Years and years of school. Endless assignments procrastinated, countless sleepless nights, fighting the urge to skip class and nap, TONS of money spent on textbooks you may not have used more than once. By the time you walk across that stage and get a diploma you’re pretty much fed up and ready to get out of there ASAP. Or at least I was. But the minute I got home and all the excitement wore off, I wasn’t sure exactly how to feel.
Being drop kicked into the real world isn’t easy. In fact, school was much easier because it was within a formatted schedule where you knew exactly what to do to succeed. But life doesn’t exactly have a sylabus. If you’re anything like me what comes after graduation is a state of panic, a sudden urgency to get out ahead of your peers and make sure your life is the quintessential picture on a Facebook posts that gets over 100 likes. You know the white Pickett fence, husband and 2.5 kids, and the dream job. In my reality at least that’s taking a whole lot longer. I don’t have the answers but I do have a few insights I thought I would share.
Realize that no one has it figured out. Sitting in your room watching scandal for 16 hours a day and opening snapchats of people traveling Europe and getting pinned with nursing degrees makes you feel like you’re the only one struggling but you’re not.
If you have a relative who is an older, more traditional African like my father you know the questions about your future never end. It jumps from “when are you graduating” to “where is your husband” in 2.5 seconds. But what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to say that you’re not quite sure yet. Trust the process and give yourself some time to figure out where exactly in life you want to go. You don’t have to become a millionaire today.
Take it one day at a time. Take more risks, go places you’ve never been before, eat things you’ve never eaten, travel, get that cool haircut you’ve always wanted. Up to this point you’ve made it through what, 16 years of school give or take? And you survived it! So you can survive this new stage as well. And honestly limit your time on social media. Most times it just amplifies the loneliness you’re feeling because your school friends are now spread out across the state/country doing their own thing.
I’ve had to take a lot of time by myself to just sit and answer that question, now what? It hasn’t been easy but you have to cut out all the other voices and really learn to listen to yourself. As terrifying as it is, I think the 20s were meant to be a time period full of not only self exploration, but also intentional decision-making and planning for the future. Everyday you wake up in the morning, invest in yourself– make at least one good hoofs to put yourself on the path you want to be on. And if you don’t know what path that is yet that’s okay, take your time. And don’t let anyone tell you that Netflix marathons are only for lazy people!! It’s not exactly a cheat sheet to adulthood, but I hope it helps relieve some of the stress for all my post grads out there! I figured I should begin with a somewhat positive post before the struggle ones about applying for jobs and graduate school paperwork stresses lol What are you having the most trouble with after graduation? Feel free to leave some thoughts in the comments below
have a wonderful Wednesday!