The Naked Truth About College Grads

Graduate college, they said, It’ll be fun, they said.

They also said that you’d walk across that stage and opportunities would start knocking and kicking and scratching at your door. That you’d smile for that cheesy handshake photograph and hold your fake certificate (Sarcastic)  and all of a sudden you’d feel like (and simultaneously become) a full-fledged, accomplished, educated, real-life, ducks-in-a-row adult.
But anyone who’s graduated college in the last decade knows that’s not the reality. You don’t shrug on your cap and gown and suddenly feel responsible, suddenly know how to file taxes and pay off loan debt. You don’t finish your last final and suddenly realize what you’re doing with your life. You don’t even know what you’re doing for the next six months.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve accepted a job and you’re set for the temporary now. You have some sort of plan, but without job security, without tenure, and with a highly competitive market, you’ve been trained to not trust in the permanence of anything. Cynical? Maybe. Truth? Definitely.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo. Suddenly, you are too old for college parties. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend them (by all means, do you boo boo) but suddenly your mindset has changed. You need to job hunt, you need to wake up early for the crappy part-time gig you’ve taken in the months between graduation and getting a ‘real career,’ and you have things to do that doesn’t include getting wasted on a Monday night. But you want to go to college parties. 
Your friends are either still in school or have graduated, left town (or not), started their lives (or are pretending to start their lives) and you’re desperate for someone to pregame with,  go out with. So you cyber-stalk all their social media , wondering who they’re hanging out with, who’s all at that party, and if they’re missing you.
But then there’s that part of you that scoffs. You’ve matured, you’ve changed, and you’ve left that college scene. You had your fun. Obligations, priorities, mature fun, and things that you could never afford or even dream up when you were that broken, tragic college seniors.
But still, you’re caught in limbo. There’s a laundry list of expectations that you’re supposed to live up to. You’re supposed to get that job, move, work, make money, be successful, date, marry, have children. Or something along those lines. And you’re nowhere near. (Which is okay, by the way. As long as you’re trying to get yourself together.)
Then there’s the realization that this is it, this is life. And you’re excited about the possibilities, the places you could go, the jobs you could take, and the potential significant others that are gallivanting around somewhere on this planet, wondering about the potential you. The future is limitless. But terrifying.
You’re caught between the familiar and the new, the comfortable and the unknown. There’s the person you’ve been for the last four years, and then there’s this new you—this post-grad you, this adult you—Are you the same person? Suddenly changed? A mix of both?
The post-grad world is strange. You’re not sure who you’re expected to be, and not really sure who you want to be. You’re trying your best to figure it out, to get that dream job, to find a place and a home and a future to claim as your own. But the naked truth about graduating college is that it’s not this paved, golden road. Yes, your education is valuable. And yes, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips. But that doesn’t make it easier.
Graduating college, just like being in college, is another journey. And with any journey, you need faith, perseverance, hard work, a map, and your heart for when you throw your map out the window.
You’ll make it eventually. It just takes time. And a period of crappy, rough, who-am-I months. But at least you’re leaving on first food anymore, right? 

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TELL ME HOW YOU SPEND YOUR DAYS AND I’LL TELL YOU WHO YOU’LL BECOME

believe

The good news is, you have the same 24 hours as every successful person you know. The difference though might be that they spend this time more wisely.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to monitor the things I allocate my time to and make adjustments so that my everyday behavior reflects what I want out of life. In other words, I have to make sure my daily actions are in line with my long-term goals.

The thing that most people don’t understand is that they build their career daily. You carve your…

How do you spend your days? Do you go to work and come home to watch TV before bed? This must mean you’re satisfied with your job and happy with your life. Do you make time to go to networking events after work? Then you probably want to take your career to the next step or continue your professional development. Do you spend your 5 to 9 volunteering or working on your creative projects – whether that’d be writing a book, filming and editing videos, painting, making beaded bracelets etc.? Then you have something you’re passionate about and showing the world what you care about. Do you stay home and binge watch the latest series and movies or mindlessly browse the Internet?

If you do something well and consistently, it will become your reality. Habits develop as a result of doing something long enough. They become the building blocks of your long-term behavior. This in turn determines the course of your life. If you’re unhappy with where you are, figure out what’s wrong and make concrete changes to fix it. Pay attention to your habits and what you naturally spend your time doing. Eliminate distractions and focus. This isn’t to say that you can’t occasionally take breaks and binge watch episodes of your favorites movies or shows(*cough*). However, maintaining a balance is healthy.

You build your future every day. It doesn’t just happen to you. You create it.

A full-time blogger didn’t just write one blog post to reach that level of success. A milestone can take years of dedication, smart investments, strategic thinking and planning.

Take a look at your life now. Have your actions brought you closer to your goals? Are you repeating mistakes and expecting to see different results? Focus on what you can control – your thoughts, your actions. I guarantee you the rest will fall into place.

