Since yesterday, it has been 365 days since graduation and what has happened since I walked across the stage, I could have never imagined.
First off, graduating from college is a huge accomplishment that I knew I could achieve but never really understood the height of it all. When you really think about it, going to any university and committing yourself to adsorb knowledge to hopefully make a living for yourself is half the battle. Then along those 4+ years you encounter trials and tribulations you would’ve never imagined. You find yourself and you find your life long friends. You find your true purpose and the perfect people to guide you along the way.
In college I experienced the most unexplainable experiences that turned out to be the best years of my life. Looking back 365 days ago since I’ve walked across the stage, I know that I have to hold on and cherish those memories but continue to advance in life.
Since graduating, it’s been a struggle to move forward because for the passed four years, I was adjusted to the college lifestyle. It was a routine of maybe going to class, being productive in what I wanted to be productive in, being sure to pass, and turn up as hard as I could without killing my self on accident.
Graduating into adulthood has been rather satisfying but also scary as hell! While adulting for a whole year now, this is how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned.
Bet on me and take the risks.
I really believe everything happens for a reason. For whatever that reason may be, I ended up moving 1,000 miles from home six months after graduation…exactly, right when the student loans kicked in. *sighs* My best friend had a job in the DMV area so I packed my bags and moved with her very spontaneously! I think ultimately in the future I’m going to look back and this might be one of the best decisions I’ve made. While I was in Dallas working at KISS FM, I was so thankful to get a job in the top 5 market in radio! My dream has always been to work in urban media, and I wanted to get on at Radio One. I had a close friend there and I was working with her to try to get into the company but it just wasn’t working. Once I moved to the DMV, I got hired on the spot after being there for two months! I moved out of my parents house with about $1,300 to my name. I moved without a job and moved into an apartment before I even started working. I was depressed, I cried almost everyday, and I felt like nobody could understand me and maybe I should just go back home. It worked out though. I don’t know how it happened but it did. Like I said, I believe everything happens for a reason so maybe I’m supposed to be here.
The struggle is REAL.
Going out into the real world is hard as fuck. Supporting yourself is hard and all I can think about is if I had kids, I know I wouldn’t be able to do this. Buying fresh food and then going to eat it and seeing that great, my zucchini went bad after a week is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s so annoying going day to day just trying to do life and figuring it out on your own. My roommate Hannah and I planned to get cable set up, and once the cable man came, we didn’t have a TV for him to set it up! Who knew you needed a TV to set up cable?! Of course it sounds like a duh moment, but when you grow up and things are just around, you don’t think about the simple things. In college, I worked a campus job getting paid pretty good money, I drove Uber from time to time, and I had a refund check to live off of so budgeting was only making sure I could last two weeks until my next check. Oh how life has smacked me in the effing face. Budgeting for rent, bills, gas, and maybe to feed myself if it fits is hard. I work two jobs, one in Baltimore 35 miles aways and one in Virginia 36+ miles the other way. I work seven days a week and just managing my time to be at both jobs, making sure I have the money, and trying to stay sane is draining AF. I’m just waiting for the day where I can have my dream full time job.
Nobody has to care, but you have to care about you.
Something that I struggled with the most since moving on my own is being alone. Granted I love me time, but I just feel like I barely have support. It does seem like once you graduate, you probably have about six months before you’re just like everybody else, even the grown people in your family. A shift happened. I was expected to figure life out on my own. I don’t mean to sound like a baby but how am I expected to just know how to adult right off the back. I know our parents, and the generations before us had to do the same thing but it’s different in 2018. I feel like millennials have so much pressure to be great that it’s so overwhelming. The pressure to get a career started right after graduation, the pressure to have your own business or side hustle (everybody in 2018 in an entrepreneur), the pressure to look like a baddie and have a baddie body, and there’s so many other pressures! We just have so much pressure to be great. When you’re trying to figure it out and it feels like nobody cares and nobody is helping you, it hurts. I know for me trying to defer loans, being broke, trying to get my career started right after my amazing college career, always trying to look good, and just stay afloat has been hard. Things like taxes, insurance, and all of that, they don’t teach you in school. When you’re forced to do all of that and when you’re not around your friends anymore on a daily basis, it’s SO hard, and I don’t think a lot of people comprehend that, especially if you didn’t experience college. Going from being less than 5 minutes away from a group of people to now having to work all day, having to balance life, or even like me, being away from your friends feels like a fireball hitting a meter and that meter breaking into small pieces and they’re just floating in space. I just had to learn to find my own space to care about myself, ignore the negative spaces, and do everything on my own for me.
Put yourself first.
I had to learn quick to push out the thought of other people and focus on me. I had a bad habit of trying to get people’s opinions before making my next move or when trying to make a decision. I had to cut that out quick. I just found some people would half ass their advice, were getting tired of my anxiety being on them, or some people not having the best intentions for me. Just recently I had to sit back, journal my life away, let go of social media, and just reclaim my time. My emotions were just all over the place. I felt ugly, I had random crying breakdowns, and I didn’t know what to do. After taking a break, which included just taking a break from social media, taking a bubble bath with candles, got my nails done, and just relaxing I felt a little better. I think that sometimes I’m so hard on myself and so focused on advancing in my life and in my career and being great, that I needed to step back and just focus on making me happy and breathing.
To the new college grads, enjoy life day by day.
Enjoy every moment of your new freedom! Graduation day was literally the best day of my life. There was no day better than that. What I’ve learned is to take life day by day. Sometimes I know that I like to plan my life so far ahead, but I had to learn, life doesn’t work that way. I used compared myself to other people’s daily lives, when instead now I use it as encouragement and motivation. Be clear that you’re in your own lane creating and living in your own specific purpose. Take time to have fun and just live life! Going to Mexico a week after graduation was one of the best decisions I made. Celebrate yourself because you deserve it! Be easy on yourself and know that things will come when they’re supposed to. This is something I tell myself on a daily basis to ease my nerves. Focus on being well especially mentally. Adapting to this huge change can be so draining but find activities and people who can keep you afloat. Take some me time and just cherish and look back on all your accomplishments. Also write everything down so you can see how far you’ve came. Write down feelings and goals.
People say that post grad life is where the real fun begins, and even though I don’t really agree, the fun is on a different level. I know it can get tough but if you can woosah and just take your days one at a time, maybe it can be a little easier!