Five Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated

It's almost been 18 months since I graduated from university and I think I've grown more as a person within that time than I did during my three years studying for my degree. Even though it was tough at times, I still cherish those three years as a time to be a pretend grown up and find myself a little and where I belong in this big old world. Post graduate life left me feeling lost, anxious, and overwhelmed at the pressure to get my life together and today I want to share five things I would love to go back and tell myself if I could:

Don’t worry so much It's okay not to have everything figured out straight away - actually, it's okay even if you still don't a few years post graduation. If you allow the fear of the unknown to overwhelm you, you won't be able to see clearly enough to move forward, embrace opportunities, and make decisions along the way. So don't worry, you'll find your way - it's okay to take life at your own pace. 

You don’t know everything You're still a baby in the grand scheme of things and you have SO much left to learn. Post graduate life felt like starting all over again from scratch in many ways for me. Going back to basics and finding who I am, what I want, and how to take those lessons I learned during university and apply them to real world. Be okay asking questions, accept that you don't know everything yet, and keep on pushing yourself, moving forward, and learning new things. 

Embrace responsibility All those excuses you made during university life about not quite having to take responsibility yet have to end now, but embracing responsibility doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. The more you are accountable for your own life and existence, the more you will feel confident and able in the face of any obstacles that come your way. Take it little by little, don't overwhelm yourself with the pressure, and know that it's okay to make mistakes along the way. 

Moving back home isn’t the worst thing in the world Unless you have a grad job lined up or years of savings in the bank, like most people I know you probably will find yourself moving back home to your childhood bedroom post graduation. Depending on how long it takes you to get on your feet, it can be quite the adjustment period and first response is to completely dread the next few months or years. Living back home with your parents in your 20s doesn't have to be as traumatic as you may fear though, and as a stepping stone in between the stages of your life it can actually be a great environment to grow, thrive, and move forward. 

Make the most out of your time The months seem to go by quicker these days, and with all the goals and dreams we want to pursue it's up to us to make the most out of the time we have. Learn a new skill, start a new project, visit somewhere new; there's a big old world out there and the best thing we can do is take a leap into our future and start building for ourselves the life we want. 

What about you, what do you wish you knew before you graduated? 

Further reading: Dear Graduates of 2014, But What If I Haven't Got It Figured Out Yet?

Back image via June Letters

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