Graduating is a super emotional time. On one hand, you are excited to metaphorically and physically close the book on this chapter of your life and be done with school for-ev-er. On the other hand you are worried—what if “real life” is an even more bleak version of GIRLS?
There are certain realities that we are all aware of when we graduate—there’s that whole j-o-b thing and acknowledging that a diet of late-night pizza and cereal isn’t sustainable past the age of 22. But then there are things about post-graduate life you don’t realize and/or think about until you are directly faced with them.
To take (some of) the anxiety of the unknown out of the equation, we asked our favorite former Style Gurus to dispense some sage advice, tips and words of caution about their experiences as a graduate and functioning member of the “real world.”
Here are 11 realities you should expect post-graduation:
1. “Time seems to move crazy fast (especially in New York.) When you work Monday-Friday and fill up your free time with hobbies and a social life, the months just fly by, so it’s important to keep everything balanced or else you’ll stress yourself out.” —Carolyn, NYC, Copywriter
2. “Moving to a new city sucks, especially when you don’t know anyone. Be prepared to strap on to anyone that is willing to be your friend!”—Jose, Dallas, Assistant Buyer
3. “You’re going to hear a lot of ‘no’s’ and that’s okay. It just takes one ‘yes’ for a ton of opportunities to manifest.”—Alex, Brooklyn, Copywriter
4. “The work never stops. There’s no end of semester to worry about once you’ve graduated, and no “making the grade.” There will always be work to do and never a completely empty to-do list. For that reason, you HAVE to learn how to separate work from personal life. At the end of the day, wrap up and stop checking your work email. Don’t work on the weekend when it’s unnecessary. Enjoy time with your family and friends to the fullest, because come Monday, it’s back to the old grindstone.”—Sarah, NYC, Fashion Editorial Assistant
5. “Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself and to try something you didn’t see yourself doing. There could be an opportunity or a bigger plan waiting for you down a path you never looked at before. All roads will lead to your dream.”—Adryanna, LA, Copywriter
6. “When I graduated I had no idea how to be an adult, and I still don’t. This is our time to decide who we want to be, learn from our mistakes and get a little crazy on the weekends. Nobody really knows what they’re doing, so laugh with friends and drink a glass or two of wine – cheers to figuring out life while we live it.”—Brittany, NYC, Publication Intern
7. “Sometimes, the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ decision in the real world isn’t very clear. In those cases, you just gotta follow your gut (and heart) and take a chance on a choice. And if this choice scares you a bit, it’s the one you should go for instead of shy away from.”—Anna, L.A. Freelance Writer
8. “I made some of my best friends during my time in undergrad. Stay in touch with everyone you met, you never know where they (or you!) might end up.”—Christina, NYC, Grad Student
9. “Dream big and don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has taken their own unique path to get to where they are and make their dreams become a reality.”—James, NYC, Market Assistant
10. “I am finally trying this thing called ‘saving money.’ I think this has been the hardest thing to do, especially living in the city where you want to buy everything that’s in front of you!”—Tere, NYC, Campaign Coordinator
11. “The real world is… real. It’s a lot harder than you think it’ll be. But if you’re determined, motivated and passionate, you’ll be just fine. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)” —Shelby, NYC, Production Coordinator
Don’t worry Class of 2015—you’ve got this whole “grown up” thing!