If two years ago you would have told me — on the heels of my UC Irvine graduation — that I’d be working on a YouTube show, living in Los Angeles and own two cats, I would have said, “Go home, you’re drunk.” Except for the cat part, I expected that.
When you’re in college, the world is your oyster. You can dream as big and vast as you like because among the eucalyptus trees and pitchers of beer, anything is possible. And don’t get me wrong, anything is possible! But only after lots of hard work, flexibility and perseverance.
While I wouldn’t change anything about college, I do wish that among the lectures about Faulkner and Fitzgerald,and the dissection of sonnets, a professor had laid down these simple truths. But maybe it was up to the Real World to make this life lessons unforgettable because it didn’t take long to figure these out.
1. Some people will get jobs because they have great connections. Most the time, those people do not include you and it sucks balls.
There is nothing more frustrating than applying for a job and finding out, it has been given to a cousin or nephew or second step-friend once removed of the CEO. The real world is all about connections and coming out of college, unless you had the world’s most amazing internship, your little black book is pretty empty. Not to worry though, one job will lead to another until you’re in the perfect position. So instead of getting frustrated, start talking to people in your dream field and keep sending out those applications. Trust me, someone will take notice of your great credentials.
2. Dream jobs aren’t instant. Which makes them even better.
Like pant sizes, dreams jobs are ever changing and rarely does anyone get their dream job right out of college. When I got to UCI, I was sure I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist, and look at me now (OH!). Out of college, I worked two random jobs and an internship just to start building my writing portfolio. None of those were dream jobs but when I was offered a full-time writing job, I was ten times more thankful. While some jobs won’t be propelling you down your career path, they will teach you something valuable such as how to deal with people and why to always be nice to customer service personal. You have years and years to become the CEO or EIC so don’t stress, it will come in time.
3. Hypothetical plans will always sound better than your reality. But they aren’t.
There is nothing more frustrating than a person with a hypothetical plan. The mind blowing novel they just need to sit down and start, the kick ass blog that will blow yours out of the water, or the pitch letter they’re about to send to the New Yorker. It seems that no matter what you’re doing in real-life, these people always try to top your plans.
Don’t be fooled, all plans sound perfect when they’re still in someone’s mind! No matter how tricky or challenging your reality, at least it’s actually happening! So major points to you.
4. It’s okay to sleep.
After graduating, it took two and a half months for me to catch up on all the sleep I missed in my final year. Even now, I still have to remind myself it’s okay to sleep for more than six hours. I don’t need to stay up writing till 2AM and then turn around the next morning to run a marathon and work full-time. I’ve had to learn to be realistic with my time and kind to my body. And you know what? Sleep is super awesome!
5. Life is about the journey, not the destination.
Post college life is hard. Suddenly you’re accountable for a full-time job, health insurance, pets, rent, caring for yourself, IRAs, networking, and more. But instead of always focusing on work, enjoy all life’s moments along the way. Spend times with new friends, explore your city, adopt a pet, watch movies, read, try new things, be bad at things, and most of all, surround yourself with love. With all the right priorities in check, the journey will become the best part.
I promise the real-world isn’t that bad at all. Except that you can no longer have a beer pong tournament on a Tuesday night. Bummer.
^^ Nothing better than this. ^^