Congratulations! You just graduated college! The world is your oyster! Maybe you have a job; maybe you don’t… who cares! Celebrate! Enjoy your last days with your friends! Worry later.
But, if you’re anything like me, you’re worrying now. You’re trying to reach out to the internet to see what to do after college, how to get a job after college, what to expect after college, etc. And there will be trillions of pages of advice, so, do not fret! You don’t need me to tell you how “Adulthood is lonely, but the way to make friends is to get involved in your favorite hobbies” or “don’t stress!”
But, there are still some things I didn’t really see in many of the “what to expect” or “things to do” lists or, even things that were on all of them that I wish I’d actually listened to before traipsing off into adult life. So, here they are:
1) Get your health insurance figured out STAT
So, I’m one of those incredibly lucky people who has health insurance through my job. However, trying to be cheap and save a few bucks, I decided to stay on my parents health insurance, which I can do until I’m 26 (Thanks, Obama). Except, I didn’t realize that, for some reason, their insurance is only valid within New England. I could not have a primary care doctor outside of New England. This was never an issue in college, because I always just went to the doctor’s on breaks. However, when I moved to New York and tried to get a primary care doctor in the city, I found out my insurance wasn’t valid here. What’s more, by the time we figured that out, it was past the “major life changes” deadline for my parents’ insurance and open enrollment for my health insurance. Now, I’m kinda stuck in a limbo of “yeah, I have health insurance, but I also kinda… don’t.”
2) Office work is super boring… until it’s suddenly not
I’ve been working at my current job for about ten months. It’s my first job straight out of college, which has come with enough learning experiences to fill ten blog posts, so, for now, I’m only going to talk about one: it’s boring. Then, it’s busy. There is rarely an in between. For the times it’s slow, get into podcasts, or audiobooks, or really anything to keep yourself from going insane. Most people I know agree: the work day is really just three hours of work, stretched out to fill an eight hour day. You’re going to want to fill those remaining five hours with something.
When it’s busy… just do your best. Stay late, work hard, put in effort, do what you have to do, and all that. You can try minimizing it by working ahead during the slow times, but even if you do your absolute best, there will be days when you are absolutely overwhelmed with work, and that is okay.
But honestly: it’s more boring than busy.
3) You’re not the only one who feels that way
You. Yes you. What you’re feeling right now: sadness, fear, depression, anxiety, minor or major existential crisis… most (if not all) other new grads are feeling the exact same way. And they will continue to feel that way throughout the course of the next year (at least). The future is wild and uncertain. For the first 22 years, there was a plan in place: school. That plan isn’t there anymore; it’s natural to feel… that.
I can’t even describe what “that” feeling is for me. It isn’t really a good feeling, but I can’t put one of those “bad feeling” labels on it. I guess it feels like emptiness, except filled with uncertain possibility.
4) Watch Brooklyn 99
This is not advice for new grads, specifically. It’s just a really good show.
5) Spend a little money, but not THAT much
I grew up in a lower-middle class household without a lot of money. Then, I was a college student with a minimum wage job. Suddenly, I was living in New York City working in finance, making a pretty good salary. I went from being able to afford only Netflix to being able to afford Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify Premium, and a couple of monthly subscription boxes. I went a little wild buying things. Maybe, at times, too wild. Like, did I really need to see five Broadway musicals in one week? (Actually, I take that back, that one was worth it).
Still, put some money in savings. Maybe look into investing. Don’t spend it all at once. It’ll be worth it someday (hopefully, I mean, I’m not at “someday” yet).
Well, anyways, I’m in the middle of watching Brooklyn 99 again, so I’m going to bounce.