I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I graduated. Obviously, with the abnormal year and a half that we’ve all had, time doesn’t seem the most linear at the moment. Tomorrow, on the fifteenth, it will officially been a calendar year since I received my degree and completed my undergrad. I’ll be celebrating with my parents with takeout from my favourite restaurant, a cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, and a blowout from Drybar! In the time that has passed since I graduated, I’ve learned some things. I wanted to share while also articulating them for myself.
- If you had good time management in college, it’ll help in the real world.
- What I mean by this is that my time management in college truly helped me with my career. I was able to schedule when things had to be done while making sure that there was ample time for everything I needed to complete, both for myself and for work. It was easier for me because I was so used to having to schedule everything down to almost the minute in college.
- Sleeping in won’t be a regular occurrence.
- While I’m grateful to have a full-time job in an office full of people I like and admire, I miss sleeping in. In college, I would make sure that my earliest class was at ten am. Now, when I set my alarm for 7am Monday through Friday, a little piece of my soul dies.
- Time heals all wounds.
- I didn’t have the easiest college experience. I was a college athlete and for multiple years, my team competed at a high level. This came with added stress, pressure, physical challenges (and mental), and more. There were plenty of days were I wasn’t enjoying myself or feeling the motivation to work as hard as humanly possible. Now, a year removed from that experience, I can confidently say that time heals all wounds. I rarely think about those times in anything but a passing manner. While I’m glad that I had the experience, I am even more glad that those days are over.
- Bad grades don’t haunt you forever.
- I will never forget my senior year of college when I failed a finance exam (I’m talking a 49%). This was the first test I had ever failed in college. It destroyed me. I cried, I felt ashamed, and I never wanted to look at my finance textbook ever again. During volleyball season (fall semester), we have to travel a lot. I missed a lot of class and that didn’t help me. When I failed the test, I was so frustrated. Now, a year later, it never crosses my mind. I used to live and die by my grades and it’s been a relief since finishing undergrad to stop worrying about it.
- A college budget is your friend.
- Even though I have a full-time job, I try to keep to a “college budget” as much as possible. Now that I’m in the real world, I’m actively trying to save as much money as possible, for retirement or an emergency or a really good shopping spree (kidding). While I’m actively trying to save, I try to keep myself in the mindset I had in college when it comes to spending: only buy it if you need it. I haven’t been one hundred percent on top of this, to be honest, but when I have been good about it I was able to save some major $.
- You get to spend more time on your hobbies.
- When I didn’t have to constantly worry about projects, tests, assignments, and volleyball practices, I was able to enjoy everything that I wasn’t able to enjoy before. I had more time for reading, art, music, and watching shows. I was able to try new things!
- You stay in contact with the real friends from college.
- When my senior year was cut short and went online, one of the biggest disappointments was not being able to be around my friends in my classes. I was worried that I wouldn’t ever see them again and our friendships would fizzle out. That was not the case! I’m still close with a lot of my friends from college and speak with them almost daily (thank you, social media!). I still have monthly group FaceTime chats with a bunch of girls from my favourite class!
- Your sleep schedule will be consistent (no more tests to study for!)
- My sleep is so much more consistent. Unless I’m up late reading or watching a show (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones), I’m able to get to bed in a decent time! One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get way more sleep than I had been getting–and I’m happy to say that I have been successful with this!
- Some things never change.
- I’m still a try-hard. I work hard at my job and try to be the best I can possibly be. I still make time for friends and for my mental health. I still read big books and spend too much time thinking about fictional characters. I was worried that everything would be different after college. I’m happy to say that it’s not that different.
- It’s okay to not be in a career that you expected.
- I never thought I would be in the loan industry. It never even occurred to me. I thought I would end up in business, or real estate, or God-be-willing, writing. But I’m a loan processor. It was something I never expected for myself, but I like it. I have to use my brain to solve problems and I like the people in my office. I look forward to going to work each day and like the feeling that comes with a funded loan. It wasn’t what I wanted or thought about, but it’s what is good for me.
It’s still crazy to think that it’s been a year since I graduated. Some days, it feels like it’s been five years. Other days, it’s been a month or two. College was a lot of fun. I don’t have many regrets, and I have loads of memories that I will cherish for as long as possible. While sometimes I wish I was still there, the majority of me is glad that I’m not. I got everything I needed from college. I became more mature, more experienced, happier, and wiser. It wasn’t the road I wanted, but it was the road I needed. I’m proud of who I am today and I wouldn’t be that person without my college experience. To everyone who supported me throughout the journey, thank you. To you, reader, thank you. Thank you for reading.