So, what did you do today? Or better yet, what will you do tomorrow?

What if you had the courage to pursue the things you love? What’s holding you back from living your dreams?

Are You A Slave To Your Ambition?

We live in a society that lavishly praises high achievement. After the completion of formal education, many young people enter the job market with an enthusiasm and energy akin to a cannonball being fired off into the sky. The mission objective is clear from the beginning — achieve as much as possible as quickly as possible. Intern at multiple companies, land your dream job, and accumulate a ridiculous amount of gold star material for your resume. The millennial generation is a hungry and ambitious one.

We read books, which claim that our twenties are a vital period for gaining experience and that no time is to be wasted. We observe the LinkedIn profiles of our peers and compare ourselves to one another in terms of success. We strive to be smarter, more professional, and more accomplished. We’re constantly moving forward in attempts to climb the ladder with blinding seed. We want to build Rome in a day.

We’re young so we figure that since we have the energy, we might as well burn the candle at both ends for as long as possible. We are entry level employees with aspirations of being the CEO. We are bloggers who want to be best selling authors and digital media enterprisers overnight. We hear stories of young people starting with nothing and forming billion dollar companies. We’re not content with being mere mortals. We want to be Zuckerberg, Tesla, or Spiegel. We want to be the one to invent the next Snapchat or Facebook. We want it all, and we don’t want to wait.

I look at my own mentality and the mentality of many other young people and what I’ve observed causes me to beg the question: Are we becoming slaves to our own ambition?

I love writing and creating. I would like to be able to say that I’m a successful person not only in my eyes but also in the eyes of others. So I work. I read as many books as I can get my hands on to develop knowledge that will aid me in my mission. I write as much as a possibly can to practice my craft. When I’m not working, I feel guilty. It’s becoming increasingly hard to enjoy my down time because my mind is constantly focused on my goals and my dreams. My case may be extreme in comparison to some but I definitely feel that there are others who can relate to my sentiment. I have all of these ideas and plans that I’m working towards and the sheer weight of my dreams feels like an anvil being placed on top of my shoulders.

This piece is a reminder to myself as well as any of you out there who are driven and motivated to a level that has perhaps become perverse – slow down. Relax; chill out, calm down, it’s not that serious.

Human beings are naturally wired to work, achieve, and accomplish. It is important to dream big and put in the hours required to turn your dreams into reality. Outworking your competitors and grinding it out for insanely high periods of time can potentially help you arrive at your destination ahead of schedule.

But at what cost?

What are the potential downfalls of living an unbalanced life in which work dominates your existence? The stress from an unreasonable amount of pressure you place on your self is one. The loss of stability in your relationships is another. The more you ask yourself these types of questions, the more you realize that maybe your priorities have gone awry.

Best selling author Robert Greene once said, “The fools in life want things fast and easy-money, success, attention.”

The media presents to us a finished product. They show us the glitz and glamour but none of the trial and tribulation. Our perception of the time it takes to reach our desired milestones is distorted. So we race out of the gates like a thoroughbred horse, wanting the world and all of its spoils, thinking that if push ourselves hard enough we will get there faster.

This strategy does work some of the time. Some people do create billion dollar companies in ostensibly short periods of time. Some people may become successful seemingly overnight. But this is the exception, not the rule. The more likely scenario is that whatever you’d like to achieve is going to take some time. Perhaps it will take years, even decades of consistent effort to get what you want. So while it’s important to proceed with maximum effort, it’s also important to have a proper perspective and allow yourself to detach and unplug every once in a while.

Achievement is definitely a vital component to living a fulfilling life, but it’s just a portion of the equation. Your relationships with your friends and family are of upmost importance. You have to take time to enjoy yourself as well. Life can’t be all work and no play. What’s the point of acquiring all of the worldly measures of success if you’re left alone with no one to share them with?

One of our greatest challenges is making sure our lives don’t turn into a revolving door of desire in which we are continually searching for the next thing that will make us happy. How circumstances affect us depends on how we interpret them as they relate to our life. If we lack a “big picture” view, we can easily fall into serial success seeking.

Why? Because when we get what we want, our happiness soon diminishes because we quickly become used to what we acquire. We may not even stop or slow down to enjoy what we’ve got because we instantly seek a new challenge. If we’re not careful we wind up ricocheting back and forth from achieving and acquiring to acquiring and achieving without ever taking time to fully enjoy any of it.

This is a great way to remain miserable for the rest of your life.

Self-reflection is a great way to provide you with insight that can be used to live a healthy life. So ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing going to cause strain or strength in my relationships?” “Is the amount of work I’m doing a magnificent obsession, or a perilous detractor?” “What’s really important?” “What should I be focused on?”

Avoid the extremes. Life is a balancing act. We have to keep everything in our lives in proper perspective. Neglecting any area for too long can lead to disastrous results. Walk the tightrope carefully, and don’t fall off.