Help me be excited about post-grad life?

posted 3 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 3
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I was overwhelmed. Basically I finished my degree, got my first “real” job, and moved out of my mom’s house all in the month after graduating. Tons of changes. It just took some time to feel more settled. I was also in a rocky relationship, and was lonely so decided I wanted my ex to move in with me (dumb in hindsight!!). I ended up hating my first job out of school, and luckily got a better one a few months later. I am still at that job (I’ve been promoted/changed roles in between) five years later.

I hated school and was super happy to be done… but I guess it would have been harder had I loved school. I think you just need some time and some more things to look forward to. When you get a job, you’ll have money towards buying a house – that’s a huge thing to look forward to. Hopefully you will find a job you enjoy as much as school. Just try to remember why you went to school – to get a good job. It was a phase of your life you can look back on fondly, and if you do find yourself getting sad, there’s always grad school. I do suggest working for a few years prior to applying for it, though. I know many people who went straight into grad school and have zero career prospects. Employers care about experience more than anything, I find. You have so much to look forward to.. no reason to be sad 🙂

Post # 4
6447 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Nope you are not alone. I graduated a year and a half ago so this is my second back to school season and I still feel these twinges of jealousy when I see friends going back or students walking around the campus I work near. 

I think what I miss most is how easy it is to meet people while in school. There are so many opportunities to meet new people and I feel like that is harder to do once you are done with school. I also miss the flexibility of school. I had a flexible work schedule and I would occasionally skip classes I was doing well in when I just needed a day off. Now that I can’t do that and I know I’ll be working (without vacations that are longer than a week) for the next 50 years I occasionally feel a bit… Depressed.

I have gotten a lot better about it though!! I think it truly does take time and it also helps to have a job you enjoy. I know some people who were so happy to be done with the stress of school and start their post grad life that it made me feel like there was something wrong with me. Now that I’m finally adjusting, I am starting to feel less jealous of those still in school 🙂

I enjoy having money to spend on the little luxuries (such as new clothes, books, and awesome food) and I really enjoy the free time I have after work as I no longer have homework. I’ve started getting back to the activities I enjoyed before the craziness of college such as reading, baking, and exercising. I set goals for myself for exercise which I’ve enjoyed meeting and I try to keep up with my ever expanding book list. I’ve also started attending more work events and making more of an attempt to call/hang out with friends.

I think it will help once you have a job in your chosen field. So right now, keep looking for your dream job, enjoy wedding planning (while you have the extra time!), and try picking up a couple new hobbies! Remember that you aren’t the only one feeling like this and that you will eventually love your post grad life!

Post # 5
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I hear you. I call this my second teenage years. I’m living in my old bedroom, under my parents’ roof, and so is SO (his parents’ house). At one point in college, I lived in a house with roommates, and another semester I studied abroad, so I was used to way more independence. 

In my case, it’s been 3 years, and things are looking up. SO has a better job now, and I’m working and going back to school. It will get better, and you will be on your own two feet again.

Post # 6
2056 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

The transition is hard!!  And people don’t really talk about it, which I found frustrating at the time.  I graduated from college in 2004 and the next couple of years were challenging.  Don’t get me wrong, I also had lots and lots of fun times with fantastic friends, but there is this feeling of general upheaval and not knowing what you’re doing, trying to get your life together, and for most people, figuring out what to do career-wise.  I felt all of that on and off for a few years.  But eventually it all comes together.

After 1.5 years of living back with my parents, I moved into a fantastic apartment with friends and felt like I regained so much indpendence.  After 2 years of trying to figure out what to do with my life and being employed in fields I hated, and landed in social work and found a great fit.  I have since gone back to school for a Master’s while working full time, had lots of awesome and stressful jobs, and spent lots of fun time with friends.

Honestly, it just gets better– and having more disposable income as you get older and more established means having the freedom to do things you want (like order lots of expensive cocktails, go on vacation, shop, etc).  I am 31 now and I think that each year has been better than the last.

Post # 11
552 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Don’t do what I did! I gained 60 lbs (on top of the 20 lbs that I’d gained in college) after I graduated. I had no idea what to do with myself once I was out of school, so I ate to combat my boredom. It took me a year to realize that I need to do something about it. I started by just going out for walks after work, and now after four years I’ve lost 85 lbs and found new hobbies. It turns out that I love to run, swim and do yoga. Those were things I never had time for when I was in school.

I would never go back to school now, I love my life. I have a job I enjoy, I have independence, and I have free time! The first year was very hard for me though. I didn’t realize that I’d have to work at being an adult and actually having a life. I lived in a small town, which didn’t help, but I also didn’t really try. I live in a big city now, and there are always things to do, you just have to go out and do them. I volunteer at the animal shelter, I do my athletic activites, I go to festivals, meet friends for drinks, etc. Basically, aside from going to work, all of my time is my own, to do as I please, and once I figured out how I liked filling that time life got a lot better.

I never had to deal with the loss of independence though, I have lived on my own since I finished college (before that I had roommates). I imagine that it would be very hard, my only advice is that whenever you’re feeling down about your situation, remember the goals that you want to accomplish. Sometimes we have to sacrifice in the present to create a better future for ourselves.

Good luck with your job hunt also, hopefully you find something great. Though sadly first jobs often suck, it gets better the more advanced you are in your career. When I first started working I was basically begging for a job, and took the first thing that popped up. It sucked, but fortunately it was only a one year contract. I learned a lot and built a good name for myself at that job, and once my time was up I got my current job in the city easily, and it’s been great.

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