The months after graduating college can be one of the most overwhelming, anxiety- inducing, and high pressure moments of your life. We struggle to keep up with our colleagues who seem to have it all together. The ones who could coast through their last semester of senior year because they already have a job lined up. Reflecting on these past few months, uncertainty for the future doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. Here are 3 major lessons I learned from experiences I thought were setbacks. In the end, the biggest lesson I learned is everything always works out.
1. Never forget the friendships you made in college.
My lease ended and I had no place to live after. The highs of graduation celebrations quickly ended when I realized I had nowhere to go. My parents lived 4 hours away and I knew D.C. was where I wanted to work. I found myself crying on a bench panicking about my housing situation. Immediately, I was comforted with friends who opened their homes to me until I can find a new place. I will never forget the people from college who became lifelong friends. After graduation, the convenience of having your social groups in one place will diminish. It is important to realize that keeping up with these relationships you established now take effort. Never let memories of those deep talks, midnight adventures and coffee infused study breaks with your friends fizzle into distant memories. Keep up the friendships you established throughout these 4 years, they matter more than ever as you enter adulthood.
2. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
I’ll confess…I did not get a license until I was 22. I was terrified at the thought of getting behind the wheel. If it wasn’t for Lyft and the greatest friends of all time, I don’t know how I would get around. Even after getting my license I still embarrassingly took a Lyft to work for a week because I just couldn’t bring myself to get over my fear of driving. I finally realized it wasn’t so bad and this irrational fear has held me back from living with greater independence. This made me reflect on my experiences after college and the many anxieties and fears of leaving that security blanket behind and jumping into the vast unknown of what future lies ahead. Everything we aspire to be however, starts with getting over whatever fear is holding us back.
3. Never doubt yourself.
It was like dating- the job hunt was an overwhelming process of meeting new people, striving for the perfect first impression, hoping for a second encounter, and ultimately wanting to hear you’re the one offered a position. Throughout this process, you will hear “no” a couple of times, realize your dream job wasn’t that great after all or downright feel discouraged. It is important to remember that you know your strengths and if a company is not the right fit- it does not mean you aren’t great. Believe in yourself and the right job will come to you.