Let’s face it.
 
College is fun. Sometimes a fun mess, even.
 
Hanging out with your friends on weekdays are encouraged and it’s up to you if you want to take the summer off. 

But here’s the thing:

That doesn’t always prepare you for the real world.
 
And let’s admit it, it takes a little while to get used to a world without semesters.
 
So it got me thinking:
 
What are the things nobody tells you after graduating college?
 
Let’s jump in.

1 | No One Cares What Your GPA Was

Or if you chose the wrong major.

2 | You’ll Know Someone Who is Instantly Successful

It might be a close friend or a friend of a friend, but chances are you’ll know that one person who ups and moves for an amazing job opportunity.
 
It makes it seem like landing an awesome job is easy.
 
But trust me:
 
You’ve got to give yourself time. This is a defining decade in your life.

And if you’re feeling lost, start reading things like this. It will help you make the most of your 20s.

And another thing:
 
Congratulate that successful person. Don’t stalk them on social media and get caught in a web of comparison.
 
Learn something from them.
 
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – just learn from successful people and do what they do. 

3 | Older Generations Love Labeling You

And it can get pretty ugly.
 
But my message to those people:
 
Quit complaining. Stop labeling millennials and start leading them.
 
Off my soapbox now.
 
So be humble at your job. Show up and be ready to work. Come prepared with a great attitude. Don’t act like you’ve got it all figured out.
 
Listen:

You don’t have to prove anyone wrong.
 
The truth is, older generations are a little intimidated by us. They’re afraid that we’re so up to date with the new technology – that they don’t even know anything about.
 
They are afraid of looking stupid if they ask, “What is XYZ?”
 
Here’s the bottom line:
 
They need us just like we need them.

4 | People Will Ask You About Your Job All The Time

After graduating college, you’ll get used to hearing the same old question:
 
So what do you do for a living?
 
People who ask this think it’s a perfect icebreaker.
 
While it might break the ice, I think they’re just curious. It gives them a small peek into what your life might be like.
 
But we’re not through yet:
 
If you’re not getting asked about what you do from new people, you’ll definitely get asked from your friends and family.
 
So get used to hearing:

What’s going on at work?

How’s your job going?
 
While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it can become a little redundant.
 
But at the very least:
 
It should persuade you to polish up on your conversation skills. And next time you meet someone new or hang out with friends, you’ll have other things to talk about.

5 | Making Time for Friends Can be Difficult

Life gets going and ‘busy’ becomes the excuse everyone uses.
 
How’s your summer been?
 
So busy!
 
How are you?
 
I’m great but slammed with work!
 
Besides that:
 
You get settled into your jobs. You start becoming close with your co-workers and develop new relationships. Over time, it can feel like you have totally separate lives from your old friends.
 
But the good news:
 
It’s happening to your friends too. The not-so-good news is that if you aren’t careful, you can lose track of old relationships that really matter. 
 
It’s easy to get trapped in the day to day of normal life. But keep making an effort to make plans and see the people you care about.
 
Foster the relationships that are important to you. You’ll be so happy you did.

6 | Marriage and Kids Might Come A Lot Later

You might not even get married before 30.
 
How come?
 
Because compared to previous generations, millennials are marrying at a much older age. In 1965, the average marrying age for women was 21, and for men, it was 23.
 
Today, the average age for marriage is 29.2 for women and 30.9 for men.
 
These days, marriage is seen as an option rather than a necessity.
 
I tell you what though:
 
After graduating college, you’re more focused on other areas of your life. You’re working towards your career and financial security.
 
You’re also focused on having more life experiences.
 
These are all wonderful things. You need to explore your own interests, values, and create memories in the process.
 
You’re developing a strong sense of identity. 

7 | You’ll Redefine What Success Means to You

Let’s be honest.

It’s not about having the highest paying job or the nicest car.
 
In the words of Maya Angelou:
 
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
 
You’ll start cutting yourself some slack. Your happiness will be the most important thing in your life.
 
What goals do you want to reach? Save more money? Buy a house? Find work you love?
 
These things matter. So keep going.

8 | If You Have to Move Home, Have a Plan

Listen:
 
If you move back home, you need an exit strategy.

And if you’re at home:
 
Wash your own dishes. Purchase your own groceries. Fold your own clothes. Pay rent to your parents.
 
Have a plan for how you’re going to move out and become independent. Don’t get too comfortable at home and become complacent.

9 | Don’t Run From Your Student Loans

They’re the 10,000-pound elephant in the room.
 
And the worst part?
 
They don’t just go away. So you have to design a plan to kill your debt.
 
Here’s the thing:
 
You’ll hear a million different pieces of advice on how to handle your student loan debt.
 
I just read an article about how paying off student loans early is a mistake.
 
Their main argument was, “not all debt is bad debt.” They also said that paying them off slowly might lead to student loan forgiveness.
 
That advice is terrible.
 
Sorry, let me rephrase.
 
Really terrible.

It’s time to grow up after graduating college. You can’t depend on anyone to fix your problems. And I know that it’d be easier for me to tell you:
 
Not all debt is bad. Wait it out, and maybe they’ll be forgiven.
 
And you’d walk away from this article not knowing a single thing you could do differently.
 
Not going to happen.
 
Chances are, you have more than just student loan debt. So first things first, you have to pick a debt payoff plan. Give The Total Money Makeover a shot. 
 
It will change the way you manage your money forever.
 
So bottom line:
 
Don’t let the never-ending payments cripple your financial life. Start your plan and work your plan.

10 | Put Your Electronics Away

This is a no-brainer to most of us, but I guarantee that there’s someone out there that still needs to hear it. 
 
Monitor your screen time. Don’t be too busy on your phone that you’re ignoring the person in front of you who is trying to have a conversation.
 
Nothing says, “you’re unimportant to me” like staring into your phone while someone is trying to be heard.
 
Ignore your phone instead of ignoring the people around you. Don’t be a terrible listener.
 
Your texts, emails, and social media updates will be there when you get back.
 
There is life after college, but it’s up to you to create it.

Thanks for reading.

Madison Eubanks is a Clinical Psychiatrist with over 13 years of experience in diagnosing mental health issues, cognitive therapy, handling relationship dynamics, and overseeing individuals and couples therapy. Connect with Madison on LinkedIn.