expect after graduation was having new life problems that somehow overtook the school related ones I had in college. As the theme song of Malcolm in the Middle once said: Life is unfair.

Now, more than ever, I understand the outrage around economic inequalities and I completely understand and agree with the notion that the minimum wage should be way higher. The wage gap is insane, and I think there is no reason the top 1% should be earning more than all the rest of us combined. That’s disgusting.

It’s important to me that I say this because although we all struggle with “adult life” there’s a very different kind of struggle that comes solely from a system that refuses to change it’s unfair ways and victim blames. There’s a cycle here that is extremely difficult to get out of, and people are told that they’re just “not working hard enough” even though most of them are working harder than that top 1%…

Tying it all back to not having enough time for all of those things that I dream of… I also don’t have enough money.

Here’s the thing…

I finally did it!! I got myself a car and I’m engaged to the most beautiful woman ever 🙂

That’s what my social media tells my friends (who haven’t heard from me in a year). And that’s hella true (especially the beautiful-est fiance ever part), but it isn’t the whole story. It never is.

In the middle of a pandemic it was rather difficult finding work. It’s always hard finding a job, so f*cking hard, but it was about 90x harder without a car. I applied to places that were biking distance from me, but that meant I was limited on jobs (and a few places I went to weren’t looking very pandemic friendly). I ended up having to get the 1 out of 60 jobs I applied for online…

As a telephone surveyor.

Where I constantly got cursed out by ass-holes who apparently have nothing better to do with their lives than curse out a 22 year old just trying to make money so she can afford to live.

I am fortunate to have a pretty decent resume because of my time in college, and eventually I got a job that paid pretty well. All seemed good and dandy. I was working full time and I was happy 🙂

Until I wasn’t. My mental health was struggling bad and I felt like a loser for not being cut out for a 9-5 job. My personal hobbies struggled and I still didn’t make enough money to save anything after my bills. But I got my car!! So that was the big bonus from that.

That first thing I didn’t expect…

It is very difficult to find work, even with a college degree and a resume full of leadership roles and extracurriculars.

That second thing…

The workforce has very little, to zero, accommodation for people with mental health struggles.

The 9-5 just wasn’t my thing, so I left that job and went to find something that would suit me better. I knew I needed to be more active, with people more, not be in-front of a computer and have hours that could be more spread out. I was able to find that between two jobs… but now my pay is significantly lower and I feel stressed when I think about the fact that I have to start from scratch to find a “career” more suited to me.

That third thing I found out…

Whether you spend a lot, or very little, if you’re not making that 1% type money, money feels like it controls your life and decisions. And it sucks.

Rent is stupid expensive, even with roommates. The heat bill sucks during the winter. There is always something that needs fixing for the house or car. Medical bills should be a crime. Eating good is expensive for no reason. Gas prices are a bitch. Insurance is required and bogus. And that isn’t even everything most people want/need.

Do you have a hobby? Buy what you need before you move on your own!! The only reason I have the recording equipment and editing computer I have is because I saved up and bought this stuff when I lived with my mom. If you have that privilege too my advice is to take advantage because I know I wouldn’t be able to get any of this now if I waited.

I also advise you to start a savings account but I can do a post on money tips another time 🙂

The bottom line is: money is so stupid, but you can’t avoid it once you’re on your own.

Thing four…

It’s easy to lose touch with your passions and youthfulness with all the stressors and concerns of the adult world.

But, with some mindfulness and surrounding yourself with great people, you can avoid this painful change.

I’ve met a lot of adults who go to work in the morning, get food on their table, watch tv or drink and do nothing else everyday. It’s that schedule on repeat. I’m not here to judge anyone, but I do think this can take a toll on our mental well-being.

Life is stressful, and I understand the need to relax after work, but some people get so stressed by work and life that they don’t worry about trying healthy coping anymore. Seeing a counselor (if possible), picking up an easy stress-free hobby, and surrounding yourself with people who talk about more than just work can be the difference between feeling constantly stressed and irritable and feeling youthful and healthy.

Don’t let the stressors of adult-life kill your youthful side that loves to dream big.

And finally thing five…

Never give up on your dreams, even if you feel like it’s going to be a long and hard road.

I dream of creating full-time. I dream of waking up and working on my passion first thing, and not stopping because I have to go to work.

That’s not going to be easy. Like I said, I’m working two jobs right now and I still have my family and friends to spend quality time with. Not to mention all the other responsibilities in my life. But if I keep my head up high, put in a little work everyday (with some breaks of course), and remind myself that even if I don’t “make it” as a creator this is what makes me happy, I’m going to feel successful no matter the outcome.

It’s hard as heck to make your passion your living sometimes. But it’s even harder to live your life knowing you never tried so you’ll never know. If I’m not going to make my living creating at least I made my life creative.

So that’s it.

To sum it all up…

Adulting is hard, but staying passionate and psyched is important. We should speak up about economic inequalities, we should work hard to make a change so everyone truly has equal opportunities in this world, and we should do our part to make sure our lives and the lives of the people we love are meaningful and enriching.

If we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t take care of the people next to us. And if we all take care of the people next to us then everyone is cared for. No impact is too small, never forget that.

Until Next Time,

Stay Psyched

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