It’s the New Year which means that future college graduates of spring 2014 are entering panic mode at the prospect of being a real world human being. You truthfully thought it would never get to this…although it was cool to act like you were ready for adulthood up until this very moment. As you avoid the miserable slump of dreading the future, it is easy to see your life as leaving the best years behind, as many 9-5ers would have you to believe. You reminisce over the sleepless nights, hilariously pointless part time jobs, and a social life fit for the entire cast of your favorite TV show. Which means that talk of student loans, insurance, and car payments will most likely bring you to tears. And the worst part is that it’s all true. Your post schoolin’ routine will take on a lunch line monotony and real life responsibilities that are less like “who’s hosting the tail gate?” and more like “did I prep enough meals and set my alarm for the right time?” There ya go, the reality of the situation, you’ve acknowledged it, the first step towards progress.
This is the norm, what everyone who is past the 16th grade will say. Why then can’t everyone start taking a more positive look on the greater 3/4 of the rest of our lives?
The future will always be uncertain, but right now it seems quadruple uncertain. And that’s because it is! It is downright unnerving. Part of dealing with the dread of adulthood is recognizing the fact that much of it is left to be seen. If you went the traditional route of school, more school, and then face planting it into the real world, then all of the things you have experienced for the most part have been relatively planned for the past 16 years. Understanding that the uncertainty is finally your que to take control, will help make this whole be a real world person a lot less daunting. For the first time in your life, your life is at your fingertips so take advantage of the situation and go with it.
Another aspect that heavily contributes to the level of panic that is experienced right now is your own personal self-awareness. I am so convinced that self-awareness or lack thereof not only correlates with your well-being in future endeavors, but your overall likeability. No one likes an obnoxious self-centered Needy Nancy. Sure you were the queen of your sorority, or employee of the month at Chipotle for the past four years, but a major part of seamlessly exiting your college bubble is to recognize the fact that you are not in fact the center of the universe, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
As a real world participant you will be exposed to the rest of the world trying to figure it out just like you are, as opposed to your little learning community you just spent 40 hours a week with for the most recent years of life.
Things will be changing, and you need to know that they are for the better. The alternative is to cling to your mini fridge and beer pong table, summoning freshman year into reality. By choosing to look at your adult-ish (right…I mean we are now college grads not quite adults let’s not get ahead of ourselves) future with hope and anticipation, you are setting yourself up for a more successful state of mind. Suddenly finding and/or landing a job won’t seem so horribly depressing. While paying bills is never a sunny subject take pride in your impending independence which carries far greater value than the old remembering to take the trash cans out on trash day fulfillment of college life.
With a little positivity, and self-awareness this whole real world thing just might work out.