AND WE’RE BACK IN ACTION
Well, hello you! You decided to come back for more on the *cues the “dun dun dunnn” sound*…
Graduation Blues, huh?
Last Friday I talked about being in such a funk leading up to and immediate following my college graduation. If you haven’t had a chance to read Part One I encourage you to stop here, go back, and read that before reading any further into this blog post.
...But if you are all caught up, which I know a loyal subscriber like yourself IS, then lets jump right to it. Today, I’ll pick up right where we left off and share with you the 5 remaining Blues:
SIMPLYMEI’S GOT A STRONG CASE OF THE GRADUATION BLUES
6. BILLS! BILLS! And more BILLS! SALLIE MAE!
So, you graduated and started your first job. It’s not everything you imagined it to be but hey, you’re making a paycheck with full time hours. This should be good, right? Hold up. Wait a minute. You look at your pay stub. Your check amount has increased since having your part-time job in college, but you find out that the TAXES deducted are outrageous. You’re furious and feeling like you just can’t win but there’s more. Now that you’re “independent” your parents have decided that it’s time you accept more of your financial responsibility. Between your phone bills, paying for gas, and other needs you realize that you can’t just go out and purchase a new outfit or buy those new pair of shoes as quickly as you used to. Darn it if that’s not enough, Sallie Mae has already slid into your DM’s - - your email inbox that is. “This is just a gentle reminder that your student loan payments will begin in December. There are different options for payments.” Options? You’re barely surviving as is. Options mean nothing when you just don’t have the money or hold on life to start making payments yet.
Solution Don’t give up or throw in the towel. Think of this as a new challenge if you must. Now is a time to evaluate your lifestyle and see what habits you can get rid of - - yes dear, going out to eat everyday is NOT a necessity. Sometimes in the real world you have to sacrifice those wants for your needs until you are able to afford such luxuries. Welcome to the wonderful world of adulthood. It doesn’t mean that your financial situation won’t get better but if you can’t manage $500 appropriately chances are you won’t be able to manage $5,000 appropriately either. The issue is not always the amount of money you make but rather your ability to manage your finances.
Another tip that might be helpful is to generate some income diversity or in other (SimplyMei) words, find you a side hustle. Do you have a talent such as painting? Look into selling your art. If you can style hair, cut grass, baby sit, and so forth then try giving that a stab. If you’re entrepreneurial, try looking into starting a business. Whatever it is, having multiple sources of income can alleviate the stress depending on one job to pay bills and Sallie Mae on time.
7. I’m An Adult Now… Well Kind Of
You just graduated college so technically you are part of your college’s alumni, right? Only thing is you have friends that are still undergrads pursuing their studies. The All White party is coming up, which is like the biggest collegiate party ever and everyone who is anyone will be attending, but you have a problem. Your friends that are still in college invite you to go to the party with them but you are well aware that the party will be packed with current college students especially freshman seeking to have their first year of college joys. The more you think about it, the more awkward you begin to feel. You don’t want to be that guy or girl that just can’t leave the college life alone and has to be at every social event but you don’t quite feel “adulted” enough yet to do adult things - - what are adult things anyway? Suddenly you find yourself going through puberty all over again only now you’re stuck between being an adolescent and a teenager; instead you’re caught up in the whirlwind of adulting.
Solution The period between childhood and adulthood is not easy for anyone whether you’ve attended college or not. I’m 24 years old and I still have my days when I feel more like a kid just trying to play the part of a grown-up. Do not beat yourself up when you have those internal battles with decision making. As a college graduate it is completely normal to still want to attend collegiate social events - - and guess what? It’s okay! I personally do not feel that there is a certain age you can place on adulthood. Everyone reaches the phenomenon of adulthood at their own pace. The key is to embrace it as you feel yourself entering adulthood. Trust me, you’ll feel that change happening. Things like feeling the need to be independent and responsible, having a clearer purpose on your direction in life, and more will become your indicators. Hmmm, “Signs That You Are Adulting” just might be my next blog post. Who’s here for it?
8. You Call This Fun?
Admit it. All throughout college you complained about never having enough time to do anything between those stinking classes and your obligations to all 20 organizations you were a part of. Factor in the job that you also held during college and you have one booked up schedule. You went to sleep (when you could get any sleep) and dreamt of all the things you would do if only you had free time. Now that you’ve graduated you’re finding that free time isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. In fact, you’re bored out of your mind. You have lost all motivation and now you just kind of feel like time is floating on by. This isn’t fun.
Solution Think about that thing you always want to try in college. Think about that place you always wanted to visit. Think about that restaurant you always wanted to eat at. Think about that business you always wanted to start. Listen. The world is yours. Understand that during college you were used to structure and routine. You have been released my friend. (Okay, so you still have obligations but…) Life after college does not have to be a bore. It’s truly what you make it. There are enough days in the year for you to stress about your job, bills, graduate school, and so forth. Pause and make time for FUN. Consider it you patting yourself on the back for earning that college degree you worked so hard for!
9. “So...What Are You Up To Now?”
College graduates, you all know that one dreaded question: What are you up to now? YOU don’t even know what your next move is. The last thing you want is someone asking you about your future steps only to remind you of how lost you really are. You’re frustrated because life after college was supposed to be easy breezy or so you’d thought. You’re embarrassed because some of your other friends that graduated seemed to have it going on and well… you just don’t have it together yet. You vow to yell at the next person to ask you that dreaded question. What’s it to them anyway?
Solution Do not let these questions about your life get you down. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Sure you had your ideal plans after college. I did too. Funny thing about life is that it just doesn’t always work the way we want it to work. Plans provide great direction but sometimes we stumble upon opportunities that take us in a completely different direction than what we intended. Sometimes these opportunities reveal to us our true calling and shed light on new passions. The next time someone asks, “What are you up to now?” be unashamed. You don’t always have to have an answer or come off as so put together. Embrace that you are a work in progress. We all are. If you feel inclined to answer, you can let people know you are in the midst of goal setting and leave it at that.
10. Family Matters
Some of you met the one in college. You and your partner have created some history together and you can definitely see this person in your long term future. However, in college you were still somewhat more focused on yourself, your own need to graduate, and your own post graduation plans. However, now that you have graduated you realize that your relationship has grown significantly. You and your partner are both scrambling to see where you two fit into each others’ plans. Will you two both attend graduate school? Will you two live together? If apart, will you two live in the same city? Do you two plan on getting married or having children in the future? How will you two balance personal goals with relationship goals? You two had discussed future plans while in college but now that you’ve have graduated it’s really time to make some impactful decisions . You don’t know what to do.
Solution You are under a lot of stress. You are still figuring out this whole adult thing and goals for yourself so of course adding someone else to the mix is a daunting task. You are at a place where you are unsure of your next move (more education or a career?). Now you have to figure that out while you are figuring out what you want from a relationship at the same time. Each situation is different. Some people have TRULY met the love of their lives in college while others just THINK they have. There is no black or white answer. You have to use your judgment call. If you think you have met the one and want to pursue a relationship then a discussion of your future goals are critical! You have to understand how you can help support one another and understand that there may be sacrifices on both ends. When you are in a relationship everything is not “me me me” anymore. However, if you are unsure that the relationship is long term then it is okay to take some of the pressure off. It is okay to want to focus on your individual goals and keep dating light-hearted.
Your Go: Have you experienced the Graduation Blues before? What did you do to overcome those feelings? SimplyMei wants to hear all about it! Submit your thoughts, comments, or questions to simplymeitsf@gmail. Responses will be featured!