How to survive the transition from college to the "real world"

Posted by Emily Hagen on Sep 8, 2015 11:53:00 AM

What do you mean I have to file my own taxes? It isn't even 8 p.m. yet, how am I this tired? 

The transition from college to the "real world" sounded terrifying at first. As I spent the summer traveling and having constant waves of nostalgia as I saw my younger friends returning back to college, I still couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of starting a career. Waking up before 9 a.m.? Who thought that was a good idea!?

As it turns out, the real world is pretty great.

I can (and have) been dramatic about the transition, but it is important to point out the differences so you can set yourself up for success. Here is how to survive the transition for those who are joining the work world and are unsure what to expect.

  1. Accept that you have a new schedule. No, you can’t stay up till 2 a.m. anymore just because you want to watch another episode on Netflix. You can’t expect to find someone to split a pizza with you as a before bed snack. You especially can’t go out every night of the week just because there are good drink specials. I’ll never forget you, dollar margarita Tuesdays. You have new responsibilities that require you to get a good night sleep to be productive for eight hours the next day! 
  2. Don’t be intimidated. I know I just named some of the greatest aspects of college. You were free to do whatever you want, and now you are expected to be a functioning adult for over eight hours a day. It is frightening at first. I promise that you can do it. It may feel strange and out of your comfort zone when you first start a new job, but once you know what you are doing you will be fine. Everyone has been there, and you will have great resources to go to when you are feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Understand that some days are better than others. You’ve already put in three hours of some of your best work. You are feeling great. You look up, and realize you still have five more hours of work. I have found that walking around for a few minutes instantly makes me feel better. Everybody has their own way to deal with those long day blues. Find yours and remember that you will make it through the day! Just know that some days will go by very fast as well. Some days are better than others, but if you can get through those rough days you can do anything!    
  4. Learn to love the benefits of post grad. No more late nights at the library. No more Sundays trying to get yourself motivated to start that paper you have put off. Yes, feel free to spend your whole day watching football and not feeling guilty about it. Sure, I had the best college experience imaginable. My parents had to drag me out of my college town the day after graduation. Nobody will take those memories away from you. And the paychecks aren’t the worst either, leaving you never questioning if you should get the chips and guacamole with your Chipotle burrito. The answer is always yes now.
Have any advice on how to make the transition easier? Let us know below!

Topics: Culture, Career Advice