5 Tips for surviving life after College

Life after college can be difficult and confusing. Some people get married, some people spend time job searching. and others go straight into a full-time job. Some people even take the time to search for a different passion or take the time to get to know themselves better. I have noticed that there are many different types of people including: single full-time workers, married full-time workers, single job seekers, married job seekers, etc.

There are some people who finish college and go straight into a full-time job. However, there are two sides to this coin. There are some people who are excited to work in a job that uses the degree they have slaved away at for 4 years. They are ready to bring change to the world and to grow. They are thriving in their job and enjoying every little bit of it. They have found balance, there is struggle here and there, but above all they are enjoying their new life.

Nonetheless, the other side to this coin is that there are those people who were excited for their job but then found out that it wasn’t everything they had hoped it would be. Getting into a routine is hard, their clients are not committed, and maybe the work environment is not inviting. The person in this category is trying to find a new balance and purpose, but they are also trying to get used to their new role in life.

There is the person with is married with a full-time job. There are two sides to this coin as well. I personally fall into this category. I love being married, I love my job, but it’s hard sometimes to make connections outside of work. It might be because I live in a small college town but connecting with people my age has been hard. It is difficult balancing married life and working a full-time job. You feel like you are not doing good enough. You feel like you are not a good wife because you work too much, or that you are not performing in your job as well as you would like to.

Then there is the person who doesn’t find a full-time job right after college. Life is a little hard to navigate. They are looking for a new passion, new interest, or they are still job searching. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to get a job right after college if you do not have any experience or connections. Often, companies do not want to hire someone without any experience, which makes it difficult to get experience! Thankfully, I was blessed to go to an interview and get the job three weeks later. However, this is not always the case for everyone.

Most times, life after college is very different and difficult. Trying to find a new routine, trying to see where you fit in with new coworkers, or simply learning how to “adult”. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 16:9 (MSG) “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” I love this verse because it tells me that I can plan, but I do not have to worry about how the plans will come to be. Instead, the Lord will establish them, and, in His time, they will come to pass.

I am married and work full time as a Case Worker (someone who works with children in order for them to be emotionally healthy) at an elementary school. At the beginning, I was always tired after work. I would arrive at work at 8 and then leave at 4:30. By the time I got home all I wanted to do was put on my PJs, eat dinner, watch my favorite show and head straight to bed. But I soon realized that I wasn’t connecting with people, I was only hanging out with my best friend and husband. I realized I still needed to meet new people, do the things I love (which are walking and writing) and not let work and my marriage be the only things in my life. So, I changed my schedule, and instead of going home and zoning out while watching Netflix after work, I started filling up my evenings with times to meet with people from church: whether that was an older lady, a college student or a high school student.

By making these small steps in interacting with people, I soon realized that I didn’t have to stay within the 8-4 bubble: home, eat, sleep and repeat. I recognized, being married is fun, working in a job that I love is fun, and having a life outside those two things is equally as fun. Something that one of my really good friends said is that “it’s all about balance and moderation.” Once I began to balance out my work, family, and social life, I began to live a more fulfilling and productive life.

So, whether you have a full-time job or are still seeking your dream job, remember that everyone struggles in some sense. You are not alone! We are all trying to find our new normal after college.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind while you are in this new season:

  1. Don’t stress. You don’t have to have it all together. Trust in the Lord, consistently tell him how you feel, and things will come together in His time.
  2. Make plans. Sit down with pen and paper, and write down your dreams, passions and things you want to achieve. Then go after them!
  3. Social networking, my friend, is extremely beneficial. Find ways you can connect with others to develop a relationship. Don’t just sit around mindlessly scrolling through your feed but purposely form connections with others.
  4. Remember, YOU ARE ENOUGH! Just because you don’t have your dream job yet, don’t feel like the “perfect” wife, or don’t have everything together, that does not make you any less than! Keep going and never give up.
  5. Find a routine that works for you. Make time with friends and family, journal or just relax every once in a while and watch your favorite show. Remember, everything is going to be okay!

With Love, -Winnie

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