What They Don’t Tell You About the Post-Graduation Transition

  1. You WILL Feel Grief and that is OKAY! – Graduating from college is a loss. It is a loss of a robust social life, living with and near all of your friends and classmates, attending lectures right after rolling out of bed, and less adulting on your end. Moving from college to the real world is quite a challenge, and it is a loss to leave it. It’s a loss of a possibly exciting time in your life, and it is OKAY to feel grief about it. Grief is a normal emotion and it does not just apply to losing loved one’s. Grieving can also apply to times in our lives or things that we enjoyed that we don’t have that we may have had once before. College IS one of those times in our lives.
  2. Less Social Outings – In college, we live right by all of our friends and classmates, if you choose to live on or near campus. With on or near campus housing comes the many many many social outings which come along with everyone living right by each other. At the same time, college comes with a lot of social outings and such – it is exciting, too! When you move and graduate from college, the college social life stays behind. That being said, you will experience a lot less social outings than you did during your college days. As an extrovert, this has been tough for me, even having lived through college during the COVID-19 pandemic during my Junior and Senior years. But, it is a right a passage into adulthood.
  3. Having A LOT More Free Time – Not only does the postgraduate lifestyle bring about a less than ideal social life with a lot less social outings, it also brings about barely any homework! With working full time, there comes the benefit of not having to do much work outside of work. However, before I elaborate a bit more on this point, I do think it is important to mention and honor our extraordinary teachers and others in fields who do spend countless hours outside of their job prepping for their day to day activities at work. So, that being said, depending on your job, you may have to do some work outside of work and sometimes on the weekends in any job, too. In college, having a lot of free time was a luxury. But, nowadays in the postgraduate world, it is coming to you all at once and there’s no shortage of it. One of my coworkers said that he loved that when he finished work and signed off, he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted to do. Indeed, he was right!
  4. More Grocery Store Runs than Ever Before – This one rings true to me more than I thought it ever would – hah! I have always been one to stock up on groceries, but when I graduated from college and had a lot more free time on my hands, I saw myself buying and needing a lot more groceries than ever before. Needless to say, I will 9 times out of 10 see myself needing more coffee creamer after running out in the middle of the week or suddenly needing to simply admire the halls of the grocery store. I have most definitely gotten much more excited about new product releases in stores near me too!
  5. Needing a Budget – In college, we definitely need to stay on a budget. Once we get out into the real world, sticking with a budget is vital and more important than ever before. Putting on our big kid caps means that we don’t have the luxury of student discounts or college student freebies anymore – sad face – and having a budget is super important when it comes to our financial well-being. A few months ago, I wrote a post about budgeting and creating a budget when starting out, and you can read this blog post here.
  6. No, You Don’t Live Right By All Your Friends Anymore – Going off of my points from earlier on, sadly, you don’t live right by all of your friends anymore. *we know, we know* Trust me, it SUCKS! There are many times where I miss walking right out of my door and there are all of my friends right then and there. Post-graduation life means that when you do see your friends it does take quite a bit more planning on both of your ends to simply meet up and perhaps some travel too. Though, in the end, it will all be 10000% worth it and much more meaningful!
  7. Having to Say NO Sometimes – Just like during your college years, there will be times post-college that you’ll have to put your foot down and say NO. Saying no is a vital part of adulthood and a huge accomplishment for any person both mentally, emotionally, and physically. Us humans are not meant to do everything in this world – we can only do so much. As hard as it is to sometimes swallow, we as humans are only capable of doing so much. That being said, we have to listen to ourselves, our bodies, and our minds and ensure that we are doing what we need to do that’s best for ourselves. Sometimes that means saying no to an additional task in or out of work, a social outing or trip due to finances, or a family thing that would hurt you mentally more than help you to go. Through it all, saying no is OKAY. It does not make you a weak person either. Rather, it makes you strong and resilient and more than ever ready to take on this world!
  8. Changes in Your Friendships – The post-graduation transition brings about a lot of changes. One of the most significant changes can be with our own friends. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but not all of your friends will stick around – some may fade away over time, some may depart from your life instantly, and some may stick around and you both will grow closer than ever before. Whatever the situation may be with each of your respective friends, know that the changes occurring are NORMAL and not out of the ordinary. It is OKAY to drift apart from friends given the trajectories of your lives after college. It is also amazing to have a one or a few friends that you will maintain through this transition as well. All throughout this transition, there are changes, but once you pop out of it all, you will see who your true friends from college are and you’ll be oh so thankful they are still in your life and they will be that you’re in theirs. On the same token, definitely be thankful for the friendships you have made in college, even if they may not be as strong of a friendship once you both graduate.
  9. The Working 9-5 Adjustment – Working 9-5 is HARD! A straight shot of work all day 5+ days a week with some breaks sprinkled in isn’t an easy task for anybody. It’s definitely not easy going from college where you have 1-4 classes a day with many breaks in between. It’s definitely not the typical 40 hour work week, so it is hard to get used to. It can be tiring and it’s an adjustment for sure. Also, no pajamas and rolling out of bed in the work world like we used to take for granted in college can be a struggle bus at times. However, work is an essential task and can be pretty great if we let it be. Our jobs are a vital part of our wellbeing and we definitely all want to succeed in them too. If we let our job be an enjoyable part of our day, then we can adjust a lot easier to our work lives as well!
  10. This Transition is ROUGH for EVERYBODY! – Through and through, the post-college graduation transition is HARD. It’s hard for everybody. It’s easy to think that it is not. Nowadays, social media makes us think that everyone has it great and everyone is thriving. When in reality, everyone is not thriving. Some folks may be doing great, but others may not be no matter how they paint a picture of their lives on social media. Just know, graduating from college is hard and the months and even a few years after it will be. That’s okay – I’m in this transition too and it is a struggle bus and there’s a lot I feel like I need to figure out about how I want to proceed with things in my life moving forward into my 20’s while not in school anymore. But, I will get through it and make it out okay and be stronger than ever before. And guess what?! So will YOU!

XOXO – Katie <3

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