Graduating is a big deal. We spend years in school learning how to do our jobs but no one prepares us for adulting. There are a lot of things about adulting after university that I wish I had been told. Here are a few of them:
1. You are not going to be less busy after graduation.
During my university days, as much as I tried to live in the moment and all of that, I also remember a lot of things that I passed on because I assumed that I could do them once school was out of the way. There is travel, parties, business opportunities and just... life experiences that I could have started much earlier ( This blog included) if I had just done it instead of telling myself that I would have more time on my hands after graduation. Spoiler alert: I DON'T. I actually have less time.
Between work, work and more work. I have obligations that I can not skip ( unlike a few 8am Classes). I have to make time for those things, the same way I would have back then so really.... I just wasted my own time.
2. Things are going to get real, real fast
When you are envisioning graduation, you are usually thinking about your convocation and sometimes, the job you need to get but you think you have time to apply and line up something great- you don't. Shit will get real, real fast and you don't want to go from student to unemployed. I wish someone had told me to start applying for jobs a lot earlier. I was lucky enough to get a full time position for with the company that I part timed with while in school so I had some income while I searched for something in my actual field but not everyone gets that chance.
There are also a few lucky people who have a great financial cushion so they can take a lot of time for relaxing before they enter the working class.
3. Save, save and save some more.
You don't need to spend big amounts of money every month or every payday. The truth is, you probably can't afford to... lord knows I couldn't while I was in school. What we often don't think about is the fact that every little bit adds up, especially over time. I wish I had started saving little amounts of money earlier than I did. Saving $10 a week or even $5 a week adds up. Make sure you use the Student Savings accounts, the TFSAs and all the other savings and/or investment accounts that local banks offer. Saving ten bucks every week and sacrificing 2 cups of coffee from starbucks, for the duration of a general degree (3.5 years) adds up to almost 1900. It might not seem like that much but it's a pretty great start.
4. Your first job might not be in your field and that is okay.
The way this economy is set up, jobs are hard to find. They are even harder to find if you are focused on one specific field. My first piece of advice ties into the first point of this article: start applying and working early. Get internships in your field if you can afford the time, use the co-op programs that universities offer, the networking events and everything else that can help you get started. If you are graduating next week and you don't have a lot of things lined up, my advice is to keep an open mind. spend some time building your resume and getting some experience. Get your foot in the door by working as an assistant in a company that you want to grow in.
5. You will have to work at your relationships.
Friendships as adults are hard! Everyone has a job, everyone has things to do after said job. For the introverts like me then it is even harder because the last thing you want to do after a 60 hour week is spend time socializing when you have wine and a good book at home. If you have friends that are still in college or who don't work full time yet, they will not understand this right off the bat. I wish someone had warned me for that part. You will really need to schedule quality time with your friends WAY in advance to make sure it actually happens.
I hope these things make sense to you and that they make your experience a tad easier. Do you relate to any of the above? What would you add to this list?