College is a fun. Sometimes a fun mess, even.
Hanging out with your friends on weekdays are encouraged and you can decide if you want to take the summer off.
But that doesn’t necessarily prepare us for the real world. And let’s face it – it takes a little while to get used to a world without semesters.
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Earlier this year, I was recommended the book, The Defining Decade, and it completely changed my life.
So that book got me thinking, “What do I wish I knew before I graduated?”
And here it is! The shit nobody tells you after graduation. Let’s get started!
1 | Nobody 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 a great job opportunity.
That might make it seem like landing an awesome job is easy.
Congratulate them. Don’t stalk them on social media and get caught in a web of comparison.
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 isn’t always pretty.
My message to those people: Quit complaining. Stop labeling millennials and start leading them.
Okay, off my soapbox now.
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.
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?”
The truth is, they need us just like we need them.
4 | People Will Ask You About Your Job All The Time
Without fail, you’ll get used to hearing the question, “So what do you do for a living?”
People who ask this usually say that it’s a good icebreaker.
While that’s technically true, I find that it’s usually more because they’re curious (and it gives them a small peek into what your life might be like).
If you’re not getting asked about what you do from new people, you’ll definitely be asked about your job from your friends and family.
Get used to hearing, “So, what’s going on at work?” or “How’s your job going?”
While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it can become a little redundant.
At the very least, it will encourage you to polish up your conversation skills so that when you’re meeting someone new or hanging with friends – you’ll have other stuff to talk about.
5 | Making Time for Friends Can be Difficult
Life really gets going and ‘busy’ becomes the excuse everyone uses.
Once all of your friends get settled into their jobs, start becoming close with their co-workers, get into relationships, it will feel like you have two totally separate lives.
The good news is that these things are also probably happening in your life too.
The not-so-good news is that if you’re not careful, it’s super easy to get lost in the day to day of normal life and lose track of the relationships that are so important to you.
Keep making an effort. You’ll be glad you did.
6 | Marriage and Kids Will Come a lot Later
You might not even get married before 30.
Compared to previous generations, millennials are marrying — if they do choose marriage at all — 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 instead of a necessity.
Many millennials are waiting and planning other aspects of their life instead, like their career and financial security. Millennials are focused on having more life experiences.
They are exploring their own interests, values, and creating memories in the process.
We are developing a strong sense of identity.
Related: 10 Habits That Block Your Success
7 | You’ll Redefine What Success Means to You
It’s not about having the highest paying job and 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 at the forefront.
Achieving work-balance won’t be something you just read about. You’re taking the right steps.
You’ll care more about having a strong savings account, an emergency fund, and investing in your retirement.
Little by little, these small things add up. Keep going.
8 | If You Have to Move Home, Have a Plan
Or if you’ve never moved out of your parent’s house in the first place (one-third of millennials haven’t) come up with an exit strategy.
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 that you become complacent.
9 | Don’t Run From Your Student Loans
They’re the 10,000-pound elephant in the room. Start paying them off now. They don’t just go away.
The Motley Fool (emphasis on fool) published an article last year about why they think paying off student loans as soon as possible is a mistake.
Their main argument was, “not all debt is bad debt.” They also said that paying them off slowly can lead to them possibly being forgiven.
With conflicting information like this, it’s no wonder that so many people don’t know what to do and they end up doing nothing at all.
Here’s the thing: if you take on debt then you have a moral obligation to pay it back. You can’t assume that everything will be forgiven. I know that’s not sugar-coated.
I also know that it would be much easier for me to just tell you, “Not all debt is bad. Wait it out, and maybe they’ll be forgiven.”
And you’ll walk away from this article not knowing a single thing you could do differently.
No, I’m not going to let that happen.
If you haven’t already, read my article on The Most Effective Student Loan Payoff Plan. Yes, there’s more you can do besides just paying the bill every month.
My Student Loan Payoff Plan will literally save you thousands in the long run. Come back and thank me later.
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 in 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.
Your texts, emails, and social media updates will be there when you get back.
There it is! The 10 things nobody tells you after graduation. If you enjoyed it then share it!